Amritsari fish (Indian style fish and chips) – Love fish and chips? Then meet the Indian version of this world favorite fast food. Fish dipped in spicy chickpea batter is deep fried to golden perfection to create these crunchy bites of awesomeness. Enjoy with your favorite chutney and spiced tea, or add a side of crispy masala French fries for a real treat.
Although we have occasional spring sunshine, the weather is taking unexpected twists and turns with intermittent rain and sudden drop in temperature. And I’m in total ‘deep fried food mode’. Generally, fish and chips are a “sometimes food” for me. I know, it’s not too easy to resist such a delicious food, but honestly, I’m on a real mission to cut down my everyday calorie intake. However, I believe it’s totally okay to enjoy a cheat day when you can indulge in your favorite high calorie food. So forget about calories for the moment.
And let’s enjoy this Amritsari fish pakora. As the name suggests, this amazing battered fish recipe hails from Amritsar in Punjab, one of the northern states of India. Undoubtedly, this street food favorite is very popular across the country.
So, what makes this recipe truly delicious? Obviously, the best fish pakora comes from the right selection of fish. Thankfully, there are no stringent rules with the kind of fish you should use in this recipe. Choose one with white firm flesh. And that’s the one and only rule. Super simple!
The one thing that differentiate this Amritsari fish pakora from regular battered fish is the batter. The very basic ingredient of this batter is gram flour or chickpea (besan) flour. No all purpose (plain) flour involved. Good news for everyone on a gluten free diet and can’t even taste regular flour battered fish. Again, besan is one of the healthiest and affordable flours you could ever come across in the healthy food world. So just go for it.
Apart from the flour, we’ll be adding in few ingredients to spice up the batter. We are talking about minced garlic, minced ginger, ground carom seeds (ajwain) and red chili powder. If ajwain is not easily available, substitute with cumin seeds.
The consistency of the batter should be similar to pancake batter. And make sure there aren’t any lumps in the batter. You’ll only need to dip the fish fillets in the batter just before frying. Don’t marinate fish with the batter as you will end up soggy instead of crispy outer layer.
Traditionally, fish for making Amritsari fish pakora is cut into small fingers or cubes. Since I was after pakoras that resemble regular battered fish, I cut them into thin long pieces. And I served it with masala French fries and my favorite mint chutney. Both the recipes are here on the blog. Check out the recipes here – masala French fries , mint chutney.
To be honest, these fish pakoras are totally addictive. Stopping at one is totally impossible!
- ½ kg fish fillet, cut into long pieces
- 1 tsp chaat masala
- 1½ cups besan or chickpea flour or gram flour
- 1 tsp minced garlic (garlic paste)
- 1 tsp minced ginger (ginger paste)
- 1 tsp ground carom seeds (ajwain)
- 1 tsp red chili powder
- 1 egg (optional)
- Salt to taste
- Ice cold water
- Masala French fries- recipe link below this recipe
- Mint chutney- recipe link below this recipe
- Place flour, garlic, ginger, ground carom seeds, and red chili powder in a large bowl. Break the egg into the bowl (if you are using egg). Season with salt. Add water little by little to make lump free smooth batter.
- Heat oil for deep frying in a large pan over medium- high heat. Dip fish slices, one at a time, in the batter. Shake off excess batter. Fry fish for about 4-5 minutes, flipping in between, until golden and cooked through. Drain onto a paper towel. Sprinkle with chaat masala.
- Depending on the size of the pan, you can fry more than one pakora at a time. Make sure you don't overcrowd the pan.
- Serve fish pakora with masala French fries and mint chutney. (Recipe links below this recipe)
- Egg is optional in this recipe
***** Get the recipe for masala French fries here