Amritsari Fish from Punjab
Punjab is the northwest state of India. It shares a border with Punjab Province of Pakistan to the west. It shares borders with Indian states of Haryana to the south & southeast, Rajasthan to the southwest, Himachal Pradesh to the east and Jammu Kashmir to the north. Punjab shares the capital city of Chandigarh with Haryana, the state which was once part of Punjab. Historically, Punjab region has been the gateway to the Indian Subcontinent for people from Greece, Central Asia, Iran, and Afghanistan. Punjab is the most fertile region in the country and agriculture is the main source of income. It is the largest producer of wheat in India. Majority of the population in the state are Sikhs.
Punjabi cuisine includes both vegetarian and non-vegetarian food. Home-cooked and restaurant Punjabi cuisine can vary significantly. Restaurant-style Punjabi food has large amounts of ghee, butter and cream, while home-cooked food uses lot of whole wheat, rice, and other ingredients flavored with masala. Regional differences also exist in Punjabi cuisine. People of Amritsar prefer stuffed paratha and dairy products. Some of the exclusive food of the state is makke di roti and sarson da saag. Other food from the state are tandoori chicken, butter chicken, chicken tikka, bhuna gosht (lamb), Amritsari fish, dal makhani, rajma & rice, choley, kadhi pakora and phirni. Info for the state and the cuisine is from wiki.
To showcase the food of this state, I made Amritsari fish. Amritsar is the largest city in the state and is home to Golden Temple, a prominent Sikh Gurdwara. Amritsari fish is a popular street food. I found two recipes for this fish. Both recipes are pretty much the same, except one uses malt vinegar & yogurt and the other doesn’t. I liked both the recipes but liked the one without vinegar the most. However, I liked the vinegar fish much better the next day. I will share the one without vinegar and in the notes section, will mention about the malt vinegar & yogurt recipe. On the day I made this recipe, I wanted to make an easy one pot meal. I had some leftover huli powder from my last preparation and made bisi bele bath which would not require a side curry. So that day it was BBB with Amritsari Fish!
Source: Sanjeev Kapoor
Total Time: 20 -35 minutes
Preparation: 10 – 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 10 – 15 minutes
Serves: 3 – 4
- 1 lb. Tilapia Fillets or 2 Fillets (I used tilapia but any fish can be used)
- 1 tbsp. Chili Powder (adjust to taste)
- 1 tsp. Salt (adjust to taste)
- ½ – ¾ tsp. Carom Seeds ~ Ajwain (I used ½ tsp.)
- 3 tbsp. Ginger Garlic Paste
- 3 – 4 tsp. Lime Juice
- ½ – ¾ cup Gram Flour ~ Besan
- 1 Egg
- 1 – 2 tsp. Chaat Masala or as need to sprinkle on the fish
- Onion Slices and Mint leaves for garnish
- Wash and cut fish into 1” X 2” pieces or as desired. Pat dry the fish on a paper towel.
- Take fish into a bowl, ad chili powder, salt, carom seeds, ginger garlic paste, lime juice, gram flour and mix well.
- If time permits, marinate for 30 minutes to an hour. I set it aside for 10 – 15 minutes.
- Heat oil in a pan for deep frying the fish pieces.
- Just before frying, add egg to the fish mixture and mix well. Once the oil is hot, add few pieces at a time to oil and deep fry until golden brown or done. Fish cooks very fast, it should take 2 – 4 minutes on medium to medium high flame.
- Once fish is fried, remove from oil and drain on paper towel. Sprinkle chaat masala when the fish is still hot.
- Serve hot as an appetizer, evening snack or as a side dish.
- The recipe called fry frying the fish twice. First time fry it until almost done and the second time until golden brown just before serving. I fried it only once.
- Malt Vinegar version: marinate fish with 2 tsp. of lime juice, chili powder, ginger garlic paste and salt for 20 minutes. Then add ¼ cup Malt Vinegar, gram flour~besan, carom seeds, 1/3 cup yogurt, 1 ½ tbsp. Rice Flour to the fish, mix and marinate for 10 – 15 minutes. Add egg just before frying. This recipe, I had some extra batter. I added some potato wedges to the left over batter and deep fried the wedges.