Crispy Mandeli Fish Fry ….. Mandeli is a small fish about 3-4 inches in size, that tastes yummy when fried crisp. These are very famous in Maharashtra State. This fish is similar to Anchovy (English) and Mothyale in Konkani ….. however these are a little bit golden in colour with a longer tail …… Yumz …. Tastes great with Dalitoy And Rice ….
I am eating this crispy fried fish called Mandeli in Marathi for the first time today ...... In childhood it was never brought at home .... maybe its not available in Manglore. No idea. We used to bring the other variety white one's .... called Mothyale ...... Though its been 26yrs in Mumbai, I had never bought this fish though I used to see it every-time with my fish vendor. .... It's recent post from many of my friends that made me curious and finally buy them to prepare the crispy fries. ...... and I must say I simply loved it ... karum kurum ... crispy crispy, emptied within a few minutes of serving. The fish stays crispy when deep fried and tastes simply awesome with Dal-Chawal. Now this will be a frequent dish I guess at home. A huge bunch of thanks to all my FB Food Group friends whose enthusiastic posts made me relish it, if not for them would have remained ignorant of this lovely crispy fish fries.
Clean about 25 Mandeli fishes by trimming off the fins, scales, tail tip and head part. Give a slit at the side near the stomach portion and clean within well. Wash in plenty of water till clean. Drain off all the water and pat it dry.
In a bowl add in the fish along with salt to taste, 1 tblsp of kashmiri red chilly powder, ½ tsp of haldi / turmeric powder, 1 tsp Dhania / Coriander powder and mix well. Put it in box and cover with tight lid and put it in the fridge for about an hour or so.
In a plate mix 2 tblsp of fine rava (Chiroti rava) and 2 tblsp of rice flour with a pinch of salt. Mix well. Now roll the fish in the prepared powders taking care to see that the fishes have been coated all over evenly. Keep this aside ready.
Heat plenty of oil in a thick bottomed kadai. When smoking hot lower the heat to medium, wait for a few minutes and then gently add in the coated fish one by one gently into the oil. Do not lower the heat, but keep it on medium constantly throughout frying the fish. Do not overcrowd the kadai, so fry the fishes in batches to enable them to get fried evenly. The number of fish depends upon the size of the kadai. Keep stirring and flipping over the fishes often to get them evenly fried.
Once the fish has been evenly browned and turned crispy, gently remove them with a ringed spatula, draining the oil from it and put it on an absorbent paper for the excess oil to drain off. Continue frying the remaining fishes till all of them are fried crisply. Serve the fish immediately with Dal-Chawal and any other dish as an accompaniment. They taste simply awesome with Dalitoy and Rice with some bhaji served along. Do try out this yummy fish if you have not yet tried it out. They real turn crispy and a pleasure to munch on.