Simple fish fry

As I have stayed near the coastal place in Chennai, all my life, and visited the fish markets with my mother in my childhood. I used to see my mother buying fish from the market and coming home cleaning it and making curry out of it and fry also. The fish used to be very fresh and its gill will be pinkish or reddish in colour. The identification of fresh fish is to see its gills and its eyes should be firm and open. The scales should look firm and shiny. That day the meal will be rice, fish curry, fish fry and rasam , which goes well and yummy too.

Whenever fish curry is made in our home, there used to be demand for fish fry also. fish curry is to mix and eat with rice and fish fry is eaten as a side dish. You can fry it on tava or shallow fry or deep fry the fish. Fish fry is very popular dish and cooked in varieties also. Each house has their own recipe of fish fry. My mother used to prepare this way. You can use any white flesh fish, we often use shankara in tamil like snapper fish or king fish(vanjaram in tamil).


  • Fish (sea bass(koduva in tamil) or king fish(vanjaram in tamil)) – 5 thick slices OR 400 to 500 gms
  • Wheat flour – 2 tbsp (used for chapathi (pilsbury))
  • Chilli powder – 2 tsp
  • Salt – as required
  • Turmeric powder (optional) – a pinch or 1/4 tsp
  • Water – 3 to 4 tbsp as per requirement
  • Oil – for frying



  • Take a wide bowl or a plate and add wheat flour, chilli powder, salt, turmeric powder and mix well. Add water and make it like a thick paste, but not very tight and dry.
  • Apply the marinade on fish. The marinade should coat the fish well. I have used Snapper (Sankara in Tamil) also for this recipe and works well. Please see the photos below.
  • Cover the marinated fish with a lid or cling film. Keep the marinated fish in the fridge for more than 2 hours.
  • Take the fish out from the fridge about 1/2 an hour in advance before frying it.
  • Frying

  • drizzle 2tsp oil on tava , when it gets warm, add fish on it, the sizzling sound should come.
  • while frying put few drops of oil on the corner sides also, so that it does not stick to the pan and the fish is cooked well.
  • do not turn the fish immediately, after 3min turn the fish and fry it.
  • cook the fish till it is cooked well, the coating becomes crispy as flour is added. It gives a good colour.
  • in between turn the fish and fry it. fry the fish evenly. Do not turn the fish many times also. the fish gets cooked fast. when the fish is cooked it becomes firm.
  • fry all fish slices in batches by putting oil in between, if it is required and when finished put it in a bowl or plate.
  • It will take 15 to 20 min to fry according to its size and cook it on medium heat.
  • serve it with rice and fish curry or simple rasam or dal.


  • Try to use tong for turning the fish.
  • When the fish is cooked on one side, then only turn the fish.
  • When the oil is hot then only put the fish on tava, other wise if it is cold, the masala will get stick to the tava and come out.
  • Cook it on medium heat not very high.

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