Fish pakora, a special kind of fried fish in amritsari style. The fish is marinated with spice powders and deep fried to get a flavorful boneless fish pakoda.
The fish chosen here is a boneless form of fish as pakoda tastes good if made using boneless fish but it is not mandatory and can be made with ordinary fish pieces as well.
How to make fish pakoda?
The fish used is without any tiny bones here and it can be directly enjoyed plain as a starter and is a simple 2 step recipe where the fish pieces are well coated with masala and the second step is to deep fry the fish in oil.
Ingredients used to make the Amritsari fish:
This is a slightly different way of frying fish which turned out awesome as it is a tried and tested recipe in my own kitchen and should definitely be tried by readers as it is a special Punjabi style of making which has amazing flavors in it.
Below are the ingredients listed needed to make Amritsari fried fish…
Boneless fish: I have used boneless fish fillet and then cut them into small cube like pieces and can be cut larger than cubes.
The fish used could be basa, tilapia or any tasty boneless version. I do not suggest salmon for fish pakoda as it does not give a good taste if made using salmon pieces.
Salmon should be used for different recipes such as stir frying or baking.
Normally, using fish without bones is suggestible for eating without difficulty.
Fish then needs to be marinated using:
Dry spices: Spice powders such as salt, chili powder, tumeric powder, chili powder, coriander powder, ginger garlic paste, lemon juice, all purpose flour/maida, chickpea flour/besan , thick yogurt.
All the mentioned ingredients are added in small quantities and mixed well with the fish pices.
The marination also takes in some dried fenugreek which lifts up the flavors of the fish marination.
Red food color: This ingredient is totally optional and can be skipped but I have added just a pinch of it to get an appealing look but my suggestion is to avoid if making these pakodas regularly as a starter dish or as a snack at home.
It is not advisable to go for artificial flavors too often as they might cause harm. It is better to use occasionally and not all the time in non veg dishes.
Oil: This is essential as every pakoda dish needs to be deep fried in oil and here goes the same procedure where the marinated fish is deep fried in oil.
The question is what oil needs to be used? Any light oil such as sunflower, vegetable or light cooking olive oil can be used.
There are many options of oil in Indian cooking and hence any oil could be picked up.
Serving: It tatses best if served with lemon wedges or by sprinkling some lemon extract all over the pakodas as it is starter recipe.
Having some sliced onions along with them too is a better option to enhance the flavors of any starters.
How to choose fish for cooking?
Always use fresh fish which is stored well in stores. Nowadays, it is a common way of selling frozen fishes and one should make sure to look for fresh fish by checking the dates on the packaging.
If the fish smells rotten do not buy them even if they are frozen. Always opt for fresh fish.
The fish can be cleaned and cut into pieces at home or the store members can be requested for a clean and cut fish.
How to wash and clean the fish?
The fish should be washed by pouring some lemon extract all over it and it should be washed using salt and turmeric water which helps in removing the fishy odour from it.
Since this is boneless fish just cleaning it with some lemon extract and washing well under running water would be enough.
There are many variety of fishes available in India for boneless fish recipes and any fish can be chosen to make the fish pakora.
Recipe card to make fish pakora or Amritsari fish:
fish pakora, amritsari fish fry
- 500 gms boneless fish (washed and cut into pieces)
- salt to taste
- 1/2 tsp red chili powder
- 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
- 1/2 tsp coriander seeds powder
- 1/4 tsp black pepper powder/kali mirch powder
- 1/2 tsp ginger garlic paste
- 1/2 tsp lemon extract
- 1 tsp chickpea flour/ besan
- 1 tsp all purpose flour/ maida
- 1 tsp thick yogurt
- 1/4 tsp dried fenugreek/kasoori methi
- a pinch of food color
- oil for deep frying
- Wash and clean the fish pieces well with salt, lemon extract and turmeric powder.
- Wash them under running water and strain them well to remove excess water from pieces.
- Transfer the pieces into a mixing bowl, add salt as per taste, red chili powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder, black pepper powder.
- Add ginger garlic paste, lemon extract, besan/gram flour, maida/all purpose flour, yogurt and mix well without any lumps.
- Add red food color, give a good mix and this is optional ingredient.
- Add kasoori methi and mix well.
- Cover and marinate the fish in refrigerator for 20 minutes.
- Heat oil for deep frying.
- Once the oil is hot, drop the pieces carefully into the oil.
- Deep fry them for 5-8 minutes until all the sides are fried well.
- Turn off the heat.
- Take them out on an absorbent paper.
- Serve hot with sliced onions, lemon wedges and garnish with coriander leaves.
- Amritsari fish fry also uses carom seeds/ajwain seeds and these can be added as additional ingredients or skipped if not available.
- Kasoori methi too is optional if not handy but adding it gives a good aromatic flavor.
- Maida can be replaced with rice flour for more crispy texture.