Batter fried fish, also known as fish pakoras, is an easy recipe to follow. The dish you end up with surpasses the effort you have to put in. Fish pakoras are made all over India with the local taste infused in it. But today, the fish pakora recipe we are going to share has been influenced by the street food of Amritsar.
The fish pakoras are also famous by the name of Amritsari fish fry. It is crunchy on the outside and delectably soft on the inside. This style of batter fried fish is found in the city of Amritsar, Punjab. It is such a favourite of the locals that you will find the batter fried fish being sold at every nook and corner of the street.
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The batter fried fish is traditionally made with Singara fish also called catfish in English. But if it is unavailable where you live, you may choose to use cod, trout, tilapia or salmon. Any fresh water fish without too many bones will be a safe bet. Use fresh fish for the best result; however, frozen or canned fish can be used too. Just make sure that you squeeze out the juices completely.
The taste of the batter fried fish lies in the marination. The use of carom seeds and chickpea flour makes this style of batter fried fish unique. Another interesting ingredient is the club soda. Club soda is used to make the fish crispy. Some people use beer for the same. Plain water can be used too, but it will yeild less crispy fish.
Let's now head straight to the recipe of the Amritsari batter fried fish.
Singara fish/catfish - 500 grams
Chickpea flour/besan - 5 tbsp
Thick curd - 1 cup
Ginger-garlic paste - 2 tsp
Club soda - ½ can
Orange food colour - optional
Lemons - 2
Oil - 4 tbsp
Ajwain/carom seeds -1 tsp
Red chilli powder - 1 tsp
Chat masala -1 tsp
Salt - as per taste
• Take a bowl large enough for mixing. Add the curd, ginger-garlic paste, food colour, chickpea flour and mix well.
• To the powder mix, add carom seeds, red chilli powder, chat masala and salt.
• Add the club soda little by little to make a medium-thick batter. Make sure that it is lump free. The club soda is used to make the fish extra crispy. You may also add plain water or beer.
• Cut the fish into fillets and place them in the batter. Coat the fish fillets evenly on all sides.
• Cover the bowl with a lid or some cling wrap and set it for marination in the refrigerator.
• Place a kadhai on the stove with the flame on high. Heat the oil in it till it is fuming.
• Remove the fish from the refrigerator. Add up to 2 fish fillets to the oil to be fried. Be very careful, as the oil may splutter.
• Now, reduce the flame and fry the fish fillets in medium-hot oil.
• Keep turning the fish, so that it cooks evenly.
• Fry the fish fillets till golden brown. This typically takes around 2 minutes.
• Repeat the process for the rest of the fish fillets.
• Place the fried fish fillets on a serving plate.
• Garnish with chat masala and lemon wedges.
• Serve hot as a snack or as an appetizer.