Fish is the dominant kind of protein in Bengali cuisine. Looking closely, it is a forever love-affair.
The first thing that comes to mind when anyone thinks of a Bengali is the eternal ‘maach’ and ‘bhaat’. Yes, we are a race of proud and prodigious fish- eaters. ❤
Since Bengal lies in riverine area, the freshwater fish dominates our food platter than the marine catch. Hence, this is my first tryst with a salt- water fish.
So, one day i bought a couple of Indian mackerels from the fishmonger. I was excited to cook something delicious and crispy but i lacked a proper tried and tested recipe. My hunt for an authentic recipe began and ended with my friend Rammohan. Hailing form Karnataka and himself an excellent cook, this is his recipe with excellent result.
The fishmonger was very helpful in cutting and cleaning the fish as per my instructions. Saved me a lot of time and labor 😉
Here’s what I did………….
4 nos – medium sized Indian mackerels
1 tsp – garlic paste
1/4 tsp – garam masala (Indian spice mix )
1 tsp – chilli powder
1 tbsp – tamarind pulp
salt to taste
1 cup – onion rings
1 cup – sliced tomato
1 tsp – chopped green chilli
1 tsp – chopped coriander/ cilantro (optional)
few lemon slices or wedges to squeeze over the fried fish
3/4 cup – rice flour/ powder
2-3 tbsp – oil for pan frying
Cut the mackerel lengthwise (not into halves, only a long slit) . Wash the fish well. Drain.
Mix together all ingredients mentioned under Marinade and coat the fish inside and outside, evenly. Cover and keep aside for an hour.
Heat oil in a iron skillet (tawa) or a non-stick pan.
While the oil heats up, spread the rice flour/ powder on a plate to coat the fish.
Take one fish at a time and coat it evenly in rice flour/ powder. Dust off the excess powder and gently lay it on the skillet.
Keep the heat to medium.
Fry till each side is crispy and golden to slightly charred. Remove the fish and drain the excess oil on a kitchen towel.
Follow the same procedure for the rest of the fishes.
Garnish with sliced tomato, onion rings, chopped green chilli, coriander(optional) and lemon slices or wedges. Squeeze or sprinkle lemon juice before serving.
Serve hot as starter or side dish or main course.
P.S. For best result, use a cast iron skillet to fry.
Happy cooking !! 🙂
Cheers !! 😀