These five days of merriment recharge us for the next 360 days of daily grind and we Bengalis, wistfully looking forward to the next year Puja, start counting days from the day of Dashami itself i.e. the day when the goddess is immersed in water. Puja means a lot to us. Besides the ritual of wearing new dresses and pandal-hopping, we also partake in celebrating foods through the festival. All the food joints across the city become packed with hungry customers.Sometimes the restaurants and eateries become so crowded that a long queue forms outside, extending up to a mile. Junkies sell like hot cakes during those fun-filled five days and one of such popular junkies is Fish Fry. After we have shifted to Bangalore, such junk delicacies have become elusive to us. Somewhat forced by circumstances, I have managed to learn preparing Fish Fry.
Fish Fry is an all-time hit snack item that, usually prepared with Bhetki fish fillet, can be made with Gurjali fish also, but with a compromised taste. Fresh Bhetki fillets with juicy fleshy meat are sacrosanct ingredient the quality and taste of this dish depend on.
Ingredients: Cooking time: 40 minutes
8 Bhetki fillets
2 tbs Eastern Fish Fry Masala (you may use fish fry masala of other brands also)
2 tsp ginger paste
1 tsp garlic paste
2 tbs of lemon juice
2 cups of breadcrumb
1 tsp of cornflour
salt to taste
white oil for deep frying
1) In a bowl mix ginger paste, garlic paste, fish fry masala and salt. Use this mixture to marinate the fish fillets. Then rub lemon juice on them. Keep the marinade on fridge for an hour or two. Some people choose to keep the marinade in refrigerator for about 6-7 hours all through the night.
2) Just when the time comes to fry the fillets, take them out. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs with 1 tsp of cornflour. Whisk the eggs till it forms a smooth consistency.
3) Now heat oil in a frying pan. When smoke starts spiralling up from the oil, dip the fillets into the mixture of egg and cornflour and then roll them over on breadcrumb. When the fish fillets get covered in a fine coat of breadcrumbs, toss them into the smoking oil.
4) Fry the fillets till they turn brown in color. Serve hot with kasundi or tomato sauce.