Tallele Manji / Pomfret Fish Fry …. A delicious and yummy white pomfret fish marinated in best, simple and easy amchi method and crisply deep fried dusting in rice flour ......
Meet Mirsang means salt and chilly ~ A paste / marinade made out of mainly these 2 items along with some salt and a pinch of haldi etc. … were always ready in the freezer in mom’s home. It used to be prepared by grinding on stone grinder to a thick ball consistency by adding very little boiled and cooled water. Be it fish or any vegetable podi, this marinade was a common one. This was applied to the washed and prepared fish or podi on all sides and allowed to sit for some time for the spices to get absorbed. Just before deep frying they were dusted in rice flour on all sides and then put in hot oil and fried a crispy texture. The dusted rice flour gives a good crust to the fried items. Some people also added fine chiroti rava and rice flour together in the ratio of 1:1 for dusting the same. The crispiness remains for quite some time if fried in this manner. But with changing times and machinery people have now adapted to new methods. I too adapted a few changes in my recipe over time, though sometimes I do follow this traditional method.
White Pomfret Fish : 2 medium sized about 12 pieces of 1/3 inch thickness.
Red Chilly Powder : 2 tblsp (I used Kashmiri)
Haldi Powder : ¼ tsp.
Hing / Asafoetida Powder : ½ tsp.
Vinegar : 1 tsp (Optional)
Salt to taste
Rice Flour : 2 tblsp.
Oil for deep frying.
Cut the fish into neat slices of say about 1/3 inch thickness. We get them cut from fish vendor itself, I am sure it’s the same everywhere. Clean off the stomach portions, trim off the fins, tail etc. and wash gently in plenty of water. Drain off all the water and keep them aside. You may apply salt and keep them aside. I do not.
Marinade : Add 2 tblsp of red chilly powder, ¼ tsp haldi powder, ½ tsp hing powder, Salt to taste and 1 tsp of vinegar (Optional). Mix all together to a paste with just about a tablespoon of water. Do not add more water, as when you apply the marinade on the fish it should stick to it and not become slippery or watery. This marinade is enough for about 12 pieces of medium sized pomfret.
Apply the marinade to the completely drained and dry fish pieces on all slides evenly to coat it thinly on all sides. Once the marinade is applied I usually keep it in the fridge for a few hours and remove it just before lunch / dinner time for frying. This way the fish absorbs all the masala flavour and spices well. You may directly fry the fish pieces by dusting if in hurry too.
Heat plenty of oil in a thick bottomed iron kadai, when smoking hot, lower the heat to minimum and wait for about 4-5 minutes. In a plate add 2 tablespoon of rice flour and spread it out as thinly as possible. Now roll the fishes gently on the rice flour to dust it evenly on all sides and immediately slide them gently into the hot oil. Add in a few more piece. Do not overcrowd the kadai, there should be plenty of oil for the fishes to get evenly cooked. So cook them in batches of 4-6 at a time, depending upon the side of your kadai and the oil in it too. Keep the heat on medium and fry the fish slices till crispy.
Turn the fish once or twice in between to get fried evenly This does not take much time say about 10-12 minutes in all as fish gets cooked very fast. Once done remove the fried fish pieces on an absorbent paper and continue with the remaining fish pieces. Let the excess oil drain off in the paper.
Serve hot with Dal-Rice or any other curry. You can also serve this as a starter. But we amchies usually have this for lunch with Dalitoy-Sheeth-Upkari and maybe a fish curry or any other masala curry. Very simple method with few and simple masala powder but tastes great and yummy.