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.
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
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- 1 lb (500 g) Fish fillets (3 to 4 fillets) I used Surmai
- 2 tbsp Cooking oil
- 1 tbsp Lemon juice
- ½ tsp Salt
- ½ tsp Pepper
- 1 tsp Garlic and ginger paste
- 1 tbsp Chilly masala
- ½ tbsp Coriander powder
- ½ tsp Turmeric powder haldi
- ½ cup All-purpose flour
Mustard oil (Optional)
- ½ tsp 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.
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