Bengalis love fish. Fish curry and rice(macher jhol-bhat) is an integral part of their staple diet. Fish curries can be made in several different ways. Other than fish curries, Mach bhaja or fried fish is also served as a starter with rice and dal(lentils).
The mach bhaja (fried fish) is fish pieces seasoned with salt and turmeric and fried in mustard oil till crisp and golden brown. A wide variety of fishes are used to make Mach bhaja, small fishes like Mourola(Anchovies), PuNti(River barb), Parshe(Mullet) etc, as well as the Peti(belly part) of the large fishes like Rohu, Katla etc are also used. And of course every Bengali's weakness Ilish mach bhaja.
Other than simple fried fish, fishes are also dipped in batter before frying. The most common one is Topshe fry. This special fried fish is very popular and served on special occasions like Biye bari(marriage ceremony) or Annaprashon (rice ceremony).
All of the above mentioned fried fish dishes are made of fishes with bones. The continental style of filleting fish was not known to Bengalis initially. It came as an influence of the British cuisine and lead to one of the famous street food of Kolkata, the Fish fry, bread crumb coated Bekti(Bhetki) fillets.
Fish fry is my all time favourite. I can have them anytime...at breakfast to dinner. Just thinking of munching those soft fish fillets with a crunchy bread crumb coating...brings a smile on my face.
The original fish fry recipe needs Bekti fish(Bhetki mach), but I used Swai fillets to make them. you can use tilapia or catfish fillets.
Things needed to make Fish Fry:
- Swai/tilapia/cat fish/bekti fish fillets(cut into rectangles):10
- Lime juice:half of the lime
- Black pepper powder:1tsp (white pepper powder can also be used)
- Onion:1 small
- Green chilies:2-3
- Dried mint:1tsp (can be replaced by 1tbsp chopped fresh mint leaves)
- Coriander leaves
- Salt to taste
- Bread crumbs to coat
- Water:5-6 tbsp
- Oil to deep fry
The steps of making Fish Fry:
1. Cut the fish fillets into rectangular pieces. Marinate the fillets with lime juice, salt, black or white pepper powder. Let the pieces marinate for 15min.
2. As the fish pieces are marinating, make the second marinade. For that make a paste of onion, garlic, ginger, green chilies, coriander leaves, mint leaves. I used dried mint leaves. If you are using fresh leaves use double the quantity than the dried one.
3. Make a smooth paste and marinate the fish pieces with the paste for 1hr.
4. After 1hr, make the egg wash. For the egg wash break eggs and mix with water(5-6tbsp) and beat well. Spread bread crumbs on a flat plate.
5. Dip fish pieces in egg wash, dip one piece at a time. Shake off excess egg wash and dredge the piece with bread crumbs.
6. Cover the fish pieces with bread crumbs. And press with fingers so they are well coated. Again dip the fish piece in egg wash and coat with bread crumbs.
|You can store the bread crumb coated fishes in an air tight container in the refrigerator.|
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