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Tag Archives: fish recipes

March Favourites

March is our family’s birthday month.

Adi turned ten while I inched closer to the big 4, and with half a dozen family members celebrating birthdays too, March is always a happy and busy one.

Not just on the personal front, March has also been a great one on the work front. Lots of new recipes, articles, working with some excellent brands creating content that motivates me and makes my readers happy; I was truly in a fulfilling space.

One of my favourite recipes from March is the Lucknowi style Kofta Pulao; it was fragrant, aromatic and sheer indulgence. Many of you wrote to me how much you loved this dish…thanks for trying out and letting me know.

Lucknowi (or Awadhi) style Kofta Pulao - thespiceadventuress.com

There were also some great opportunities to visit new restaurants in town, and a particularly interesting one was the Earthbound Bolton. It’s a café that drives home a strong sentiment of taking care of our land, being environment friendly and adopting sustainable choices.

Earthbound Bolton (Eltham, Melbourne) - thespiceadventuress.com

Developed two amazing recipes for Supreme Seafood this month.

The first one was a lipsmacking Marathi style Prawns Curry.

The Konkan region in India has some of the choicest seafood preparations and this Marathi style prawns curry is no exception. Simmered in freshly grounded spices and coconut, the prawns absorb every drop of flavor. Pour liberally over steaming hot rice for a delicious experience!

Marathi style Prawns Curry - thespiceadventuress.com

The second seafood recipe was a Sindhi style Grilled Fish.

A deliciously intense spice blend generously slathered over the whole fish which is then marinated and grilled to perfection. This popular fish recipe from the Sindhi cuisine is traditionally made using a river fish called ‘palla’. But today a large whole trout has been used to recreate this delicacy.

Sindhi style Grilled Fish - thespiceadventuress.com

 

Other favourites for the month of March;

These twice baked baby potatoes look incredible.

Aren’t these the most gorgeous looking spring rolls?

Soup weather is back and this noodle soup is slurrrrpworthy!

If you have a slow cooker at home, then this Moroccan chicken is a must try.

Husbands that Cook! I know, most of us wish for the same. But this is not just a wish; this is the name of an amazing cookbook by some really cool guys. Maybe I should get Sam a copy.

My favourite website for authentic Mexican recipes

And this is my favourite website for restaurant reviews

Being a food photographer and stylist, I constantly like to inspire myself by observing and learning from the creative works of other food photographers and bloggers. Check out my Pinterest board on Food Styling to get your creative juices flowing.

Stunning is the word for these vintage etched champagne flutes

Getting this beautiful Corfu planter to add to my indoor garden.

Love tropical fresh fragrances for my home.

Absolutely love this Tibi drape dress, and isn’t it in the most gorgeous colour?

And finally, the school holidays are almost here. And if you want to find ways to entertain your kiddos this season, check out all the events that are happening.

 

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Bengali style Fish Curry with Whiting/Lady Fish

Bengalis and Keralites have plenty in common, a fact that’s become common knowledge now due to the numerous Internet memes floating around.

(For my international readers, Bengalis are the natives of West Bengal, a state in the Eastern part of India while Keralites are the natives of Kerala, a state in the Southern part of India).

An outsider might not find much similarity but if you delve deep, there are quite a few that these states have in common in terms of politics, literature, art, fashion and food.

Now let’s talk about food, since that’s our topic of interest. The most obvious similarity between the cuisines would be the ‘rice and fish curry’ obsession. There cannot be a more comforting meal than this, a combination that is relished across the length and breadth of both the states.

Seafood is much revered in both states as they enjoy an envious coastline. But the irony is that there ends the similarity too because apart from the seafood craze, there’s hardly much in common when it comes to preferred seafood varieties or style of preparation.

When I started learning more about the cuisines from other parts of India, the one that I was most hesitant to try out in my kitchen was Bengali cuisine, simply because of the use of mustard oil. Initially, I tried adapting the dishes using vegetable or coconut oil but soon realised that I am not doing any justice to the cuisine of Bengal. That’s when I slowly learnt to use mustard oil in the right quantities and also pick out dishes that are more familiar to my tastebuds. And the journey, ofcourse, began with seafood.

Bengali style Fish Curry with Whiting/Lady Fish - thespiceadventuress.com

Today, there are plenty of Bengali dishes I cook on a regular basis in my kitchen like this simple cabbage dish or this delicious fish curry. But the learning never stops and so here is another delicacy from the Bengali kitchen – a simple fish curry using Silver Whiting.

Fish and potatoes is a very unique combination but one that is extremely popular in Bengali cuisine. Though initially skeptical, I was amazed at how beautifully both the ingredients come together in this curry. The combination of mustard seeds with kalonji (onion seeds) and other spices and aromatics lend an earthy flavour to the curry that has to be enjoyed with steamed rice.

Bengali style Fish Curry with Whiting/Lady Fish - thespiceadventuress.com

(Do you cook Bengali dishes at home? What’s your favourite?)

Ingredients:

  1. 500gms ladyfish; cleaned (head removed)
  2. 1 medium potato; cut into long wedges/strips
  3. 1 large onion; grind to a paste with no water

This recipe was developed, styled and shot for Supreme Seafood, so visit their website for the full recipe.

Bengali style Fish Curry with Whiting/Lady Fish - thespiceadventuress.com

East Indian Fish Fry

Just back after enjoying our first holiday in three years.

The past three years had been difficult; finding jobs, settling down etc…that we could hardly take time out for a holiday as a family. But it was time; we all needed a break and so packed our bags for a small trip to Mornington Peninsula. Lots more about the trip coming up later but for now, let’s talk about today’s recipe.

A simple fish fry which pays tribute to the traditional East Indian bottle masala.

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East Indian bottle masala – yet another traditional and complex spice blend that is used in regional Indian cooking. I learnt to make this spice blend from Maria Goretti’s YouTube channel. Most Indians would know Maria, as a model and actress and perhaps a little more as actor Arshad Warsi’s wife. But what many don’t know is the fact she is a foodie and an excellent cook who runs her own YouTube channel, ‘The Maria Goretti Corner’. Maria is also a brand ambassador for Restaurant Australia, an interesting food tourism project connecting India and Australia.

Now Maria, who has East Indian roots, tells us that this spice blend is an age old one that is used commonly in East Indian cooking. It is used to flavour curries, both meat and seafood, especially those which are prepared with a coconut milk base.

Traditionally, the East Indian bottle masala is always hand pound, made in large batches and stored in beer bottles. It is a once-in-a-year affair where ladies would gather for the task and prepare enough to last the families for a year or more.

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For today’s recipe, the only real job is to make the spice blend. I would suggest making it in bulk and store in your spice cupboard; believe me, it will come handy. Once the blend is ready, all that you need to do is make a paste and marinate the fish pieces. Fry, grill or barbecue…the choice is yours.

Again the choice of fish or seafood is entirely yours. I chose Trevally because it is available locally and very affordable.

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Ingredients:

1. 1 kg Trevally; cut into medium sized slices
2. Salt, to season
3. Vegetable oil, to shallow fry the fish

Read the full recipe here.

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This post was developed, styled and shot for Supreme Seafood.

Malvani Fish Fry

The combination of school hols and cold winters is not exactly the most inspiring time for me to cook. In between work, activities and freezing your butt off, I hardly feel like entering the kitchen and on some days, it almost seems like a punishing chore.

Comfort food and familiar tastes seem to reign high during this time. So there are a lot of curries, fried food and saucy pastas on the menu. Not a time to watch your waistline!

My definition of fried food is a little different to others. For me, it is mostly seafood – I am so very partial to fried fish and there are a zillion ways to do it too. A bowl of rice, this lentil curry and some fried fish; that’s the way I am keeping sane this season.

Today’s fried fish recipe comes from the coastal regions of Maharashtra, India. The cuisine is often referred to as the Malvani style of cooking.

Malvani Fish Fry - a crunchy, mildly spiced fish fry from India - thespiceadventuress.com

There are a lot of similarities between the Malvani and Konkani (this is the term used for Goan cuisine) style of cooking. Seafood is big in both cuisines given the proximity to the coastal region. A common seafood preparation is the rawa fish fry, in which fish pieces are first marinated with a wet spice paste and then coated with coarse semolina/rawa and shallow fried.

The use of coarse semolina is ingenious; it gives that instant crunch without needing any egg or flour; also, there is no need for deep frying to get the crispy exterior. Now, that’s a winner! I have tried the same technique to make chicken nuggets and my kiddo loved it.

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Malvani Fish Fry - a crunchy, mildly spiced fish fry from India - thespiceadventuress.com

The Malvani fish fry is a delicious, crunchy preparation usually made with kingfish, mackerel or pomfret but today, I have used Indian anchovies/nethli. Being a small fish with a single line of soft bones, the anchovies when made this way is super crunchy and the perfect, delicious starter to any meal. And of course you have to eat it, bones and all.

Ingredients:

1. 400gm Indian anchovies (Nethli); cleaned with heads and guts removed
2. 1 tsp turmeric powder
3. 2 ½ tsp red chilli powder (adjust to heat preferences)

For the full recipe, visit here.

Malvani Fish Fry - a crunchy, mildly spiced fish fry from India - thespiceadventuress.com

Malvani Fish Fry - a crunchy, mildly spiced fish fry from India - thespiceadventuress.com

Recipe developed, styled and photographed for Supreme Seafood

Kottayam Fish Curry

The international or global reach of food happened in the last 2 decades and today, most of us want to cook and enjoy all kinds of cuisines – Middle Eastern, Meditteranean, Asian, Indian, Italian, Mexican etc. to name a few. But there was a time when food was rather a ‘traditional affair’ and people ate specific ingredients or dishes pertaining to the region and remained largely unaware of other types of preparations.

Kerala is quite divided when it comes to food; the style of cooking and ingredients varies widely between the different regions. My dad and mom came from different regions within the state and so I grew up hearing stories from my mom about the difficulties she had to go through after marriage getting adjusted to the eating styles and dishes in my dad’s household. And the main dish that kept cropping up was this fish curry, which she needed a long time to get used to.

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This spicy fish curry has become the culinary trademark of the Travancore region of Kerala though it is proudly referred to as Kottayam fish curry to the outside world. There are 2 main differences that makes this dish stand out from all other seafood preparations of Kerala – use of black kokum as the souring agent instead of tamarind and absence of coconut (no one needs an explanation about Kerala’s fixation with coconut). There are some households which add coconut to this dish but mostly as a garnish and not as an actual ingredient in making the curry.

This is a staple dish of every household in Kottayam and neighboring districts; I don’t think a day goes by without this dish. Traditionally, this fish curry is either eaten with steamed root vegetables like tapioca, taro and yam or paired with native red rice and a buttermilk curry.

When it comes to describing the flavours of this fish curry, let me just say that it is unapologetically fiery with really bold flavours. Which is why, there is always going to be a divided opinion about this one – you either love it or hate it. No middle ground…..

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As for me, you would have figured how much I love it which is of course why it gets featured here……
Well, I could go on and on about this dish, but let’s get to cooking Kottayam fish curry.

Ingredients:

1. 1kg barracuda, medium sized pieces
2. 7-8 shallots/small onion, finely sliced
3. 1 inch ginger, finely chopped

Find the full recipe here.

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Recipe developed, styled and shot for Supreme Seafood

Pan Fried Basa with Fiery Tomato Sauce and Grilled Asparagus

I love to experiment with cuisines, drawing inspiration from different styles of cooking, recipes, cuisines etc… and finally bringing it together as my own. This is one such dish.

I first came across this fiery tomato sauce in a South African cookbook. Known as Babette’s fiery sauce, it was listed as one of the basic sauces used in the cuisine. I just knew that I had to try it out as the flavours were incredible. It is a basic tomato sauce, easy to prepare and can even be made in bulk and stored. And being a basic sauce, it can be combined with different ingredients creating whole new dishes each time.

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I decided to go the seafood route with this sauce when I found some fresh basa fillets at the local farmer’s market. And when you have fresh produce, there is not much that you need to do; just a dash of seasoning is enough to draw out the flavour. I used salt, pepper and cumin to season the fish with a generous squeeze of lemon juice.

The grilled asparagus was a last minute addition, again a find at the local farmer’s market. You can use any kind of grilled vegetable that you want based on what’s in season.

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Pan fried Basa with fiery tomato sauce and grilled asparagus – a perfect spring recipe; succulent pieces of basa spiced with cumin and pan fried, served on a bed of hot herby, garlicky tomato sauce and some grilled asparagus on the side for an extra bit of crunch and flavour.

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Ingredients:

For the fish:

1. 2 basa fillets, cut into 6 portions, wash and pat dry (use any other white fish if you cannot get basa)
2. Salt, to season
3. Freshly milled black pepper, to season
4. ½ tsp roasted cumin powder
5. Vegetable/olive oil – to pan fry the fish

Babette’s fiery sauce:

6. 3 ripe red tomatoes, diced
7. 2 cloves garlic
8. 2 sprigs parsley
9. 1 scotch bonnet chili
10. 6 tbsp sunflower oil
11. Salt, to season
12. Freshly milled black pepper, to season
13. Lemon juice
14. A pinch of sugar

For the asparagus:

15. Asparagus stalks, trimmed and cleaned
16. Salt, to season
17. Freshly milled black pepper, to season

Method:

1. Marinate the fish pieces with salt, pepper, cumin and lemon juice; keep aside for 30 minutes.
2. To prepare the sauce, blend tomatoes, garlic, parsley, chilli and oil in a blender till smooth. Add water if too thick.
3. Heat a pan and add the sauce; reduce on low heat till a thicker consistency is obtained. Season with lemon juice, salt, pepper and a pinch of sugar. (Make sure to taste and adjust seasonings accordingly).
4. Pan fry the fish pieces, drain on a towel and keep aside.
5. Season the asparagus with salt and pepper; grill till done.
6. To assemble, spoon the sauce on a plate, place the fish on top and add the grilled asparagus.
7. Garnish with chopped parsley leaves.
8. Enjoy while warm!

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Fish Mappas

Today, I am not going to spend much time talking to all of you. School holidays are on here and my boys have demanded some exclusive family time, without work getting in the way.

So it is straight on to the recipe today….

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From the backwaters of Kerala, fish mappas is a true culinary representation of the region. Get hold of the freshest fish that you can and let it indulge in a spicy marinade. Shallow fry and then let the succulent fish pieces soak in a spicy coconuty gravy….perfect with white steamed rice or soft phulkas (flat bread). I was in the mood for fusion and so teamed it with this beetroot and curry leaf rice.

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Ingredients:

1. ½ kg fish (any type), I used basa fillets but this recipe works for all kinds of fish
2. Vegetable oil, to shallow fry the fish

For marination:

3. ½ tsp Red chilli powder
4. ¼ tsp Turmeric powder
5. ½ tsp Black pepper
6. ½ tsp Ginger paste
7. ½ tsp Garlic paste
8. Salt, to season
9. 1 tsp vinegar

For gravy:

10. ¼ tsp mustard seeds
11. 2 medium red onion, finely sliced
12. ½ inch ginger, grated
13. 3 green chilli, chopped finely
14. 3 Garlic cloves, grated
15. 3 sprigs curry leaves
16. ½ tsp turmeric powder
17. Salt, to season
18. 1 tsp coriander powder
19. ½ tsp red chilli powder
20. 1 cup thin coconut milk
21. 1 cup thick coconut milk
22. 3 tbsp coconut oil

Method:

• Prepare the marinade by mixing all the ingredients and marinate the fish pieces in this for at least one hour or as long as you can.
• Shallow fry the fish pieces and keep aside.

• Heat oil in pan and crackle mustard seeds. Add curry leaves along with ginger, garlic, onions, green chilli and sauté till the onions turn golden brown.

• Then add all the spices and sauté till oil starts clearing.

• Lower the heat and add second milk of coconut and mix well. To this add the fried fish pieces; season with salt. Cook for 5 minutes.

• Next lower flame and add first milk of coconut to thicken the gravy and remove from fire. Do not boil or place or high heat or the coconut milk will split.

• Garnish with curry leaves.

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Pan Fried Salmon (with a Kerala style spice marinade)

As most of you would have noticed, the name change is complete. Skinny Chef is gone and the Spice Adventuress is here to stay. It might seem to many that it is just a name change but believe me, the journey was not an easy one.

To start off, coming up with a new name took longer than I imagined it would. Skinny chef had become my alter ego and to think of a name that captures my food philosophy and interests was really difficult. Every name I came up with was already thought of or in use elsewhere. Let me be honest, I am not super happy with the new name but I went ahead with it as it perfectly captures my love for spices. And yes, I am a little too adventurous with my spice blends and marinades.

The transition from the old domain to the new one on WordPress was easy. But on Facebook, it is a whole different story. With FB introducing a whole lot of money-making schemes and policies, I eventually figured out that the only option for me was to create a new page altogether. And this meant a significant drop in numbers and stats which is a big dampener after all the hard work I have put in over the past year.

So a little help from all of you guys; please take a moment to ‘like’ and show some love to my new FB page; https://www.facebook.com/thespiceadventuress

And so back to what I do best; a lip-smacking seafood recipe from God’s own country.

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Pan fried fish is commonly found all across Kerala but the marinade or spice rub used does vary from place to place. This spice marinade uses both spices and aromatics lending a rich and deep flavour to the fish. And it works best with big-sized fish steaks or meaty ones like salmon, tuna or snapper.

It was my first experience cooking salmon using South Indian flavours and was a little doubtful of how it would work out. But the result was delicious and I am sure every seafood lover will agree with me on this one.

So, let’s get cooking or rather frying salmon, with a marinade of chilli, turmeric, pepper, ginger, garlic and shallots.

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Ingredients:

1. Salmon steaks – 4
2. Vegetable oil/coconut oil – for shallow frying
3. Salt – to season
4. South Indian spice marinade

• Red chilli powder – 2 tsp
• Turmeric powder – 1 tsp
• Freshly milled black pepper – 1 tsp
• Ginger – 1 inch piece
• Garlic cloves – 2 large
• Shallots/small onion – 2
• Juice of half a lemon

Method:

1. Clean, wash and pat dry the salmon steaks.
2. Season the steak pieces with salt.
3. Prepare the marinade by blending together all the ingredients given in the list. Adjust the amount of chilli depending on your palate for heat.
4. Rub this marinade onto the steaks making sure all sides are coated well.
5. Refrigerate as long as you can (I did it overnight) to let the flavours seep through the fish.
6. Shallow fry in oil.
7. Serve hot with vegetable salad and lemon wedges.

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Grilled Berbere Fish – and food conversations on Facebook groups

I have been quite an active member of several Facebook food groups. In fact, my decision to start a blog was inspired by the encouragement I received from these food groups. Though I am a member of more than a dozen groups, there are only a few that inspire me or are really close to my heart. A quick shout out to my foodie friends out there…..

Kannur food guide (KFG) – ‘A home away from home’, that’s what KFG means to me. I was a total stranger to the group when I joined but now, it seems as if I have known most of them forever. A really warm, friendly and non-judgmental group, it is not just a place to have great fun-filled food conversations but also a place where you can forge great friendships.

Chef at Large (CAL) – I am a recent entrant to this food group. But this is my go to place for the most innovative and intellectual food conversations. There are many serious foodies in CAL and you will get to see a very high level of dishes here. The members here possess serious food talents and expertise; and I have gained immensely to broaden my culinary knowledge here. CAL is the brain child of Sid Khullar who is also the Managing editor for the food emagazine, CALDRON.

Home Chefs Guild – Another warm, friendly and interesting group where home cooking is truly celebrated. Again, I was a total stranger to this group but have made quite a few foodie friends out here. And during a casual chat with one of the group admins, Biji, we realized that we were actually neighbours back in my home town but never met then. The world is indeed a small place and the best way to bond is over food!

Today’s dish features high on my fave foods list – grilled fish. And this time, I used the famous Egyptian marinade, Berbere paste to spice up my fish. Fiery, spicy and pungent, the Berbere paste can be used to flavour both meats and seafood. It has quite strong flavours and a little goes a long way; if you want it less spicy, reduce the quantity of paprika.

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Berbere paste – Adapted from Tortoises and Tumbleweeds (Journey through an African Kitchen) by Lannice Snyman

Ingredients:

Berbere paste:

1. Cumin seeds – 10gms
2. Cloves – 6
3. Cardamom pods – 5gms
4. Coriander seeds – 5gms
5. red chilli – 1
6. garlic cloves – 4
7. ginger – 20gms
8. paprika – 30gms
9. turmeric powder – 2 gms
10. ground cinnamon – 2 gms
11. black pepper powder – 2 gms

For the fish:

12. 1 whole fish (I used trout but any type can be used)
13. Red tomato – 1, sliced
14. Lemon – 1, sliced
15. Salt – to season
16. Vegetable oil – for grilling the fish

For the salad:

17. Red onion – 1, finely sliced
18. Black olives – sliced
19. Lebanese cucumber – 1, sliced
20. Tomato – 1, sliced
21. Vinegar – 1 tbsp
22. Salt – to season

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Method:

1. Dry roast the whole spices and grind to a fine powder. Add the remaining powdered spices along with garlic and ginger and grind to a paste.
2. Clean the fish well, wash and pat dry with a kitchen towel. Score on both sides and season with salt. Rub the marinade onto the fish and coat well. Line slices of tomato and lemon inside and over the top of the fish. Cover with foil and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or even longer as time permits.
3. For the salad, mix all the veggies and just before serving, season with salt and vinegar.
4. Heat the grill to high and drizzle vegetable oil. Place the fish with the lemon and tomato slices on top and grill for 10 minutes. Remove the lemon and tomato slices and carefully turn over the fish and grill on the other side till done.
5. Serve hot with the grilled lemon, tomatoes and salad.

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Fish Chilli

Fish chilli – one name but a thousand avatars! If you were to Google the term ‘fish chilli’, you will be surprised to find the number of ‘different’ recipes that will be thrown up. While some are Indian, some are Chinese and the rest fall under the vague but popular fusion cuisine ‘Indo-Chinese’.

This recipe which I got from a dear friend (Shanza, thanks for this one), is a true celebration of Indian flavours. The fiery, hot redness of the chilli powder and the green chillies rub shoulders with the fresh aroma of curry leaves coating each single piece of fish making this a lip-smacking favourite for seafood lovers.

Fish Chilli - thespiceadventuress.com

Ingredients:

1. Fish (any variety) – I used 2 sea bass fish fillets, cut into small bite-sized pieces
2. Red chilli powder – 2 tsp (1 tsp for marinating fish and 1 tsp for the masala)
3. Coriander powder – 1 tsp
4. Red onion – 2, diced
5. Green chilli – 2, slit lengthwise
6. Tomato – 1 medium, deseeded and diced
7. Chilli flakes – 1/2 tsp
8. Curry leaves – 3 sprigs
9. Garlic paste – 1 tsp
10. Salt – to season
11. Vegetable oil – to shallow fry fish

Note – The quantity of spices may be varied according to personal preferences.

Method:

• Marinate the fish pieces using chilli powder, garlic paste and salt; keep aside for 30 minutes. Shallow fry in oil and drain well. (If you are using fillet pieces, make sure that you do not constantly turn the fish pieces or you could end up breaking it into smaller bits).
• In a pan, heat 3 tbsp oil, add curry leaves, onions and green chillies. Saute for a minute (you want the crunch of the onions) and add the tomatoes, salt, remaining chilli powder and coriander powder. Saute for a minute more and add the fried fish pieces.
• Mix well but gently and finally sprinkle the chilli flakes.
• Hot and spicy fish chilli is ready.

Fish Chilli - thespiceadventuress.com

 

 

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