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South Indian Spiced Masala Fish Fry- Kerala Homemade Spicy Masala Meen Varuthathu

This is one of the my signature dish, It’s the dish I always feel confident preparing and serving no matter what! Thinking about your signature dish is a way of discovering yourself as a home cook. It’s a dish that says something about you and your love of cooking. For this particular fish fry the whole spices are roasted until warm in a dry pan until they give off an aroma slightly darken and ground to a paste. I keep seeing my Amma used to make raw masalas in traditional based recipes. It is a tasty fish fry made by shallow frying the fish. The fish slices are coated with spicy masala and then fried until crisp. The detailed recipe with step by step cooking pictures follows.


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You can relish it as side dish with rice and rasam.  It can be served as a side with any variety rice like ghee rice, jeera rice, coconut rice etc. It’s a super flavorful, versatile recipe that works with most varieties of fish. This makes a great appetizer too, a simple vegetable salad or onion wedges compliment the fish fry. This simple fish fry recipe can be used to shallow fry, grill, deep fry the fish. All methods yield a tasty fish fry and best served hot.

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Tips-  Adjust Spices to your spice level, the above one is a spicy fish fry. I have tried this recipe with belt fish/ vaala, you can use any variety fish for this recipe.

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How to Make South Indian Spiced Masala Fish Fry- Kerala Homemade Spicy Masala Meen Varuthathu

Wash fish pieces thoroughly and drain well completely. Make slits and set aside.

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Heat a pan and dry roast cumin seeds, fennel seeds, pepper corns, garlic cloves, dry red chilies and shallots. Roast until shallots turns color slightly.

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Allow  the spices to cool, grind everything along with lemon juice to a fine paste. Do not add water, 2 tsp lemon juice is enough to grind the spices.

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Add the masala paste, along with turmeric powder and salt over the fish pieces. Combine well and set aside for marination for at least 1-2 hours.

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After that, heat oil in a pan and add curry leaves.

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When it gets really hot, place the fish pieces and fry in low to medium heat until the bottom turns crisp and brown.

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Now turn the outer side and cook until it turns crisp.

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Remove from the pan and drain it in paper towel and serve hot.

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Enjoy!! Happy cooking and stay healthy.

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