Dec 12, 2006

Konkani Style Fish Fry

Fish Fry
Fish Fry with rice flour on the right, rava fry on the left

The konkani style of making fish fry is very different from the rest. Most of my friends get surprised to find out that we use hing in fish! Its very unusual to use hing in any non-veg dishes. But some of the konkani sea food cuisines do have hing.

In the MangaLooru area the sardines/bootai-kannada/peDvo-konkani, macarel/bangude-kannada/raaju-konkani, pomfret/maanji-konkani, small white fish boLinjeer-tuLu/motyaLe-konkani are the konkani favorite fishes. These are the small fishes unlike salmon, catfish or seer. They are fried along with the bones. I am quite bored of pomfret, the only Indian fish found here in US. One of my freind told me that smelt fish is like motyaLe and I made konkani fish fry with it. It was delicious, similar taste as motyaLe.

Special care has to be taken to clean the small fishes. They have a lot of scales and the end result largely depend on how well the fishes have been cleaned. Most of the konkanis do remove the head and the tail while cleaning fish. So the fishes in my pictures are well trimmed.

cleaned fish
1 tsp chilli powder
1/4-1/2 cup rice flour or soji rava.
chick pea size hing

Clean and cut fish. Sprinkle some salt and set aside for 30 minutes.

In the meanwhile, dissolve hing in little water. Mix the chilli powder. Add little salt. If you choose to use rice flour, mix that in and make a thick paste. Drain any water from the fish and add to the paste. Apply the paste to all the sides of the fish. Set aside for another 10 minutes.

If you have chosen to use soji rava instead of rice flour, spread some rava on the plate, take individual fish pieces that is already dipped in chilli powder and roll it in the rava and set aside. Do this with all the pieces. Set aside for 5 minutes. By doing this the rava soaks in a little sticking to the fish and will not drop into the oil when frying.

Heat oil in a kadai for deep frying. Fry the fish on both the sides till deep red.


Asha said...

Manjula,you know the fish fry with the fine sooji,we used to eat that in one of our friend's house in Pane` Mangaluru when I was a teenager! When I saw your dish,I remembered that!
Looks delicious,enjoy.

shilpa said...

Manjula, though we both are Konkanis, your way of fish fry as well as fish names are completely different from mine.I never heard of adding hing to fish till I started blogging.

Try some Chinese market near your place. They have almost all our kind of fishes. I buy all seafood from there.

I am going to try your method of fish fry sometime this weekend. Thanks for sharing.

gowri said...

Yummy looking fish fry. I never heard of adding hing to fish fry. I use hing only in shrimp hinga udda.
I will try your recipe next time when I make fish fry.

Nayak Mayi said...

Hi Manjula,

Recipe looks great... hey can i try shallow fry?..any idea if it would work for this recipe? i thought of avoiding oil and moreover dont know what to do with left over oil...would it have smell of fish?

Manjula said...

Hey Nayak Mayi,

Yes you can shallow fry it. I have seen my friends mom shallow frying on the dosa griddle. But to make it tasty you will have to drizzle generous amount of oil.
I have seen many people do it with big fish varieties like Promfret or Bangda. Small fishes like baLinjeer/motyaLe and smelt are better deep fried.

Once again Thank you Nayak Mayi, you are my source of encouragement that keeps me want to blog more.


Nayak Mayi said...

Hi Manjula,

Thanks alot for quick response. I would try this out. First time i would be cooking fish... and i dont know how it would come out. Thanks for all the help. Hey one more thing, if you dont mind i have a recipe request, do let me know if i can post u a request.

Manjula said...

Nayak Mayi,

You can reach me at with any queries and recipe request. The response will depend on the availability of the ingredients and feasibility of the recipe.


rv said...

Hey I liked this recipe, i too add hing when I fry fish. It tastes yummy. I have never used rice flour as the coating. Will try this time. The tip about the rava sticking to the fish was good. I often noticed that when i used rava for coating, it used to spread in oil while frying.

smartkitten said...

Hi! good recipesat your site. I think hing used for fish preperation specially fried removes gases . Hence easily digested. I shalloww fry almost all varieties of fish on nonstick griddle. Specially big prawns, manjali , visvan [ king fish or surmai] tastes very yummy if we add bit of sambar powder al;ong with salt n chilly powder, squeeze some lemon or vinegar on fish pieces. I t tastes very tasty. Try out n ket me know, Fried fish with solkadhi goes well with steaming rice.

Shantanu said...


Thanks for the recipe. I will make this today. We are a group of bachelors staying far from our motherland. Internet is our cookbook... and bcoz of ppl like u... we can try out different things. Thanks. Keep sharing...

Hemanth said...


Do you happen to know the recipe for fish mala fry? I am referring to the masala fry we get in restaurants in Udupi/Mangalore/Goa area. Its a thick paste and its very spicy. Thank you!

Deepak said...

Hi Manjula,

I am Deepak from Bangalore. Chanced to reach your blog while browsing for the classic Kane masala fry recipe. I'm still looking for it. You think you can help me here?

Suhas said...

Hi Manjula. Myself and my wife were going thru the recipes. Would like to share the way we prepare the marination. Try adding corriander powder and garlic paste along with regular ingredients.

Suhas said...

Do you know the English name for motyaLe.

Manjula said...

Hi Suhas,
I dont know the english name for Motyale. I live in Southern California and shop seafood at the Chinese supermarkets. They have a small white fish named "smelt fish". They are sold frozen or thawed. These taste very close to motyale. I deep fry them or make methi kottambari (fenugreek & corainder) gashi.

Suhas said...

Thanks for the info. I am from Udupi. I have my cousins in US too, but they keep on complaining that they don't get fish as we get here in India. You work is really appreciable. It helps lots of Konkani people around the globe in cooking, especially women who have just tied the knot.

Manjula said...

Thank You Suhas.
Glad to share. I have been blogging very rarely now. Let me know if you are looking for any specific konkani recipes, I will try to post them.

Suhas said...

Thanks... Will surely let you know. Also, if time permits, will go thru ur other recipes and share differences if any.

AshKuku said...

First time here. It's cool. Anything Mangalorean, I would always stop at.I love that sardine fry. I love bootai meenu. Be it fried or the traditional Mangalore Saaru.

"Kaayisida Meenu nodi baayalli neeru bantu". Do visit my small blog if possible.


Praveen Baliga said...

Manjula Mai,

Motyale is called Anchovy in English!

smeets said...

You can fry fish after marinating it in this masala , chilly pwd, turmeric pwd ,hing or asfoetida, and salt. then roll it in rava or coarsely ground rice pwd. Fish like Surmai or Kingfish or Seer is best done in this marinade. For Bangda's or Mackerels , this masala is good Crush garlic and mix the crushed garlic with chilly pwd and salt and apply liberally on the bangda. Keep marinated for may be an hour and later roll in rava and fry till well down . it is great.

VP said...

Surmai/Vissunu is Seer Fish and available at all Asian fish markets.
Khubbo\Clams too and Neeley/Mussels are there too. Fresh is always better but here in US that would be a dream come true esp. in Phoenix.

swetha shenoy said...

hi manjula

I stay in hostel, so at twelve thirty in the night just happen to see DALITOY and trust me my taste buds got activated.I miss my mom pan pole,visoon fry and lots of delicious konani food . atleast i got to see the pics !!!!!!!!!thanks

swetha shenoy said...

hi manjula

thanks for all the recipes and pics of the dish. My taste buds got activated just thinking about konkani food. I am stay in hostel,so its just reading the recipe and thinking of food. That s it :-)