This fish fry is a healthier version of fish fry as it has garlic and ginger paste. This spicy Chettinad Seer fish fry (செட்டிநாடு வஞ்சரம் மீன் வறுவல் ) goes well with sambar (instant) and south Indian fish curry.
To wash fish, soak it in a bowl of water with a spoon of turmeric powder for 5 minutes. Turmeric is an anti-septic and it also removes the fish smell. Then rinse it with water and it is now ready to be marinated with spices.
Peel ginger and garlic.
Take the required amount of salt, turmeric powder, and red chili powder. The amount can be varied based on your preference.
Grind everything together with very little water. Sprinkling a few drops of water is enough.
Spice paste is ready.
Spread the paste on both sides of the fish pieces using hand or spoon.
Marinate for 15 – 20 minutes and then shallow fry on skillet/ tava or deep fry.
The heat has to be medium heat. Some protein will get coagulated at the top and you will see a white substance appearing on the surface of the fish pieces. This is normal. The amount can vary based on the variety of fish and the how hot the stove is.
If you want to prevent this from happening, add salt to the water that is used to soak and wash the fish pieces. Brining can prevent this but this is harmless and seems to happen more in fish with high oil content.
Flip the pieces when one side is done. I use iron vessels for frying with oil as it is a healthier option than non-stick teflon skillets.
Remove from stove and place fish pieces on kitchen towels so that the excess oil will get soaked up.
Enjoy fish fry with sambar or fish curry.