An authentic method of preparation that has followed for decades. The country style bral- varal fish fry is based on traditional style and adapts typical Kuttanadan way of cooking. It tastes amazing along with rice and tapioca. I love this at any time of the day even with puttu. I am telling you is such a yummy combo. This fish is often found in ponds, paddy fields and in rivers. During migration these fishes even sail through backwaters to reach the next water body. Th body is long and cylindrical with a huge mouth and serpent like head. The detailed recipe with step by step cooking pictures follows.
The key to cooking this fish is not to over cook it. A good rule is to cook the fish pieces for 10 minutes in low to medium heat per side, that will give a tender and moist fish fry. Its tenderness and mild flavor are best enhanced by cooking the fish simply and quickly and serving it without heavy sauces. Clean your fish by removing the head, tail and fins. Cut the fish open and remove the guts. Remove the scales, if you want you can remove the skin too. Slice into pieces and rub well along with 2 pinch of turmeric powder and 1 tbsp salt. Rinse your fish slices in running water and dry fish slices with paper towels.
Tips- This fish fry taste better only if it is spicy. So adding more coarsely grounded pepper powder enhance the taste of the dish. Make masala paste along with oil and lime juice, don’t use water. Never walk away from fish in a skillet because it can go from perfectly cooked to completely dried out in a matter of seconds.
How to Make Nadan Varal- Bral Varuthathu- Murrel Fish Spicy Fry Kuttanadan Special
See readers, this is the varal fish.
Clean and wash the fish pieces along with turmeric powder and salt. ( read the introduction paragraph above to know, how to clean the fish )
In a mixing plate, add chilly powder, kashmiri chilly powder, fennel powder, fenugreek powder, turmeric powder, salt, coconut oil and lemon juice. Mix well with your hands to make a smooth paste and set aside. ( if you people are more health corncern, then skip oil and use water instead)
Marinate fish pieces with masala paste and coarsely ground pepper. Keep it rest for at least 30 minutes.
Heat little coconut oil in a non stick pan, fry crushed ginger, garlic and curry leaves for couple of minutes in low to medium flame. ( I have use organic garlic, so used along with skin, that enhance the taste of the dish)
Then place the fish pieces on pan, shallow fry the fish pieces by turning over to cook both sides.
Serve along with rice and tapioca.
Enjoy!! Happy cooking and stay healthy.