A Kerala meal is not complete without a Meen Porichadu or Fish fry. Fish in Kerala is called 'Meen'. You can have it as a starter or along with the meal with rice and curry. Living on the coastal belt of Kerala, fish is considered a staple food. Lady Fish is called Nongal in Malayalam and Kane in Kannada.
It is one of the most preferred fish in my house. It is so soft and tasty. For all the fish lovers here is the typical Kerala Fish Fry.
A typical Kerala lunch platter for non vegetarians will consist of boiled rice, Kerala fish curry, vegetable curry, vegetable dry and fish fry. This is part of the daily menu.
Nongal Fry / Kerala Style Lady Fish Fry
Garlic paste - 1 tsp
Ginger paste - 1 tsp
Pepper Powder - 1/4 tsp
Kashmiri Chilly Powder - 2 tbsp
Fish Masala - 1 tsp
Turmeric - 1/2 tsp
Salt - 3/4 tsp or as per taste
Vinegar - 2 tbsp
Rava / Semolina - 1 tbsp
Water - 3 tbsp
Curry leaves - 6 leaves
Coconut Oil - 3 tbsp or as required for shallow frying
Clean and wash the fish. Make horizontal scores on the fish with a sharp knife.
In a wide bowl put in all the ingredients - ginger paste, garlic paste, pepper powder, chilly powder, fish masala, turmeric, vinegar, salt, rava along with water. Mix well to make a paste.
Place the fish one at a time in the bowl. Coat the masala on it and let it marinate for 30 minutes or at least 15 minutes.
Place a pan on the stove (medium flame). Pour the oil.
When oil is warm put the curry leaves.
Then slowly place the fish. Fry till crisp and golden brown. Flip once done.
Remove and place on a plate lined with kitchen roll.
Rava / Semolina is added to make it crisp. It is optional.
Coconut Oil gives that distinct flavour to the fish fry.
You can deep fry it but I prefer to use less oil.
It takes approx 3 minutes to fry on one side. Again it depends on the size of the fish.
When the oil stops cracking check if it done as per your taste (too crisp / just done) and then flip over.