I love seafood. We never cooked seafood at home when I was young as both my parents are vegetarians. My parents used to cook chicken for us but never fish. The smell of fish is something they cannot appreciate. I have this fond memory of my dad getting us fried fish on his way back from work. He is a civil engineer and he had a job that involved a lot of travelling. My dad was involved in a huge project in the 90’s for his company in a place called Thalavady near Sathyamangalam in Tamilnadu. He used to go there at-least twice a week. On his way back, he would stop at Bavani (famous for Bavanisagar dam). He would get us fried fish from Bavani. He used to tell that the fish was so freshly caught, I knew you guys would love it. So for almost 5-6 years till the project was over, we had fried fish dinners at-least once a week. The fish was fried along with curry leaves and came as a double wrapped parcel. Once with the banana leaf and then with a news paper. It was loosely tied with a white twine. It smelled oh so good! My dad has taken me and my brother many times to Thalavady during our holidays for wild animal sighting. He would be busy with his meetings and me and my brother would be with the care taker of the land Mr.Channappa. Channappa Uncle would take us into the forest to pick goose berries. He would scare us not to leave him and stay close to the jeep as he knew that the area was frequented by Sandalwood Bandit Veerappan at that time. We were really excited and super scared at the same time. Every trip was so thrilling. Wonderful days. This recipe has been inspired from Thalavady days!
I have tried and re-tried many recipes before arriving at this one. The fried fish from Bavani always had a battered coating. So I used egg for binding the ingredients. That little oil in the marinade helps to emulsify the masala so the masala is smooth. I doubt if the original recipe used corn flour but I have used very little in this recipe for binding the Masala well and to coat the fish evenly. Here is what you will need. Scroll down to the bottom of the page for detailed measurements.
Grind all the Masala ingredients to a fine paste. Don’t add water while grinding. The liquid in the egg and the oil will suffice. Pulse it several times until you get a fine paste. Rub the paste on the fish steak on both sides and let it marinate for 30 minutes. I used seer fish today.
Heat sunflower oil in a pan until really hot. Add in the fish steaks and just place a sprig of curry leaf on each of the steak. After 1.5 to 2 minutes, turn the fish to the other side. Turn with the curry leaf along. It might very slightly splutter. Be cautious. Cook the other side for 1.5 to 2 minutes and remove from oil. Drain on paper towel.
Serve hot. I like to squeeze a little lime juice on the fried fish just before serving. Yummy Spicy Fish fry just for ya!
Spicy Fish Fry – Masala Fish Fry Tamilnadu Village Style. The masala coats the fish perfectly in this recipe. A very easy recipe perfect for beginners.
Masala Ingredients For Marinade
- 1 tablespoon Coconut Oil
- 1 Egg
- 2 heaping teaspoon Red Chilli Powder (use more if you want really spicy)
- 1 teaspoon Turmeric Powder
- 1 teaspoon Black Pepper Powder
- 1 tablespoon Corn Flour
- 2 iinch piece Ginger
- 5 Garlic Cloves
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- 1 sprig Curry Leaves
- 500 grams fish steaks
- 1/2 cup Sunflower Oil / Vegetable Oil
- 10 sprigs curry leaves for deep frying
- 5 Lime / Lemon wedges for serving
- Grind all the Masala ingredients to a fine paste. Don’t add water while grinding. Pulse it several times until you get a fine paste. Rub the paste on the fish steak on both sides and let it marinate for 30 minutes. I used seer fish today.
- Heat sunflower oil in a pan until really hot. Add in the fish steaks and just place a sprig of curry leaf on each one of them. After 1.5 to 2 minutes, turn the other side. Turn the curry leaf along. It might very slightly splutter. Be cautious. Cook the other side for 1.5 to 2 minutes and remove from oil. Drain on paper towel.
- Serve hot. Squeeze a little lime juice on the fried fish just before serving.
#Don’t let the fish to marinate for more than 30 minutes. I have noticed that the texture of the fish becoming hard if marinated for too long.
#You can omit the curry leaves if you do not like them.
#Always cook fish in really hot oil. That’s the trick to getting crisp and juicy fish.
#Fish cooks faster than you think. So eyes on the hot pan. If you cook fish for too long, it might become really dry.
- Prep Time: 40 mins
- Cook Time: 20 mins
- Category: Appetizer
- Cuisine: Tamilnadu