Every time we visit my hometown Bangalore, India our good family friends invite us over for dinner and cook for us some of the most delicious food from Kerala. On my last visit to their home they fried a small fish like smelt and it was heavenly. I have since been on the pursuit to replicate the awesome recipe. I used to shy away from small fish because of the bones, but by deep frying it I can eat the entire fish and it is delicious! This is my first attempt at it. I think it turned out pretty good. Hope you like it.
- 1 lb Smelt, with head and guts removed
- Generous amount of Canola oil of deep frying
- 1/2 tbsp Kashmiri Chili Powder
- 1 tsp Coriander Seed Powder
- 1/4 tsp Turmeric
- Salt to taste (I use 1/2 tsp in marinade)
- 2 Green Chilies minced
- 1 tbsp Ginger Garlic paste (can substitute with 1/2 tbsp minced ginger and 1/2 tbsp of minced garlic)
- 1/2 tbsp Lemon Juice
- 1 tbsp Flour
- Optional Garnish: Lemon wedges and thin slices of Red Onion
- Wash smelt and dry with paper towels.
- Add chili powder, coriander powder, turmeric, salt, green chilies, ginger garlic paste, lemon juice, and flour in a one gallon freezer bag and mix into a thick paste.
- Add a handful of smelt into the freezer bag and cover smelt with marinade. Repeat till all smelt is in the freezer bag and is evenly coated with the marinade.
- If preparing for another day, freeze the fish right away. If cooking on the same day marinate fish for about 30 minutes.
- Heat a generous amount of oil in a deep pan as we will be deep frying the smelt. The temperature of the oil should come to 350F.
- When the oil has heated up add smelt to the pan and wait till is turns golden brown. The fish color is a better indicator than cooking time, for a rough idea this could take up to 10 minutes to become golden brown and crispy.
- If you are working in batches repeat the previous step till all the fish is fried.
- Taste fish and sprinkle more salt as needed
- Serve immediately with your favorite meal or as an appetizer with lemon wedges and thin slices of red onions.