Amritsari fish is an absolute favorite fish recipe from the city of ‘Amritsar’ in Punjab (Northern India). It’s so famous in Punjab, that it can be found in your local street food stall or the best of the hotels. By now, you must have guessed that since the dish originated from that city, hence it’s named ‘Amritsari‘ which literally means mean from Amritsar.
For this particular dish, we use freshwater fish known as ‘Singhara‘ or ‘Sole‘ which are thick/chunky white fishes(boneless fillet). However, we don’t usually get these fish here, so you can use ‘Tilapia/Cod/Trout or even Salmon‘ for this particular variety. The method is really simple and the recipe takes about 5-6 minutes to prep, 15 minutes to marinate and 10 minutes to fry. Sounds really simple and some of you might even be thinking ‘How is it different from a Beer Battered Fish?’ The answer lies in it’s ‘marination‘ which is where are the magic happens 🙂
The Amritsari Fish is usually marinated in a mixture of yogurt, ginger-garlic paste, some spices, carom seeds (ajwain) and chickpea-flour (besan). The use of ‘carom seeds‘ and ‘chickpea flour‘ is what differentiates it from any other fish recipes that you might have tried. To make it extra crisp and airy, I’m adding a half can of ‘Club Soda‘ in it…if you want, you can definitely add beer or just use plain water. Once the mix is ready, I mix the fish and marinate it for at least 15 minutes, if you have more time in hand then definitely marinate for an hour at the max. You don’t want to marinate for long as the fish and the soda will loose it’s freshness and you would end up with a not so crunchy fish.
This particular recipe is served as a side or appetizer, just add some freshly cut lime wedges and a sprinkle of ‘chat-masala’ which is like a salty-tangy spice mix easily found in any local Indian store. If you don’t have chat masala, you may serve with a sprinkle of sea-salt (just remember to add salt in the marinade accordingly). To get the perfect crispy taste, it’s fried in medium heat and for that orange-golden color, you can add food coloring. I would recommend using fresh fish for this particular recipe however you may use frozen fish as well, just make sure their’s no water in it.
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