The soft and delicate Basa fish fillet tastes great when cooked with minimal fuss and this batter-fried version is a real example of that!
Since the time I have discovered this fish called ‘Basa’, I have simply fallen in love with it. Trust me, you will too if you taste it even once!
This fish’s texture is immensely delicate and soft and it has a amazing capability of adhering to the flavors it it cooked with. But this melt-in-the-mouth quality is best enjoyed when it is not overpowered with too many spices.
This recipe of frying the Basa fillet with a simple batter was inspired from the street food of my home town – Kolkata – at the eastern region of India.
Sometimes I miss Kolkata for its special “Street Food”. I have stayed in few big cities of India like Mumbai, Hyderabad and now Bangalore, but nowhere could I find such amazing variety of street food, be it vegetarian or non-vegetarian.
Being a hard-core non-vegetarian, I used to prefer the non-veg snacks like mutton cutlet, fish fry, chicken roll, chicken/mutton/fish chop and many other endless varieties, but the veg options also never failed to delight me as well, like singara (samosa), alur chop (potato fritters), vegetable chop (Mixed veg fritters, mostly dominated by beetroot), beguni (eggplant fritters), mochar chop (difficult to translate – “mocha” is the flower of banana and “chop” is fritter, now you can easily combine!) and the list will go on and on.
Well, There is no plan of visiting my hometown during recent months, so I will keep missing them for indefinite time unless I decide to try my hands on creating those stuffs at home. So here is my first trial of fish fry. My first take came out well which was beyond my expectation. Hope you will like it too!
- Boneless fish fillet – 2, I used Basa fish, you can use any other boneless, white and meaty fish like Bhetki
- Refined flour (Maida) – 1 cup
- Egg – 2
- Milk – 1 cup
- Salt to taste
- Oil – for the batter and for frying.
- Crushed black pepper – ½ tsp, optional
- Wash the fish fillet well. I used frozen fillet, so I had to thaw them completely before starting.
- Season the fillet with little salt.
- In a big bowl, combine the flour, eggs, milk, salt [approximately a little less than ½ tsp will do] and 1 tsp of oil.
- Whisk them well to make a thick and smooth batter. The batter must be very smooth without any lumps. Consistency should be such that it should coat the fish fillet and does not flow off. To check that, dip a spoon into the batter. If the batter coats the back of the spoon evenly, then the consistency is right. If you feel it is too thick, add a little more milk and if it is too thin, throw in some more flour. Arriving at the right consistency may take few practices.
- Heat oil in a frying pan. I didn’t deep fry my fish; I did shallow frying which worked really well.
- Dip a fillet into the batter. Take it out and when the oil is quite hot, tip in the batter coated fish. If you find that the batter is flowing out of the fillet, take a little amount of batter from the bowl using a spoon and smear it on the top of the fillet.
- When the bottom side turns browns, carefully turn the fillet upside down and fry it till brown. It will take around 10 minutes each side but it also depends on the thickness of the fillets you are using. Mine took 10 minutes each side. To check the doneness, take a toothpick and prick the fish in the middle. If it goes in very easily without any resistance, your fish is done. Else give it two more minutes.
- Once done, remove them on tissue to soak the excess oil.
- Serve hot with tartar sauce. Delish!