The contrast between the rice and the seasoned fish is a delight for the taste buds
Fish is an extremely versatile and flavoursome substitute for more commonly used meats and vegetables.
Fish pairs perfectly with most herbs and spices making it great for Desi cooking.
It can be marinated in spices for fieriness or paired with yoghurt for cooler pallets. It can be baked, fried, poached, and even served tartare. The possibilities are endless.
DESIblitz presents five Desi-inspired spicy fish recipes that you need to try.
This dish originates from Bengali and Bangladeshi cuisine.
‘Bhapa’ is a traditional Bengali way of cooking fish with steam in stainless steel boxes. But you can steam the fish in a microwave or pressure cooker at home.
The recipe focuses on the ‘king of fish’ hilsa. The hilsa fish isn’t commonly accessible in Western societies. You can purchase it from online and specialist Asian fishmongers.
The recipe is minimalistic. It is a wonderful pairing of turmeric, green chillies and mustard paste.
Preparation and cooking can take up to one hour but it is certainly worth it. The outcome should be a tasty and aromatic curry dish, perfect served as a main course.
Find out more about this mouth-watering fish dish recipe here.
Masala is a worldwide famous delicious dish.
Originating from Pakistan, it is now served in most Asian restaurants and is consumed by people across the globe.
More westernised recipes tend to favour chicken tikka masala but often leave out some crucial spices.
Substituting meat for fish is a tantalising change that adopts the spices of this dish more intensely.
Traditionally the fish is marinated in a spice based yoghurt before being added to the masala. This dish can be cooked using whatever fish takes your fancy but be aware that it must be deboned beforehand.
The result is a creamy, texture-fuelled delight. Although, the amount of spice used can be altered for your own tastes.
This dish is perfect served with roti or chapatti!
Find out more about how to make your own traditional machli masala here.
Biryani is probably just as well known worldwide as masala is.
A popular dish in Indian restaurants, biryani is no stranger to being made with fish.
One of the key things about this dish is the fish doesn’t require much time to marinate. It can encapsulate spices just as fast as chicken does. However, ensure not to use too much masala or ginger garlic paste during preparation as it makes the fish bitter.
Biryani is a wonderful combination of onions, garlic, coriander, and turmeric. The dish is best served with basmati rice or onion raita to bring out the flavours.
It is a simple recipe which is perfect for beginners. Preparation and cooking time combined can take around 45 minutes.
Interested? Find out how to make it here.
Ghee Rice with Tawa Fish
Hailing all the way from South Indian cuisine, ghee rice is a simple yet delicious meal.
Most recipes suggest using basmati rice for this as it brings out the fish flavour. You can coat your fish in whatever spices you like. The most popular suggestions are chilli powder, turmeric, and garam masala. The contrast between the rice and the seasoned fish is a delight for the taste buds.
Adding sliced red onions to the dish can also add flavour and a bit of crunch to the rice. However, don’t skip adding green chilli powder as without it the dish has the risk of being bland.
This fish dish can be served with a salad or on its own. It’s perfect for a light and healthy lunch time meal!
Want to treat your tastebuds? Find the recipe here.
Amritsari Spicy Fried Fish
Want to try something fishy but not take too much of a risk? Why not combine cod, breadcrumbs and spices and deep fry?
For a Desi twist on a British classic you could serve with chips and peas. Or go healthy and serve atop a crispy salad.
Read this recipe from Sanjeev Kapoor to learn how to make this fish dish with a Desi twist.
- 1 egg
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp ground black pepper
- ½ tsp red chilli flakes
- 1 tbsp chopped garlic
- 1 pound cod fillets
- 2 cups breadcrumbs
- 1 tsp chaat masala seasoning (can be found in any of your local South Asian stores.)
- Oil for frying the fish.
- In a medium bowl beat together egg, flour, garlic powder, salt, pepper, red chilli flakes, and chopped garlic. Place cod in the bowl and coat with the mixture.
- In a separate bowl mix the chaat masala and the breadcrumbs. Dip the cod in the crumb mixture and thoroughly coat both sides.
- In a large skillet heat the oil and fry the fish until golden brown and the flesh is easily flaked with a fork. Serve piping hot!
There are hundreds of cuts of fish available. You can visit fishmongers or even order fresh fish to your doorstep online! It provides a perfect alternative to heavier meat dishes.
So why not try something new and give these five spicy fish recipes a go?