Air Fryer Fish Fry – Masala Fried Fish In Air Fryer

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Indian style masala fried fish made in the air fryer. Kerala Karimeen Fry – Kerala Style Pearspot Fish Fry – Air Fryer Fish Fry – Karimeen Masala Fry

I have this vivid memory of karimeen – Pearl-spot fish. My dad is a civil engineer and he worked for the LMW Group in Coimbatore for a long long time. He is 76 and still working for the group πŸ™‚ Its his second home or maybe first. Its debatable. In the beginning of 90’s, they had an ambitious project of building a resort in Cherthala, Kerala.
My dad (a vegetarian) used to travel a lot during that time and he visited Cherthala almost every week. If he was travelling on a weekend, me and my brother would hop in the company provided Tata Sierra (It still is my favorite car. What a stylish car for those days) at 4am in the morning and go along with him. Sometimes, we travelled by bus. They were developing the land in Cherthala at that time and the setup there was very simple. A couple of basic thatched roof huts with essentials to stay. After a loooong ride in the worst possible roads, we had to take a ferry and then a boat / coracle to reach the place as the land was right on the backwaters. So whenever we went, the caretaker would take us fishing while my dad went on to supervise the work, meet the laborers, check the accounts or whatever. We would catch fresh karimeen. Karimeen was the highlight of my trip. I had traveled 200 plus kilometres from Coimbatore only for this beauty. Fresh karimeen would be cleaned and shallow fried in coconut oil and that would be our late lunch with rice, rasam and buttermilk. We ate the same for dinner. I slept happily on a karimeen overdose. We usually stayed just for a night. The next day, we would have JM & sons bread from Coimbatore and the cloyingly sweet kissan jam for breakfast (still a favorite) and leave. For the next 5-6 years, we travelled to Cherthala every chance we got before the project was dropped as they were too ahead for their time and they were amidst innumerable labor problems and strikes. My Karimeen vacation also sadly came to an end. The flavour of coconut oil fried karimeen is etched in my memory.

Here is my rendition of Kerala Karimeen fry. I have made it healthy by frying it in the air fryer. The same can be shallow fried in a pan.

Karimeen Masala Fry made in the Air Fryer
First lets make a masala. Here is what you will need.
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Take in all the ingredients listed under marinade and mix them well. Use thick ginger garlic paste for this recipe.
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The oil and vinegar and the moisture from the ginger garlic paste will be enough to make a thick paste. Add a teaspoon of water if only necessary. Make sure that the masala is thick so it evenly coats the fish.
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Wash, clean and prep the fish.
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Make small gashes on the fish with a sharp knife so the masalas can penetrate and season the fish throughout. Be gentle and do not cut too deep. These cuts / crevices will hold the masalas later. So take time and make as many even cuts as possible. This is a very important step.
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Apply the marinade on the fish. Make sure that the masalas are evenly coated. Apply masala in the gashes so the fish gets evenly seasoned.
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Marinate the fish in the refrigerator for 15-20 minutes.
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We will now cook the fish in the air fryer. The cooking time will vary depending on the size of the fish. I cooked these in the air fryer for 15 minutes at 200 degrees Celsius.
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The fish was perfect after cooking for 15 minutes. For bigger fishes, cook for 5 minutes more.
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Now we will make a topping for the fish. Heat coconut oil in a pan and add in the finely chopped shallots (small onion), curry leaves and whole crushed garlic with the skin. Add in a pinch of salt. Fry for 5-6 minutes.
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The shallots would have become crisp by the time.
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Now add in the red chilli flakes and remove from heat.
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The topping is ready.
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Sprinkle the topping on the fish and serve hot.
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Print
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Air Fryer Fish Fry – Masala Fried Fish In Air Fryer

Indian style masala fried fish made in the air fryer. Kerala Karimeen Fry – Kerala Style Pearspot Fish Fry – Air Fryer Fish Fry – Karimeen Masala Fry

  • Total Time: 25 mins
  • Yield: 4-5 pieces 1x

Ingredients

Scale

Main Ingredient

  • 500 grams karimeen – pearlspot fish (or) fish of your choice

For the marinade

  • 2 tablespoon vegetable oil / peanut oil
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar or plain vinegar
  • 2 teaspoon ginger garlic paste
  • 2 teaspoon chopped curry leaves
  • 1.5 teaspoon red chilli powder
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt

For the topping / tempering

  • 1.5 teaspoon coconut oil
  • 3 tablespoon chopped shallot / small onion
  • 2 sprigs curry leaves
  • 67 cloves of garlic, crushed with skin
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chilli flakes

Instructions

  1. Take in all the ingredients listed under marinade and mix them well. Use thick ginger garlic paste for this recipe.
  2. The oil and vinegar and the moisture from the ginger garlic paste will be enough to make a thick paste. Add a teaspoon of water if only necessary. Make sure that the masala is thick so it evenly coats the fish.
  3. Wash, clean and prep the fish. Make small gashes on the fish with a sharp knife so the masalas can penetrate and season the fish throughout. Be gentle and do not cut too deep. These cuts / crevices will hold the masalas later. So take time and make as many even cuts as possible. This is a very important step.
  4. Apply the marinade on the fish. Make sure that the masalas are evenly coated. Apply masala in the gashes so the fish gets evenly seasoned.
  5. Marinate the fish in the refrigerator for 15-20 minutes.
  6. We will now cook the fish in the air fryer. The cooking time will vary depending on the size of the fish. I cooked these in the air fryer for 15 minutes at 200 degrees Celsius.
  7. The fish was perfect after cooking for 15 minutes. For bigger fishes, cook for 5 minutes more.
  8. Now we will make a topping for the fish. Heat coconut oil in a pan and add in the finely chopped shallots (small onion), curry leaves and whole crushed garlic with the skin. Add in a pinch of salt. Fry for 5-6 minutes.
  9. The shallots would have become crisp by the time. Now add in the red chilli flakes and remove from heat. The topping is ready.
  10. Sprinkle the topping on the fish and serve hot.
  • Author: Kannamma - Suguna Vinodh
  • Prep Time: 5 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Category: Fish Fry
  • Cuisine: Kerala

4 thoughts on “Air Fryer Fish Fry – Masala Fried Fish In Air Fryer”

  1. What an amazing story Suguna. Such happy memories thanks for sharing. Karimeen fry looks too tempting wish i could get some in the UK.






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