Kerala- style Fried Fish – Whip it UP!
Nothing beats the combined aromas of freshly ground aromatics and pepper. Home-made masala adds new dimension of flavours to this popular fried fish, Kerala style, that’s so easy to whip up. Pickled onion and deep-fried curry leaves make perfect side kicks!
Total Time: 30 mins
Serves: 3 pax
400g mackerel (ikan tenggiri) cutlets
2 garlic cloves, peeled
Thumb-sized ginger, peeled
½ teaspoon chilli powder
¼ teaspoon ground turmeric or thumb-sized turmeric, peeled
½ teaspoon ground pepper, black
½ teaspoon salt
60ml oil to fry fish
C: Pickled Onion
1 large red onion, peeled and sliced
1 tablespoons vinegar or lemon juice
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon sugar
1-2 sprigs curry leaves, stems removed
1. Pickled onion: In a small mixing bowl, mix C ingredients and set it aside.
2. To make masala: place garlic, ginger and fresh turmeric (if using) in a pestle and mortar. Pound to a fine paste.
3. Pat dry fish with paper towel. Marinate fish with A ingredients for at least 15 minutes.
4. Heat oil in a wok or non-stick saucepan over medium heat. When it is hot, put in curry leaves to fry for a few seconds until crisp. To test if oil is hot enough, dip the end of 1 chopstick into the oil; when it sizzles, you can start cooking. Drain on paper towels.
5. Put fish into saucepan. Shallow-fry until brown on each side, approximately 4-5 minutes on each side, depending on thickness of cutlet. Flip fish and continue cooking until brown.
6. Drain fish on paper towels. Transfer to a serving plate.
7. Garnish with pickled onion and fried curry leaves. Serve with steamed fragrant rice.
TIPS: In order for masala to adhere to fish, pat dry the fish. Salmon, wolf herring (ikan parang), threadfin (ikan kurau) or saba fish are also ideal for this recipe.
TECHNIQUE: Shallow pan-frying over medium-low heat keeps fish moist while it is being cooked.
Photos: Jessie Thomas, Evonne Lyn Lee