amritsari fish fry

Amritsari fish fry

A typical Punjabi style..a north Indian starter is what identifies Amritsari Fish Fry with..Fish fry with drinks is what”s popular up north.Extremely tasty, crispy and crunchy, this is an ideal non veg snack. But Amritsari or not, the same fried fish is found even in few parts of South India too, especially in the beaches of south india, where vendors sell these to salivating passerbys,..And the aroma of the fried fish is what ‘s so hard to resist..And it reminds me of my visit to chennai years back with my parents and brother, on a holiday..

I guess we had to visit Apollo hospital for mom”s treatment, and while one day we visited one of a popular beach in the city of then “Madras”, we could see vendors in small stalls selling yummy crsipy fried fishes ..It was towards the end of our trip i think and while ,during those times ,no atms and internet banking existed, people vacationing or holidaying would generally carry their expected amount of cash and that is how the whole journey would be based on.the total amount of cash carried.and by chance if the cash got over, you would be in  a grave situation coz there was no way that you could arrange for cash or withdraw from a bank coz you are not registered with that branch of that city. So those were the days that my generation grew up with.
And coming back to our stroll at this beach, we couldn’t resist..and being fish lovers( belonging to the north east community), and esp Dad, who was a complete sucker for  fish be it any type and variety , we finally ended up spending our last of our holiday cash on these fried fish..And what happened in the next couple of days is hillarious with no money left ..But that was the first brush with fried fish of  a different kind then the typical dish from my eastern culture ..Coz our type of fried fish is devoid of any batter..With river water fish, all we do is fry them in salt and turmeric powder..The taste of that fried fish in that beach still rests strong in my memory..Not amritsari, but it wasn’t any different from an amritsari style of preparation..Just that they would perhaps add some semolina(suji) in the besan (gramflour)batter..

And as the years passed by, as my knowledge and passion for food and cooking grew into a profound passion, i learnt the art of Amritsari fried fish..Maybe culturally it achieved its peak in the city of amirtsar, although its spread across the country..  I dont generally make it a part of my regular meal coz of its capacity to consume a generous amount of oil coupled with the high deep fried crunchiness..But occasionally during events or on a particularly chilly night this dish make up for  a warm and beautiful snack

An absolute winner of a starter during house parties ; mint leaves, curd and mint chutney , chat masala , onions  and lime wedges would do very well to compliment this amazing north Indian fish fry.And if you want a modern  or rather an western culinary taste , a tartar sauce dip or a mayo-mustard dip would do bring in that twisted fusion flavor..

Amritsari fish fry
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Amritsari Fish Fry is a delicious fish starter made with a batter oof besan, mixed with few spices. Typically a north Indian fish starter, it is mostly enjoyed with drinks .
Recipe type: Starters/ Snacks
Cuisine: Indian
  • 500-600gms fish (I used Makeral) cut into
  • medium-thick slices
  • 2 tbsps ginger paste
  • 2 tbsps garlic paste
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • ½ tsp coriander powder
  • ½ tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp carom seeds (ajwain)
  • ½ to 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1 egg
  • Salt to taste
  • Thick curd(1 tbsp)-optional.I didnt use
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 1½ cups bengal gram flour
  • Oil to shallow fry fish
  • Lime wedges
  1. Mix all the ingredients except the fish and lime wedges, in a shallow
  2. dish and form a thick paste.
  3. Marinate the fish in this batter and keep aside for 1 hour.
  4. Heat oil in a flat pan and deep fry the fish until lightly brown and crisp on both sides.
  5. Serve hot.
  6. Sprinkle lemon juice and chaat masala over the pieces just
  7. before serving.

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