Masala Fish fry

I love seafood like crabs, lobsters, Cray fish etc but for some reason I could never take to the taste of fish. So, I eat neither the fresh water nor the sea water variety.

But, my husband loves fish. My daughters too like it although they prefer chicken more.

Hence, whenever I do prepare masala fish fry, I do it for my husband or guests.

I prefer doing it with the Surmai or Kingfish or Seerfish. The reason is that this fish has loads of flavour and does not need a lot of ingredients added to it to bring them out. It is also a single bone fish and that means that I do not need boneless fillets. I can just chop the fish into chunks and use it as such because post cooking the bone comes out easily.

This is my recipe for my husband’s favourite dish.




4 large surmai/kingfish steaks (cut into 1 ½ cm thickness)

4 tbsp refined oil for frying he fish

20-25 curry leaves

4-5 green chillies, slit lengthwise


For marinating the fish

1 tbsp ginger garlic paste

1 tsp carom seed (ajwain) powder (to make this, dry roast the caraway seeds in a pan, cool them and pound into a powder)

Salt as per taste

1 tbsp lemon juice

½ tsp turmeric powder

1 tsp coriander powder

1 tsp kashmiri red chilli powder (if you are using tikhalal red chili powder then use ¾ tsp)

½ tsp pepper powder

¾ tsp amchoor(dry mango powder)

¾ tsp garam masala powder


For coating the fish prior to frying

2 tbsp rice flour

2 tbsp gram flour or besan

1 tbsp suji/rawa (semonila)

¼ tsp salt

¼ tsp red chilli powder

1 tsp dried parsley (you can use finely chopped fresh coriander also)



  1. Wash and pat the fish dry
  2. In a large mixing bowl combine all the ingredients for the marinade together.
  3. Apply the marinade over the fish, gently massaging it into the soft flesh. Keep aside to marinate for at least an half an hour.
  4. In another mixing bowl combine the ingredients needed to coat the fish prior to frying it. Mix well to make sure that all are well mixed.
  5. After the fish has marinated, pick up each piece and dust it liberally with the coating prepared above.
  6. In a wok heat the refined oil for frying the fish. Once it is hot, dry the curry leaves till they are crisp. Do the same with the green chilli. Both of these ingredients will be used to garnish the dish. Frying them in the oil ensures that the oil is flavoured by the chilli and the curry leaves.
  7. In the above wok with the flavoured oil, add the fish one at a time. Allow about 4 minutes of cooking on each side. The fish will turn crisp and golden brown. Perform the tooth pick test to check readiness. Note – I prefer to use a flat bottomed wok for this so that I can lay each piece down in the wok without folding the fish.
  8. Once done, remove from heat and garnish with the fried green chilli and curry leaves.
  9. Serve hot.

Dhaba Style Chicken Curry

About Sonal Singh

I believe that life is a repertoire of anecdotes. The various situations that we encounter, the many incidents of every day, the people we meet, our conversations with them; all make life a melange of tales. And, that is what I attempt to capture through my writing. My cooking is no different! It reflects my love for travel and my love for innovation. The kitchen is my happy place. So, even though by vocation I am a recruiter (, by passion I am a writer, home chef and a hodophile.

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