Bhetki Fish Fry (Bengali Style Fish Fry)

Bengalis are known for their addiction towards ‘BhajaBhuji’ (fritter, croquets etc.). Kolkata is famous for ‘Chop-Cutlet-Fish Fry’. In every nooks and corners of the road you will find some ‘Telbhaja’ and ‘Chop-Cutlet’ shops. There are some shops who are selling these Fish Fry, Chicken Cutlet, Kobiraji Cutlet for more than 100 years. Some of legendary shops are ‘Mitra Café’, ‘Malancha’, ‘Basanta Cabin’, ‘Dilkhusha’ of North Kolkata, ‘Chitto Da-r Dokan’ or Central Kolkata, ‘Campari’ of South Kolkata.

Now this ‘Fish Fry’ is not regular fish fry that we make by frying the marinated fish with turmeric and salt. Probably this ‘Fish Fry’ has entered in Bong kitchen from British colonisation. There is another version of fish fry, known as ‘Fish Batter Fry’. That is somehow similar to English ‘Fish-n-Chips’. Only difference is the batter and the coating of bread crumb in the preparation. At Bengali households we serve ‘Bhetki Fish Fry’ as starter with tartar sauce or ‘Kasundi’ (Raw mango and mustard sauce) in any occasion or sometime we serve with steamed rice and ‘Dal’ too. Different types of fish fillets are used to make this ‘Fish Fry’ like Tilapia, Salmon, Bassa …. But nothing compares to ‘Bhetki’ fish fillet.

Ingredients to serve 6

600 gms Bhetki Fish Fillets – or 12 pieces
2 Tbsps Onion Paste
1 ½ Tbsps Garlic Paste
1 Tbsp Ginger Paste
2 tsps Green Chillie Paste
2 tsps Pudina or Mint Leave Paste
2 tsps Coriander Leaves Paste
2 tsps Lemon Juice
1 tsp Black Pepper Powder
300 gms Bread Crumbs
2 – 3 Eggs
1 ½ tsps Salt
Mustard Oil – (for deep fry)

Steps:

  1. Wash and pat dry fish fillets with a kitchen towel.
  2. In a big bowl mix in all the masala pastes i.e. onion, garlic, ginger, green chilli, pudina, coriander, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp black pepper powder and lime juice.
  3. Apply this paste on both the sides of the fillets with your hand and marinate for atleast 4-5 hours in a refrigerator in a air tight container or covering with a clean film.
  4. Beat eggs with ½ teaspoon of salt and 3-4 spoons of water.
  5. Spread bread crumb on a big flat plate. Now coat the marinated fish with the bread crumb and give the fillets the desired shape. When you are coating the fish with the crumbs use the marination paste/masala too. Shape it lightly with your hand. In this way coat all the fish pieces.
  6. Now dip the fish pieces in the egg wash one at a time and coat with the bread cram again.
  7. Give them final shape. With the help of a knife press the sides.
  8. Leave the coated fish for some times. (atleast 30 minutes)
  9. Heat oil in a pan for deep frying. Slide the coated fish pieces in hot oil 1 at a time. Fry them till brown on both sides evenly.
  10. Take out the fried fish pieces and put over kitchen napkin. The dish is ready to be served hot with salad and kasundi or any sauce of your choice.

 

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