Frying fish the Indian way brings back a lot of good memories from my childhood. I remember watching my dad wash and season the fish. My job was always to cover the fish in rice flour right before it went into the fry pan. When I got a little older, I wondered how he actually made his fish. Turns out it’s incredibly easy.
Indian Style Fish Fry
Serves 2-3 people
1 lb of flounder fillets (or another mild, white fish)
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
1 tsp of turmeric
2 tsp of garlic powder
1 tsp of cayenne powder
Salt to taste
1/2 cup of canola oil
This dish works well with a mild fish; the flavors of the spices are delicious and it’s nice not to ruin that. I like flounder, it’s very thin. The thinner the fish is, the more flavored with the spices it will be and the crispier it will get when you fry it.
Start by making sure your fish is thoroughly washed and fairly dry. If your fish is giving off that fishy odour, a good trick is to soak it in some milk. Let it sit in a milk bath for about 20-30 minutes and then rinse. Doing this should help bring back the freshness of the fish.
Fresh fish does not give off a fishy odor, so if you go to buy fish and it has a strong smell, it might be best to pass on it and try another store or another day of the week when a fresh shipment may have arrived. Once, in China, I was taken to a fish market, and there literally was no odor, flies etc. The fish had all been caught that morning (many of them were still alive) and were being butchered on the spot. Too bad it can’t always be done like that!
Once your fish has been cleaned, combine all the ingredients with the fish. Make sure the spices cover each piece of fish evenly. You can let this marinade for a while, but it really isn’t necessary. If you do decide to let it marinade, make sure it goes back into the fridge. It’s a good idea to keep seafood on ice as well.
When you are ready to fry your fish, put about a cup of rice flour on to a large plate. Dip your fish pieces into the flour and make sure coat evenly. Heat your oil up to a fairly hot temperature. Once hot, place fish in the pan. Do not crowd the pan. It only takes about a minute on each side for very thin fish, longer if your fish is thicker. Drain on paper towels. It’s great to serve right away if possible, so you can enjoy it while it’s nice and hot.