This fried fish is made with Indian spices and mustard seeds. It takes just about 20 minutes and makes the perfect side dish for any meal such as dal, rice, roti, or handbreads
Growing up fry fish was very frequent in our home. At lunch mom always made a fish curry such as chinchoni, lonval or athwan with steamed rice.
Often there would be fry fish for dinner with handbreads and a veggie dish such as gawar fugat or french bean foogath!
In fact, I remember mom never used a plate. She used the apas as her plate with a piece of fry fish and veggies. Memories... !
Traditionally, when you make fry fish we do not use the spluttered mustard seeds and curry leaves. I started doing it to take away the fish smelly from my fish! It does add a wonderful aroma of mustard seeds. I hope you try it. See more fish recipes
Ingredients and substitutes
- Fish - You can use simple fish such as flounder, cod, haddock . I remember my mom used fresh surmai fish (indo-pacific king mackarel) today but you can also sliced pomfret, sting ray, or shark. You can use frozen fish, just make sure to thaw and drain them well off any excess moisture.
- Spices- of course, my mom's go-to spice was bottle masala but you can also use a combination of chili powder, coriander, cumin, and turmeric.
- Garlic and ginger paste - Its not much but does make a very tasty curry-flavored fish that is delicious on its own.
- Mustard seeds - like I said it is an optional ingredient and not authentically East Indian. So, you can omit it.
Frequently asked questions
Fried fish is best served when they are freshly prepared but leftovers keep in the fridge for up to 3 days.
It is best to use fish fillets without bones when deep frying. You can even use a thicker batter for coatings such as egg, flour, spices, and seasoning.
It is easy to overcook fish in the pan especially if you are new to pan-frying.
Cook the fish on the first side for 3 to 4 minutes on medium heat reducing the heat as necessary to prevent them from burning. Then turn the fish over and cook another 2 to 3 minutes.
Pro tip - depending on the thickness of the fish, each fillet should take about 3 to 4 minutes per side. The second side cooks faster.
More fish recipes
Pin this and other East-Indian Recipes on Pinterest here. Don't forget to like and Follow for more recipes.
- 1 lb (500 g) Fish fillets (3 to 4 fillets) I used Surmai
- 2 tablespoon Cooking oil
- 1 tablespoon Lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon Salt
- ½ teaspoon Pepper
- 1 teaspoon Garlic and ginger paste
- 1 tablespoon Chilly masala
- ½ tablespoon Coriander powder
- ½ teaspoon Turmeric powder haldi
- ½ cup All-purpose flour
Mustard oil (Optional)
- ½ teaspoon Mustard seeds
- 5 Curry leaves
- Prep fish - Clean, wash, and pat dry the fish fillets with paper towels. Rub the lemon juice all over the fillets then season with salt and pepper. Leave to sit for 10 minutes.Pro tip - wipe the fish fillets well otherwise the seasoning will not stick to them properly.
- Marinate - Combine the spices on a large plate. Rub the fish garlic and ginger paste, followed by the spice mix. Set aside for 10 to 15 minutes. Pro tip - letting the fish marinate for a while will develop good flavor. You can leave it on the counter for 15 to 30 minutes or in the fridge for a few hours.
- Flavor oil (optional) - In a frying pan over medium-high heat, add the oil and mustard seeds. Let them splutter then add the curry leaves. Pro tip - this is an optional step but the mustard seeds add a nice flavor and reduce the fishy smell of the fish.
- Coat fish - Place the fish on a large plate and season with salt and pepper. Coat the fish fillets in the flour and dust off excess. Add them to the frying pan. Pro tip - the flour will prevent the spices from burning in the pan and give a nice color and coating to the fish.
- Cook the fish on the first side for 3 to 4 minutes on medium heat reducing the heat as necessary to prevent them from burning. Then turn the fish over and cook another 2 to 3 minutes. Pro tip - depending on the thickness of the fish, each fillet should take about 3 to 4 minutes per side. The second side cooks faster.
- Drain - Remove from the pan and onto a paper towel to absorb excess oil. Serve.
About Videos - most recipes has two videos - a quick version in the post & longer detailed version on this recipe card. Please do subscribe to my channel if you like my videos
The nutrition information and metric conversion are calculated automatically. I cannot guarantee its accuracy. If this data is important to you please verify with your trusted nutrition calculator. Thank you
Hi! I made this pan fry fish fillet and it came out yummy. Since this is my first attempt at making fish i and my family r hooked on to this fish recipe now. Grateful to you for this recipe. And by the way am in Goa and tried it here only.
Thank you for the lovely feedback, Vandana