Kolkata style Fish Fry

The word ‘Fish fry’ means either shallow frying or deep frying the pieces of a fish coated with salt and some spices. But in Kolkatan lingo, fish fry is a special snack rather a starter made from Bhetki fish (Asian Seabass) fillet coated with breadcrumbs. One can just stop by any of the numerous road side snack bars in Kolkata and find the inexpressible pleasure with just a bite in the crunchy fish fry dipped in mustard sauce with a bit of salad.

During my stay in Europe I always missed the Bhetki fish and forced to substitute it with either Atlantic Seabass, Cod or Pangasius if I had any plan of making fish fries. This time I took the opportunity to the fullest for being in Kolkata and did not miss the chance to prepare Bhetki fish fry for one of my good friends during her visit to my place. She was most certainly impressed.

Kolkata style Fish fry

Kolkata style Fish fry

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Fish Cordon Bleu

Cordon bleu is a cutlet in which a thin slice of pounded meat is wrapped around cheese, then breaded and pan fried or deep fried. Various meat can be used for this purpose, such as chicken, veal, ham etc.

But as the name reveals I replaced meat with fish fillet and made a fish cordon bleu. I used Atlantic Cod fillets which can be replaced well by our favourite ‘Bhetki’ fish. The combination of fish with molten cheese made it so exquisitely delicious that is hard to explain in words. So better to prepare and try yourself. 😉

Fish Cordon Blue

Fish Cordon Blue

Ingredients to serve 2-4 :

  1. Fish fillet – 1 (approx. 150 gm)
  2. Onion paste – 1½ tbspoon
  3. Ginger – garlic paste – ½ tbspoon
  4. Green chilli paste – 1 teaspoon (optional)
  5. Lime juice – 1 tbspoon
  6. Black pepper powder – ½ teaspoon
  7. Salt to taste
  8. Mustard sauce or “Kasundi” – 1 tbspoon
  9. Grated cheese – 3-4 tbspoon
  10. Chopped Parsley – 2 tbspoon (heaped)
  11. Egg (beaten) – 1
  12. Breadcrumbs to coat
  13. Flour – 2-3 tbspoon
  14. Oil for pan fry

Procedure :

Clean and take out 4 medium size thin fillets of square or rectangular shape out of the large fillet. Try to cut them in equal size as they are going to be sandwiched with one another.

Fish fillets

Fish fillets

Marinate the fillets with the ingredients from 2-7 for at least 2 hours.

To make the filling, mix together the grated cheese and chopped parsley in a bowl.

Now coat one side of a fillet with ½ tbspoon of mustard sauce, spread half of the cheese filling over it, then sandwich it with another fillet. Prepare the other one following the same way.

Coating the fillet with mustard sauce & cheese feeling

Coating the fillet with mustard sauce & cheese feeling

Sandwiching the fillets

Sandwiching the fillets

Now spread the flour and breadcrumbs in two separate plates.

First coat the sandwiched fillet with flour, then dip in the beaten egg and finally coat with breadcrumbs.

Now heat oil in a pan over medium heat and shallow fry both sides of them till golden brown.

Fish Cordon Blue is ready to fry

Fish Cordon Bleu is ready to fry

Fish Cordon Blue is ready to serve

Fish Cordon Bleu is ready to serve

Transfer them on a paper towel and then cut diagonally in gentle hand.

Serve hot with mustard sauce , chopped parsley and salad.

Note :

  1. You can also deep fry the fillets. Always maintain the oil temperature moderately hot.

Fish Roll

Rolls, the wrapped rotis/parathas with meat mince, egg and even vegetables mingled with ketchup are known to be quick tasty snacks. However, when the stuffing gets substituted by fish, things get a new high. Interestingly, here the wrapping is also made of fish, sliced thin. I adopted this recipe from a well known snack corner in Kolkata. However unlike them, instead of Bhetki fish, I had to use the ‘Kabeljou’, a local sea fish as a poor substitute. It was indeed lip smacking to have the fish roll dipping in mustard sauce with a bite of salad. Enjoy 🙂

Delicious Fish Roll

Delicious Fish Roll

Ingredients for 3 – 4 pieces :

  1. Fish fillet – 300 gm.
  2. Onion (large) – 1
  3. Garlic – 2 to 3 cloves
  4. Ginger – 1 inch piece
  5. Chopped tomato – ½
  6. Chopped green chilli – 2
  7. Chopped coriander leaves – 2 to 3 tbspoon heaped
  8. Turmeric powder – ¼ teaspoon
  9. Red chilli powder – ½ teaspoon (optional)
  10. Garam masala powder – ½ teaspoon
  11. Black pepper powder – 1 teaspoon
  12. Lemon juice – 1 tbspoon
  13. Egg – 1
  14. Flour – 3 tbspoon
  15. Breadcrumbs
  16. Salt to taste
  17. Cooking oil

Procedure :

Cut 3 or 4 thin, square/rectangular slices from the fish fillet. Marinate the slices with lemon juice, ½ teaspoon black pepper powder and salt.

Roughly chop the remaining fish.

Finely chop the onion. Make a smooth paste of ginger and garlic.

Beat the egg in a bowl by adding pinch of salt and the remaining pepper powder. Add the flour and make a lump free batter followed by adding a bit of water. The batter should neither be very thick nor be very thin.

Heat 1 tbspoon of oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Shallow fry the chopped fish into it, adding a bit of salt. With the help of a spatula break the pieces into smaller fragments. Don’t fry it for a long time, our intention is only to cook the fish, not making a hard fry. Now transfer the fish into a bowl and keep it aside.

In the same pan heat 2 tbspoon of oil over medium heat. Add chopped onion and fry till it becomes translucent. Then add the ginger-garlic paste and again fry till the onion turns brown. Now add chopped tomato, chopped green chilli, turmeric powder, red chilli powder and salt, fry till the tomato gets softened. Then add the fried fish and cook till oil separates from the mixture. Put the gas off, add garam masala powder and coriander leaves and give it a good stir. The end product should be a spicy,mushy fish mixture.

Ingredients ready for assembling to make the roll

Ingredients ready for assembling to make the roll

Now add 1 or 2 tbspoon of breadcrumbs to the fish mixture to bind it and then divide the mixture into 3 or 4 equal parts.

Now make long shaped balls from each part and wrap it with a thin slice of fish.

Wrapping the fish mixture with fish slice

Wrapping the fish mixture with fish slice

Now coat each wrapped fish ball first with breadcrumbs, then with the prepared batter and finally with the breadcrumbs.

Coated fish rolls are ready to fry

Coated fish rolls are ready to fry

Heat sufficient amount of oil in a pan for deep frying and fry the fish rolls on moderate flame till golden brown in colour.

transfer them on paper towel to absorb excess oil and serve hot with salad.

Fish rolls are ready to be served

Fish rolls are ready to be served

 

 

 

Fish batter fry

“Fish batter fry” is a celebrated fried dish back home, often served as starter to the guests in occasions and parties. Its recipe is not very demanding, with the only important requisite of a good quality fish. In Bengal, we generally use “Bhetki fish” fillets to prepare the batter fry, which is a very tasty, soft and mouth melting fish, perfect for this recipe. I owe this recipe to my mother-in-law.

In Europe though “Bhetki” is not available, there are other fishes which can substitute it very well, for example the Cod fish or Pangasius. There is a small open or fresh market in a 5 minutes walking distance from my current house in Utrecht which holds 4-5 big fish shops with a variety of fishes. These shops are always full of customers which reminds me about the fish market in my home town Kolkata. Every weekend me with my husband go there and buy fish from those crowded shops, usually have to wait long in the queue. Interestingly those shops do not only sell raw fishes but also the fried fish known as “bak vis” in Dutch, which is pretty similar to our fish batter fry. This fried fish comes with different delicious sauces too.

Here I tried the recipe with “Pangasius” fish which comes out really well. The recipe follows below.

Yummy fish batter fry :)

Yummy fish batter fry 🙂

Ingredients for 4 fries :

  1. Pangasius fish fillet cut into 4 pieces
  2. Ginger & garlic juice – 2 tbspoon
  3. Onion juice – 1 tbspoon
  4. Lemon juice – ½ tbspoon
  5. Black pepper powder – 1 teaspoon
  6. Flour – 2 – 2½ tbspoon
  7. Baking soda/powder – ½ teaspoon
  8. Butter – 1 tbspoon
  9. Egg – 1
  10. Milk – 2 tbspoon
  11. Salt to taste
  12. Cooking oil

Procedure :

Marinate the pieces of fish with salt, pepper powder, onion, ginger, garlic and lemon juice for at least half an hour.

Marinated Pangasius fillet

Marinated Pangasius fillet

For preparing the batter, mix flour, a bit of salt, baking soda and butter very well. Beat the egg with milk and add to the flour mixture. Make a lump free batter, add more milk if needed.

Heat sufficient amount of oil in a frying pan over medium flame. Dip the marinated pieces of fish into the batter and deep fry in oil.

Fish batter fry, ready to serve

Fish batter fry, ready to serve

Note :

  1. Fish fillets should not be very thick.
  2. Batter should not be very thick or very thin.
  3. The oil should be moderately hot while frying the fish otherwise the batter envelope will burn and the fish inside will remain uncooked.