Sunday, February 5, 2017

Mackerel (Raja) ~ Masala ~ Fish.

Masala Fish (Raja / Mackerel / Bangda / Bangude) …. Though I am not a big fan of Mackerel fish these small Raja / Mackerel fish fried whole ~ crispy and then rolled in Home made spicy and tangy gravy tasted really awesome ….. The garlic flavour is simply scrumptious and Yummy …..

This is one fish that is most loved at home. But somehow over the years I hardly prepared it. A flavourful and delicious fish that is fried crispy and then rolled on spicy ~ tangy masala that makes it simpy scrumptious as an side dish. The masala is made flavoured with the addition of spices. Served with some onions slices and dash of lemon, it’s a great side dish. This can be done with any fish but Mackerel / Raja / Bangude, Pomfret / Small Manji, King fish / Surmai / visonu prepared this way tastes the best. Though Mackerel is not one of my favourite fish as I do not much like its taste, fish fries are my weakness. And this one beats them all. Somehow I have always wonders how Mackerel tastes different when prepared this way. The taste is somewhat different and very tasty. 

There are many types of masalas, like the one I prepared, then there tomato based, chinese type, green masala. If you love fish prepared this way, then you will really be spoiled for choice. I have already mentioned before that I have more than 5-6 diaries full of the dishes I prepared over 27 years. 2 years of blogging and I have not even covered one book fully. But there is only so much that one can do I guess. Sometimes I do wish I had listened to my friends and entered the world of blogging long before. I was very reluctant to spend my time on net all the time as I have so many other activities lined up. So I guess I just did not pay heed to it. But destiny plays an important role in everything. One of my friend, sadly who is no more, just would not listen to No and made me post in her Fb ~ Group. One thing led to another, and I had to oblige my friends by starting a blog so that they could get it in one go at one place. I hope my recipes have reached your kitchen and are being enjoyed by your family too. Please do drop in a mail for any query. It will be my pleasure to reach out to as many of you as possible.

Ingredients :
Mackerels / Raja : 4 medium sized.

For Marinating : 
Pinch of haldi powder
Kashmiri Red Chilly powder : 1 tblsp
Salt to taste.

For Masala to be ground :
Freshly grated coconut : ½ cup
Kashmiri Red Chilly powder : 2 tblsp
Coriander powder : 1 tblsp
Jeera powder : 1 tsp
Fennel powder : 1 tsp
Cinnamon : 1” stick
Garlic cloves : 6-8
Ginger : ½ inch piece
Tamarind : Small lemon sized ball

For Final Masala :
Onions : 2 large sized ~ very finely chopped.
Garlic : 8-10 sliced into pieces.
Soya Sauce : 1 tblsp
Salt to taste
Coriander leaves : handful finely chopped.

Oil for frying : as needed
Sliced onions and lemon for serving.

Now for the Masala Fish …. A very simple dish prepared my way.
Mackerel / Raja / Bangude : About 4 medium sized, cleaned and kept whole. Do give a slit at the side on the stomach and clean it well. Also trim of the fins and remove the scales on the body. You can keep the head part with eyes on. I don’t as somehow it does not appeal to me. The choice is yours. But do clean the fish properly. You can give small slits on the fish if they are large sized otherwise its not necessary. Prepare all the fishes in similar pattern. Now make a mixture of a pinch of haldi + chilli powder + salt to taste and apply to the fish all over. Do not forget the stomach portion. Cover and put it in the fridge for a few hours.

Grind to a fine paste : Add in the freshly grated coconut with kashmiri red chilly powder, coriander powder, jeera powder, fennel powder, cinnamon, garlic, ginger finely chopped and tamarind. The paste should be ground fine with only that much water that is necessary. The masala should be of thick consistency and really smooth. Remove and keep this ready aside.

Now remove the fish from the fridge and keep it to cool off to room temp a bit, say 10 mins. In a non stick pan add 3 tblsp of oil and gently place the fish and fry at low temperature for 5 minutes careful turning it over in between once. Now raise the heat to maximum and fry till crispy on both sides. Do be careful while frying to avoid the fish from braking up. If not comfortable with this method you can always dust the fish with some rice flour before frying the fish. This helps retain the shape. I have however, fried the fish directly on oil. Remove and keep them aside ready.

Now in a flat large sized vessel add the in left over oil from frying the fish. If you find it less add in another tablespoon of oil, when hot add in the sliced garlic and fry till the colour changes slightly. Now add in the onions and fry on low heat till the masala is fried well and bubbles spurt out from the masala. If too dry you can add in half a cup of water and mix well. Now add in salt to taste and soya sauce and mix well. Increase the heat to medium and let the gravy cook well. Now lower the heat and gently add in one by one the fried mackerels. Lay them flat in a line and do not topple them one on another. Gently with a large spoon pour some masala on the top of the fish too. Let this sizzle for 2 minutes on low heat. Just shake the vessel holding it with the help of firm tongs. Do not shake the fish with spatula as it may break up. When you shake the whole vessel gently in a swirl round movement, the fishes will also gently move and not stick to the bottom.

The masala fish is done. Garnish with a handful of finely chopped coriander leaves. Gently serve each fish along with some masala on a plate as a side dish. Serve some onions rings along with half a lemon. Enjoy the fish with some roti or as a side dish to some spicy biryani. Just squeeze the lemon juice on the fish and onions and enjoy this scrumptious fish masala with family and friends. You can fry the fish ahead and keep them ready. So also can the masala be done ahead if you have lot of invitees. But do not add in the fish earlier. It looses the texture. So just before serving you can heat the masala well again and pour over the fried and kept handy fish and serve immediately. 

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