As a graduate student I lived in a house with three more students. The meager pay was enough to send us scuttling into the kitchen, experimenting with pots, pans, knives, vegetables and spices to keep body and soul from being rent apart by penury. My initial forays into the kitchen were quite disastrous, much to the amusement of my housemates. After a few mishaps however an emergency meeting(bereft of mirth) was called and I was demoted to the rank of helper and advised to register for Cooking 101 to be administered by V. Now V was not only the best cook in the house but she had gone to cooking school and had loads of experience teaching ingénue’s like me. Henceforth, I would chop vegetables in the beginning and scrub the pans at the end and somewhere in between V would teach me some culinary basics. I never really got around to cooking a lot as V was better and faster and the arrangement (with her cooking and me cleaning up) seemed to suit us fine. It was only after I moved out of Amherst that I started to cook earnestly because I was suddenly craving all the Marathi dishes she would make. This was one of the first dishes I made for me new apartment mates and it was also the one that made me rethink and rationalize my hatred for fish.
Try to use a white fish fillet without too much overwhelming flavor of its own for this dish. Catfish and Sword fish hold up rather well. I normally get four catfish fillets and then make 4 approximately 4” X 2” pieces out of each fillet. Feel free to use any other size that you might be comfortable with. The recipe is rather basic like any other fried fish recipe, so feel free to experiment with the quantities as per your taste. If you don’t have the rice flour this recipe calls for, use all purpose flour instead. I am assuming that bread crumbs would work just fine too.
You Will Need…
Fish Fillets – 4 pieces (4” X2”)
Tamarind Concentrate – 1.5 tbsps
Ginger Paste – 1 tbsps
Garlic Paste – 1 tbsps
Salt – to taste
Sugar – to taste
Red chilli Powder – ½ tsp
Turmeric powder – ½ tsp
Rice flour – 6 to 8 tbsps
Rawa – 4 tbsps
Oil for frying
Now Get Down and Dirty…
Marinate the fish in salt, turmeric and ginger, garlic paste. While the fish is marinating make a dipping sauce out of the tamarind concentrate, salt, sugar and red chilli powder. Use water to adjust its consistency. The sauce should be a little on the tart side.
In a separate plate mix the rawa and the rice flour and keep aside. Now take each fish piece, first dip liberally in the tamarind sauce and then roll in rice flour mix and set aside.
Finally shallow fry the pieces and serve on bed of onion rings. If you don’t mind the grease go ahead and deep fry the fish.