Welcome back foodaholics!
Remember those deep-fried, aromatic, and crispy fish fingers sold on the streets of Lahore? Though they are now widely available all over Pakistan, I thought why not to share this fantastic recipe with my fans?!
Strips of fish coated in a batter made of gram flour and some authentic South Asian spices and then deep-fried in hot oil till crunchy, cold winter nights call for such perfectly warming tidbits.
As soon as this fish is out of the oil, it is sprinkled with chaat masala (a tangy South Asian spice mix) to spruce it up. The fish fingers can be served alongside any kind of Pakistani chutney or even tartar sauce. Light and crispy from the outside and flavourful and spicy from the inside, Lahori Fried Fish not only makes an incredibly delicious appetizer but also as a main course by combining it with some Pakistani Roghni Naan (Fluffy Flatbread).
Plunge into my cookbook right away!
Lahori Fried Fish
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 minutes
500g fish fillets (boneless red snapper or catfish cut in 2 cm strips)
chaat masala for sprinkling
vegetable oil for frying
1/2 cup gram flour
1/4 cup cornflour
2 tbsp rice flour
3 tbsp yogurt
1 tsp ginger garlic paste
1 tsp salt
1 tsp red chili powder
1/2 tsp red chili flakes
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp black pepper powder
1 tsp carom seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds (roasted and crushed)
1 tsp dried fenugreek leaves
a pinch of orange food color (optional)
Pat the fish fillets dry with a paper towel.
In a big bowl, mix together all the batter ingredients with a whisk. Make a smooth, thick batter.
To the bowl, add the fish and coat it well with the batter. Keep aside for 15 minutes. Don’t leave the fish for too long or it will get way too soft.
Heat oil for deep frying in a big pot. On medium heat, drop the fish fingers in batches. Don’t overcrowd. Flip over so that they are equally golden on both sides. When they are half-way cooked and the coating has stuck to the fish, remove to a paper towel.
Let cool for 15-20 mins while you fry the remaining batch.
Then re-fry the fish fillets for extra crispiness till they are cooked through and are golden brown.
Sprinkle chaat masala as soon as they are out and enjoy them with your favorite chutney, nan, and French fries.
Tips & Tricks:
- Double-frying makes the fish fingers extra crispy! If you want to keep it light, you can fry once till they are fully cooked or even shallow fry.
- Any white boneless fish will work for this recipe.
- Fish should be cleaned and washed.
- Dry roast gram flour for a couple of minutes over medium flame in a clean, oil-free tawa/frying pan. This dry roasting will add a pleasant aroma to the gram flour.
- After coating the fish with the seasoned batter, refrigerate for at least an hour. This will help the flavors to penetrate well and the the batter will get rested.
- Use neutral and flavorless oil for frying. Like corn oil, canola oil. Do not fry in ghee and do not use olive oil for frying either.
- A heavy bottom wok works best for deep frying.
- Make sure there is an an ample amount of oil in the wok throughout frying to keep fish pieces completely immersed. It is deep-frying after all.
- Bring the oil to the right temperature before adding fish and maintain the temperature throughout frying.
- Place each piece of fish carefully in hot oil to make sure the batter isn’t slipping off the fish.
- Let one side get perfectly golden brown before flipping otherwise the batter will come off.
- Do not crowd the wok. Fry 3-4 pieces at a time, depending on the size of fish pieces and the size of the wok.
- To keep the coating crisp, put it in a wire basket once fried. Kitchen towels or tissues will make the coating soggy.
See you next week!
About the author : Amna Hamid is a Digital Marketing Strategist at Amreli Steels. Her food blog Gobble wobble will be featured weekly on the weekend on WOW360 segment with a new and exciting recipe! Being an ardent foodie since childhood, Amna always wanted to have her own space on food and everything that revolves around it. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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