This is not your average breaded fish fillet. Believed to have first been introduced during the British Rule in India, derived from our love of fish and chips, in my opinion it far surpasses the conventional preparation. So here is my version of one of my family favourites, the Bengali Fish Fry!
The fish of choice if available is the fresh water river fish, Bhetki. A large and meaty fish similar in taste and texture to that of haddock or Basa; usually filleted that morning, marinated and a myriad of warm and complimenting spices is later breaded and fried to give a crispy golden crust with a silky white, melt in your mouth fish. It’s a delicious dish and very easy to make.
Unfortunately I rarely manage to get hold of Bhetki in this country but nevertheless, please do try this dish, the combination of spices are such that it compliments most white fish varieties. So let’s get started with this yummy scrummy, crumby fish fry!
This will feed two people and take around 30 minutes to cook:
Cheats: Frozen fish! In this case I defrosted two large Basa fillets the night before and them kept in the fridge for marinating.
- 2 x large Basa Fillets
- 2 x large eggs
- 1 cup of flour
- 1 cup of natural bread crumbs
- 2 tsps. Turmeric
- 2 tsps. chilli power
- 2 tsps. coriander power
- 2 tsps. garlic power
- 2 tsps. ginger power
- 2 tsps. garam masala
- 2 tsps. cumin seeds
- ½ lime
- 1 hand full of fresh coriander
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 3 tbsp. oil for frying
- Sprinkle of chat masala
Take you Basa fillets and cut into 4 manageable pieces. Sprinkle half of all the spices all over the fish and place to one side for around 20 minutes.
Take the flour and the bread crumbs and place on 2 separate plates. Then take the remainder of the spices and spit between the flour and the bread crumbs and mix thoroughly. At this stage I would also recommend seasoning both the flour and the breadcrumbs with salt and pepper.
Remove the marinated fish from the fridge and place on the counter. I the meantime heat the oil in a pan; I would recommend using a medium to high heat. On a separate plate crack two eggs and whisk with a fork to form an egg wash.
Take one of the four marinated pieces of fish and place in the seasoned flour ensuring a nice dusting on both sides. Then, dip onto the egg wash ensuring an even coverage then place the fish into the seasoned bread crumbs, pressing them into the fish if necessary to ensure a nice even coverage.
Place the fish into a hot pan and fry for a couple of minutes on each side or until nicely golden. Once cooked place on a plate, squeeze a little lime juice, sprinkle a little chat masala and garnish with freshly chopped coriander.
Tadaaaaa! Give it a go! Your very own spicy, crispy, crumby Bengali Fish Fry!