Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Fish Fry

F for Fish Fry.

Now an A-Z Kerala recipe list would definitely be incomplete without some seafoods included. Like I said in my previous post, Majority of the Keralites being non-vegetarians, they are avid lovers of sea-food. I think Palakkad and Wayanad are (only) the 2 districts in Kerala which doesn't have a sea coast. For keralites in particular the mallus from kottayam and ernakulam region their meal is incomplete without fish. They should either have a fish curry or a fish fry or both - Its like thayir chaadam for Brahmins :-). Actually malayalees from this part of Kerala cannot imagine a life being vegetarian. When I said people back at my place were vegetarians, they were asking how can you live a life with just vendaikka (ladies finger) and vazhudhananga (brinjals). Thats all they know about being vegetarian. The rest is a long story, I shall reserve for another post.

Every household have their own way of marinating the fish and frying it. The fishes are usually bought from wayside or passing man/woman who shouts meene meene (fish in malayalam) or will make a sound by keeping their mouth in round shape. It is called "koovunnu" in malayalam. These days with malls coming up we get cleaned and cut fish pieces. But in kerala households thats not the case. The ladies (in some houses gents also do this) then take the fish pieces to the backyard of the house and cut them very carefully and then clean them multiple times with rock salt and water, My MIL cleans it with lemon leaves and water and H makes fun of her saying "yeah yeah she will clean the fish with soap water if given a chance".

I have chosen nei meen / aikoora / seer fish for this recipe, The marination and the frying procedure remains the same for all the types of fish. Only the way it is cut differs. BTW this is my first sea-food recipe in my blog...


Fish pieces - 10 ( 1 medium sized seer fish)
Salt - to taste (2 tsp)
Turmeric powder - 2 tsp
Chilly powder - 1.5 tsp
Ginger-garlic paste - 2 tbsp
Black pepper powder - 1 tsp
Lime juice - 2 tsp
Shallots (crushed in mixer) - 1 tsp (optional)
Curry leaves - few
Coconut oil - to fry the fishes


  • After cleaning the fish pieces dry them in a collander. Let there be no water.
  • In a bowl mix all the ingredients except fish pieces, curry leaves and oil.
  • If the paste is too thick add a teaspoon of water. The marinade should be a thick paste and not watery; with this proportion of ingredients, I usually don't need any additional water.
  • Generously apply the marinade over the fish pieces. Evenly distribute the marinade between all the fish pieces. Best to with hand. 
  • Leave it aside for atleast one hour. Best is to refrigerate. This can be refrigerated for overnight also. If you are planning to stock it for few days then I would suggest to freeze the marinated pieces. Before frying bring it to room temperature.
  • When ready to fry the fish, heat oil in a pan until it almost begins to smoke. We always pan fry the fish with just enough to cover the fish halfway and that works great.
  • And I always use a iron tawa rather than a non-stick tawa.
  • Once the oil is got enough, add the curry leaves. Better to add them as sprig. I do this so that the fish pieces don't stick to the tawa.
  • Reduce the flame and gently place the fish pieces in the oil so that the oil doesn't splutter.
  • Now bring the flame to medium. Place as many fish pieces as possible to cover the oil.
  • Once the first side of the fish is a little brown, gently flip over and keep covered until the other side is cooked
  • Needless to say, you must not allow the fish to overlap while cooking.
  • Serve fish fry hot with sliced onions.


  • Adjust spice levels according to your taste.
  • For authentic kerala recipe use coconut oil - otherwise an oil of your choice
  • I generally dont make the fish very crispy. The depth of brown color can be decided according to your taste.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 63


  1. Nice pictures, I am sure fish lovers will love this..

  2. I used to love fried fish during my Non veg eating days. This looks very nice...

  3. a treat for fish lovers, I am sure !

  4. I remember mom helping the domestic at home cleaning the fish at my grandparents home. But in Hyderabad fish mongers in the market clean it for us. Anyway, fish fry is very tempting we love fish at home. i don't shallots, will try it soon.

  5. Fish fry looks delicious, My son is the only one who loves fish and I'm sure he is going to love it:)

  6. Seafood lovers would love this. Love the marinate ingredients!

  7. Kudos for the first fish fry.. (FFF) all starting with F ;-) Great share for sea food lovers.

  8. Lovely post Indu. LOl about your MIL cleaning the fish with soap :-)

  9. My mouth is watering here, wish i get those fish slices for my dinner tonite.

  10. I am sure this is popular amongst people who enjoy sea food :)

  11. I too made a fried fish on this day - yours looks so golden and flavorful