India has a 7,500 kilometre coastline and so there are several variations of this recipe for spicy fried fish pieces. It depends not only on the type of fish available to the area but also the spices and oil used for frying. This is very popular and can be served up as a starter for a three course meal or possibly as part of a meal when accompanied with vegetables.

600 grams of any firm white fish (use cod or trevally) cut into 4-5 centimetre pieces

5 centimetre piece of ginger, peeled and roughly chopped

4 cloves garlic peeled and roughly chopped

1 teaspoon Kashmiri chilli powder

½ teaspoon hot chilli powder

1 -2 green chillies finely chopped

½ teaspoon turmeric powder

1 teaspoon ground cumin

Salt to taste

Lemon juice from one lemon (2-3 tablespoons)

½ cup of semolina

½ cup of rice flour

Vegetable oil for shallow frying


In a mortar and pestle, pound together the ginger and garlic to form a fine paste and set aside.

In a small bowl, mix together the ginger and garlic paste, lemon juice, chilli, chilli powders, turmeric and cumin powders and salt. Place the fish in a glass bowl and pour the marinade over. Mix well to combine and leave to marinate for 30 minutes.

Mix together the semolina and rice flour.  Coat the fish pieces with this mixture. In a fry pan, heat oil to 180 degrees Celsius. Fry the fish in batches, until golden brown. Do not crowd the pan. Drain well on kitchen paper. Serve hot with yoghurt sauce.


1 cup plain natural yoghurt

6-8 large mint leaves finely chopped

5 centimetre piece of ginger finely chopped

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 teaspoon honey

Salt to taste

For the mustard seasoning:

2 teaspoons oil

½ teaspoon black mustard seeds

1 dried red chilli cut into 2 pieces

¼ teaspoon turmeric powder


In a glass bowl, whisk together the yoghurt with honey, lemon juice and salt. Add the finely chopped ginger along with mint leaves. Taste to adjust seasoning.

In a small fry pan or sauce pan, heat the oil. Once hot, add the cut red chillies followed by the mustard seeds. Using a spoon, stir everything around so they are evenly heated. You know the mustard is ready when it starts to crackle and pop. Once you hear the pop, switch the stove off and add the turmeric. Mix to combine and pour the seasoning into the prepared yoghurt. Mix and serve. This is also a great sauce to use with couscous.

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