A quick and easy Indian Fish Fry recipe, that is simple, yet delicious, and is ready within minutes.
In-fact this fried pomfret recipe is a testament to the fact that it doesn’t take very many (or even fancy) ingredients and complicated cooking methods to get that burst of flavor that will delight your taste buds.
However, consider this fair warning, that this dish, as yummy and convenient as it is, can get really addictive.
I remember there was a time when we used to make this particular recipe every single weekend, and a big batch too, enough that we did not need anything else to go with it, outside of a chutney, and a drink. Fun times!
So today I’m sharing this recipe with you, in hopes that you will love it as much as we do.
How to Fry Fish Indian Style
The first step is to properly clean the fish. In our case, we buy already cleaned slices, so we only have to rinse them well before we use them. Either way, ensure to pat down the moisture before you start applying the spices.
Then in a small bowl, mix together salt, turmeric and hing powder.
Apply this mix to the fish pieces, ensuring to apply it evenly all over, and set the pieces aside for 15-20 minutes.
Next, in another bowl, mix together the spices – chilli powder, garam masala powder, coriander powder, cumin powder, garlic powder & dried coriander flakes (optional).
Apply this spice mix to the pieces of fish, ensuring to apply it evenly all over, and set the fish aside for 30 minutes, before you start to fry it.
Once the fish has got a chance to absorb the spice rub, it’s time to apply the crumb coating, which is basically a mix of rava and rice flour (I also add a pinch of salt).
Place the fish pieces in this crumb coating, ensuring to coat the pieces evenly and well.
Then heat up the gas, add a few tablespoons of oil, and pan fry the fish on medium heat.
I recommend frying the fish pieces in small batches (and not overcrowding the pan) for 3-4 minutes on each side. So in total it should take 6-8 minutes for both sides.
Then I personally like to fry the 2 sides with the skin for a minute each. So it takes me 10 minutes per batch.
Once the fish changes color and develops a slight crispy char on the surface, it’s done, and ready to serve.
1. In case pomfret fish is not easily available where you live, which is the case in many parts of US, you can make this recipe with pompano fish too, which is more easily available in US.
2. I make 2 different spice rubs and apply it in 2 batches, because I feel the fish absorbs the salt better this way, and the antibacterial properties of turmeric work more effectively. But you can choose to mix all the spice powders together and apply at one go.
3. The fish is spiced to suit our taste buds, which means the spice level is above average. You can adjust spice rub to suit your palate, or add a dash of lemon to cut the spice.
4. Always adjust the spices / masalas based on weight and not the quantity of slices, because the sizes of the fish filets or fish steaks can vary considerably. For instance, here in US, we get larger versions of pomfret than back home in Mumbai.
5. I know I have listed dried coriander flakes as a part of the flavoring spices, but it’s completely optional if you don’t have it on hand. Because it doesn’t make much (or any) difference when it comes to the taste. It’s really just a quirk of mine, which makes me want to add something green to most things, lol.
Check out more easy recipes:
Coriander Mint Chutney
Homemade Garlic Bread
This recipe has been updated from the recipe archives, first published in 2018.
Indian Fish Fry | Fried Pomfret Recipe
- 3 mid size pomfret / pompano fish (total weight 3.6 pounds or 1.6 kg) cut into slices of ¾ - 1 inch thickness
First Marinade (15-20 minutes)
- 4 tsp salt
- 1 tsp haldi / turmeric powder
- ½ tsp hing / asafoetida powder
Second Marinade (30 minutes)
- 4 tsp chilli powder
- 4 tsp garam masala powder
- 4 tsp coriander powder
- 2 tsp cumin powder
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- 2 tsp dried coriander flakes optional
Outer Crust Coating
- ¼ cup sada rava / semolina
- ¼ cup rice flour
- ⅛ tsp salt optional, but I always add it
- Clean the fish, and pat dry all the excess moisture. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, mix together the salt, haldi powder, and hing powder. The first marinade / rub is ready.
- Apply this rub to the pieces of fish, ensuring you apply it evenly all over. Set aside for 15-20 minutes.
- In another small bowl, mix together - chilli powder, garam masala powder, coriander powder, cumin powder, garlic powder, and dried coriander flakes (optional).
- Apply this second spice rub to the pieces of fish, ensuring you apply it evenly all over. Set aside for 30 minutes.
- Once you have let the fish marinate in the spices well, it’s time to apply the outer crust coating. This is also a good time to start heating up the pan you will be frying the fish in.
- For the crust coating - in a flat wide paraat dish or even a plate will do - mix together the rava, rice flour, and salt (optional). Place the pieces of fish in this crust coating, and coat the pieces well with it on all sides.
- Finally, it’s time to pan fry the fish, for which add a few tablespoons of oil in the heated pan, and place the fish pieces on the pan, a few pieces at a time.
- I recommend frying the fish in small batches (and not overcrowding the pan) on medium heat for about 3-4 minutes on each side. So in total it should take 6-8 minutes for both sides. Then I personally like to fry the 2 sides with the skin for a minute each. So it takes me 10 minutes per batch.
- Once the fish changes color and develops a slight crispy char on the surface, it’s done, and ready to serve.
- If you live in a place where you do not get pomfret fish easily, especially in the US, you can make this with pompano fish too, which is more easily available in US. Same awesome taste!
- I marinate fish in two steps, applying the salt & turmeric rub first, and then the other flavoring spices. Because I personally feel the fish absorbs the salt much better when applied first and then turmeric has antibacterial properties, which work better when applied directly to the fish. But in a rush, you can mix together all the spices & apply at one go.
- The fish is spiced to suit our taste buds, which means it’s spicier than average. Always adjust the spices to suit your palate. Or just add a splash of lemon to the marinade to cut the spice level.
- Always adjust the spices / masalas based on weight and not the quantity of slices, because the sizes of the fish filets or fish steaks can vary considerably.
- Like I mentioned above, dried coriander flakes are completely optional. I skip using them several times, and have also often replaced them with parsley flakes, or any dried green herb I’ve had on hand.
I’ve done my very best to share the exact measurements, and outline every step, but if something is not clear to you, or you have questions about quantities or alternatives, or anything at all, feel free to ask in the comments. I promise to reply to every single query.
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