Amritsari fried fish
These are a staple on the menus at Surjit Food Plaza and across the road at Makhan Fish Corner on Lawrence Road in Amritsar. Freshwater fish fillets are marinated in yoghurt and seasoned with ajwain, giving a distinctive fragrance to this snack – the most popular in Amritsar. They are usually made here with either Singhara or Sole, but at home I use either freshwater salmon, silver perch or wild barramundi. 750g freshwater fish fillets, skin and bones removed
½ teaspoon ground turmeric
100ml malt vinegar
250g curd (drained yoghurt) (see Christine’s tip, page 152)
150g chickpea (gram) flour
3 tablespoons Ginger Garlic Paste (recipe below)
1 egg, beaten
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons ajwain seeds
2 teaspoons chilli powder
1 teaspoon salt vegetable oil, for deep-frying
½ teaspoon Chaat Masala (recipe on page 154)
1 Cut the fish into 3cm thick slices about 4cm long.
2 Lay fish on a flat tray in a single layer. Mix together turmeric and vinegar and sprinkle over fish; set aside for 15 minutes. Blot fish with paper towel to remove excess moisture.
3 In a bowl, combine the curd, flour, Ginger Garlic Paste, egg, lemon juice, ajwain, chilli powder and salt. Add the fish slices and turn gently with your hands to thoroughly coat. Marinate for 20 minutes.
4 Heat the oil in a wok to 180°C. To test the temperature of the oil, sprinkle in some flour – if the flour sizzles, it is ready. Fry the fish, a few slices at a time, for 3-4 minutes until crisp and golden. Drain on paper towel. Sprinkle with Chaat Masala to serve.