Sunday, September 14, 2014

Surmai Tawa Fry ( Pan-fried Seer Fish/ Kingfish)

Would you believe me if I told you that you can fry fish using just one teaspoon of oil?? Well I did not believe it either. I always either shallow-fried the fish using atleast one centimeter of oil in my frying pan or deep fried it. Of course I have broiled fish before without using oil but that is just that: broiling. Broiling, grilling and baking does not require oil or requires very little oil. Now frying is an entirely different story! The words "frying" and "oil " go hand in hand; in fact are almost synonymous! Hence when I came across this dish in one of the cooking groups that I am part of, I too didn't believe it. I just could not wait to try it to test it for myself! I went to the fish market and got myself just 2 nice pieces of King Fish. King fish is also known as Seer fish/ Surmai/Visonu in India. I must say it was a successful experiment and the fish tasted great. My husband gave me his nod of approval too.. Coming from him it is big! He is very picky when it comes to fish. So here is a recipe to fry fish in a healthy fashion.

Servings: 2


King fish: 2 pieces ( you could chose any fish that would yield nice slices)
Kashmiri red chilli powder: 1 tsp( you can adjust based on your spice level).
Coriander powder: 1 tsp
Garam masala: 1/4 tsp
Turmeric powder: 1/4 tsp
Black pepper powder: 1/8 tsp
Salt: as per taste
Lemon juice: 1 tbsp
Cornmeal ( or sooji) : 2-3 tbsp ( for dipping).
Oil: 1 tsp


Clean the fish slices thoroughly and keep aside on a plate. On one side of the plate, mix all the above ingredients except cornmeal and oil. Apply it generously to the fish slices and let it marinate for atleast 20-30 mins.

Heat a cast iron griddle/tawa on medium flame. Smear the oil on the pan.

Take the cornmeal in a plate. Dip each fish slice in the cornmeal until well coated.

Place it on the tawa/griddle , reduce the flame and cook each side for 4-5 mins or until done.

Serve hot with onion rings and lemon slices as an appetizer or with steamed rice as a side- dish.

Cooking made easy:

Cast iron pans are great to cook with as they retain the heat( temperature for longer time). While cooking maintain an even temperature. Do not turn the flame high and low as they will alter the rate of cooking of the food on the pan making it more likely that the food would either stick to the pan or be burnt.

Tip for healthy living:

One of the best ways to eat healthy is to reduce the consumption of fried food or the amount of oil used in cooking. While some amount of fat is definitely needed in our daily diet, it is also essential to make sure it is not too much. Fat through oil can sneak into our diet without even us knowing. Use as little oil while cooking as possible. You will be surprised that food can be delicious even when it is not fried and when minimum oil is used. This will keep your wallet heavy and the heart healthy.

Food for thought:

Sometimes love is stronger than a man's convictions.  Issac Bashevis Singer

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