The fiery 3-ingredient fish fry is such a versatile dish that it makes the meal you are eating at once more tasty, more crunchy and definitely more spicy. This humble and simple 3-ingredient fish fry South indian style is a side dish powerhouse, capable of rescuing a sloppy main dish or it can become a main dish when served with roast potatoes or chips.
When I was growing up, Saturdays were always, always, reserved for fish. Usually the menu consisted of fish curry, rice or ragi ball (otherwise called kali; I’ll put up the recipe soon), carrot salad, and this red and spicy 3-ingredient fish fry. It would sometimes vary — greens and dal curry with rice or the occasional sambar and rice — but the fiery 3-ingredient fish fry was a reassuring element of our Saturday meals. The smell of fish frying would alert you to the upcoming feast no matter where you were in the house — sharp as it was.
The ‘3’ in the name of this dish caught you by surprise, didn’t it? And really if you take away salt from that list, you’d be left with only 2. An Indian dish that is easy as this? Oh yes. It’s simple and delicious, made more appealing by the usual health benefits that fish brings with it.
At this stage I feel compelled to address those who are venturing to try an Indian fish fry recipe for the first time — know that even though you can adjust the spices according to your taste, you kitchen will smell strongly of both red chilli and fish for quite a while. Ensure that your house is well ventilated and avoid putting the fans on while you wait for the smell to leave your house. It isn’t a bad smell mind you, but it is strong. Turn on your chimneys when you fry them, won’t you?
So without further ado, I’ll take you right to the recipe. All you’ll need are salt, turmeric and red chilli powder for the fish. As for the fish, any kind cut into pieces will do.
- 750 g fish
- 1 tablespoon red chilli powder
- 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Oil as required sunflower oil or sesame oil
Wash the fish thoroughly, and pat dry.
Rub the masala evenly onto the fish pieces with your hands (wear gloves if you don’t want you hands to turn yellow with the turmeric powder), or you could use two spoons. Massage it well onto the flesh — the salt and turmeric help get rid of the fishy smell.
Let it rest for 30-45 minutes.
In a shallow or a deep pan, pour enough oil to form a 1/2 centimetre layer on the pan — a thin layer of oil should do.
When it is hot, place the fish onto the pan quickly (as it’ll splash!).
Fry for 5 minutes on medium heat before turning it over. It should be reddish brown. Take care while turing the fish; use a long-handles spatula.
Once the bottom is also fried — a deep reddish brown, it is done. You can keep turing the fish about till you know it is fried.
Take it out and place it on newspapers or paper towels to absorb the oil.
Serve with onion rings or coriander leaves if you wish.