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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Karwari Maach (Semolina Crusted Fish Fry)

One curious thing that I have observed during my stay here in Chennai is that there is a serious dearth of freshwater fishes. Being a Bengali, it's quite natural that we would be craving for freshwater fishes which were available more in other places in the country namely, Delhi , Mumbai and of course Kolkata. However , as they say if you can't change the place change as per the place. So by heeding this proverb, I have adapted my cooking by changing the type of fishes that I usually cook in other places. So without going many places to look for pompret,I have adapted frying Dart fish as a substitute and present it.

Since it has very fine bones so I stayed away from gravy option and deep fried it with a batter. I followed this recipe from a magazine called "Food Lovers" (Bangalore) and it came out fantastic although I know with Pomfret this would have been ideal. Karwari fish is cuisine of Karwar, is regarded as the administrative head quarters of Uttara Kannada, 100 kms from of Goa  which is famous for its rice flavour and unique taste. Also since last 2 weeks the weather is very pleasant which is helping in reducing the disappointment of not getting host of freshwater fishes and here I am replacing them with sea fishes. 

900 gm Silver Pomfret, cleaned {I replaced with Dart fish variety so took 7 small fishes}
Oil for deep frying
8-9 tbsp Semolina 
2 tbsp Deghi Mirch powder
2.5 tbsp Ginger-Garlic paste
3-4 Lemons
2 springs Curry leaves
1 tsp Turmeric powder
60-70 gm Tamarind, soaked and pulp extracted

Take the fish and remove the fins and gut. Make 2-3 incisions on each side of the fish and let the excess water drained out. Make a slurry-like marinade of the ginger-garlic paste, deghi mirch powder, lemon juice, turmeric powder, throw in some curry leaves and tamarind pulp. Marinate the fish in this paste for 15-20 minutes. 

Take the fish and coat it with the semolina evenly for a crusty layer. Heat oil in a flat pan and temper it with curry leaves. Shallow fry the fish from both the sides on high flame. Serve this crispy tangy fried fish with some onions, rice and dal.

Sending this delicious fish fry to Runner Girl In the Kitchen's on going event "Only Cooking from Cookbooks", originally started by Pari of Foodelicious


  1. I am just bowled out with the presentation....just loveeeeeeeee it.....loved the idea of semolina coating in kolkata I have seen the sweet shops selling vegetable chop fried with d semolia coats...

  2. Like the Fish shaped Banana Leaf.. Nice presentation..

    Yum! Yum! Yum!

  3. Love the presentation. Khub sundoor :-) Ami semolina coated fish fry kheyechi, gives a nice crunch :-) Ah poor you missing the fresh water fishes. I so know the pain :-(

  4. Such a delicious fish prep and more the deco/presentations, very nice..salmon banale ami semolina coat ta he banayi besh bhalo hoye..kemon acho?..hugs

  5. oh gosh , m missing pompfrets here in Germany, those crispy karai maach are making me go crazy....awesome

  6. I'm so impressed with your beautiful and creative presentation. Fish with crispy semolina coating looks great!

  7. wow i love this...mum make this masala for bombay duck or bombli

  8. Just for you to know KARWAR is not part of Goa but a district of North Karnataka which is closer to state Goa.
    Love your site very much.

  9. fish looks wonderful lovely presentation

  10. Dear Anonymous indeed your are right. Thanks for pointing out. Rectified ..

  11. love the presentation. Little A must have loved it when you presented the fries like this. will try this semolina crust for sure.

  12. Fish fry looks very nice Deepa. I am from south Tamilnadu and some years ago I lived in Chennai and I have seen lake fishes in markets. Fresh water fish can be bought in Chennai by evenings in some markets, as they get it from nearby lakes. KK nagar MGR market used to sell them at all time AM or PM.....I am not sure if it is available now:) Telugu speaking people would know the whereabouts of this fish. Katla is one fish name I remember. Hope my comment helps u and expecting to see a lot of fishes from there:)

  13. This was amazing recipe and what a fabulous presentation dear... Simply superb

  14. Looks so good with that beautiful crust!

  15. loved the styling and the fry so yum

  16. mouthwatery preparation deepa.. like ur version..

  17. Delicious karwari fish dish. Very crispy and nice presentation.

  18. wow...i kept seeing this on FB...loved the click and styling using onions...ah am dying for this here


  20. Deepa,
    This is Sutapa. We spoke over the phone yesterday. I sent you an email but it bounced right back. So, let me know if you have an alternate email? A personal one, unrelated to the blog maybe?

  21. What a cute presentation..very appealing fry..

  22. Very cute presentation of the 1st photo ^_^. This fish sound yummy!

  23. Yummy fish fry with mouthwatering presentation.

  24. Fish Is my Hubby's and daughter's fav... (i m veggie though) they both can skip food for fish. Lovely presentation!

  25. This looks great. I love pomphret dipped in egg batter and deep fried and served hot.
    Only lip smacking now as I don't have this or that at present...haah!

  26. Looks yum and love the pics ...sure you had fun ...can see tht

  27. what a drool-worthy click...looks gorgeous!

  28. Soo cute presentation, those semolina crusted fish fries are just inviting me to enjoy some.

  29. perfectly crisp and spicy treats, can have it anytime, loved those onion ring bubbles, looks cute...view our phokcha recipe for a treat :-)

  30. Hello Deepa,

    Can you email me at I will reply with the details you wanted. Thanks.

  31. love that click and presentation ...looks live

  32. I love this presentation of yours Deepa. I am not sure if Vegetarians like me take time to even read Non vegetarian posts like these. Very very well presented. Specially the first and last clicks

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