Friday, April 6, 2012

Hot and garlicky fish steak

This is an old picture of fish steaks fried for dinner some 2 years back. I have been meaning to make this again for some time now and thought of sharing it here instead of dictating the recipe over phone to someone. Waiting for better pictures is not worth if I end up giving every detail and replay the instructions every now and then.

Interestingly, this is the very first recipe of a fish fry I tried on my own. That is when I started eating fish after Mithi was born. I wanted it to be hot and tangy and garlicky all at the same time. Being moi it means the recipe should be quick as well.

It was.

And it kept repeating many times over the years. It's only now for a couple of years that we don't get good fish that easily in the neighborhood and whenever we bring some fish after ages, we want other things to be experimented upon.

This recipe is simple. And it's not a cliche anymore on my blogs. Most of the recipes really are.

The hitch with simple recipes is, you have to follow it to the T. Fewer the ingredients, lesser the chances of any replacements or adjustments.

You know what I mean. If the fish is flavored only with three ingredients, what would you replace?

So the flavors are...Garlic, dry red chillies and preserved raw mangoes.

The good news is, you can use a ready made paste of garlic (if you must), powdered red chilly and a powdered dry mango too (amchoor).

So in this case all three ingredients have suitable replacements :-)

I contradict myself sometimes :-)

I would tell you some more about this salt preserved raw mangoes. In the peak of summers when there are too many raw mangoes around, I pick up a few(say a dozen) peel them and chop them in longish pieces, discarding the stone. Then the pieces are weighed and 20% of the total weight of the raw mango slices is calculated and that is the quantity of salt to be added.

Both the raw mango slices and the salt are mixed together in a glass jar , tightly lidded and kept behind the most used jars on the kitchen shelf. Forgotten till they are needed. Yes, this preserve doesn't need any care till it is required.

So the above three ingredients are made into a paste. about 25 cloves of garlic, 8-10 dry red chillies and 1/3 cup of this raw ,mango preserved in salt. Add salt if using amchoor.

Rub this paste liberally over the fish steaks. Rest for minimum 15 minutes or about an hour in the fridge.

Then heat a pan with oil (I used mustard oil for this one, you can use Olive oil or sesame or even Peanut oil) and shallow fry the steaks both sides till done.

About 5 minutes each side if the steaks are this big. These were about 250 gm each.

A nice crisp crust and soft interiors. This is how a bigger fish steak would result. The same spice mix would result in a crisp fillet or steak if a smaller and thinner piece is used. Tasty any which way.

This recipe is helpful more when you have to work on a few other side dishes too. Doesn't need much preparation and gets fried in a flash.

The ingredients in one place...
fish steaks 4-5 steaks weighing 250 gm each
(these were Rohu steaks)
garlic 25 cloves 
(peeled or with skin, it gets homogenised in the blending process)
dry red chillies 8-10 or to taste 
(use more than you think will be enough, the raw mango preserve nutralises the chilly to an extent) 
salt preserved raw mangoes 1/2 cup or amchoor 1.5 tbsp
(see the details above)

Blend everything in a mixie jar till a smooth paste is formed. No need to use water if using the preserve. Little water will be required wen you use the amchoor.

Some of the paste may be left over and can be used for a similar fry with either potatoes, Colocacia or bitter guards. Can be frozen too till the next time you make this fish again.

Now friends, don't call this blog a ghaas phoos vegetarian blog.

Banaras people eat every thing edible and the Ganges is generous to bless them with fresh fish all the time. Those sitting in Delhi are not that lucky though :(


  1. Sangeeta, this sat. mor. when whole family is sleeping I'm checking all your blog posts which I missed in past few days :) Now this I have to make ASAP but first need to do preserve long do u think they should rest before we can use I'm not gonna use amchoor....U know pan fry fish is my/our fav.....yesterday dinner was tawa fry fish, with baingan chutney + lots of stirfry veggies :)

    1. awee takes about a week to get the raw mango slices soft n squishy in Indian weather. Try that. It will be worth it.

      And thanks for all the sweet comments.

  2. That fish seriously looks tasty. Can I have some?

    1. Even I wanna have it right now :-) When are you making it Anita?

  3. I like these kind of fish fries which has lots of garlic in its marination. totally my kind my fry. Looks inviting
    Thanks for your sweet comment on my blog after a long time.

  4. One more amazing recipe. Thank you!

  5. Looks drooling I need to eat fish :-)

  6. awesum luking..loved the pics...nice one n easy to make..

  7. which fish should be used for this recipe

    1. I mostly use Rohu steaks for this fry. Any firm muscular fish can used for this though. Steak from large fish suits best.