Thursday, July 23, 2015

Anjal Fish Tawa Masala Fried

Anjal, Seer Fish, King Fish, Surmai, Isvon or Visonu. Call it any name, but this fish is one of the most sought after in the West Coast of India. The main reason is, it is a bulky fish with dense flesh which can be sliced very thin into perfect steaks. The masala with which we marinate the fish infiltrates deeply into the flesh and enhances the taste. This fish is best suited for making fried fish and the right texture makes them taste and feel like savoury cake slices. Here in Mangalore they also compare that to coconut kernel.

Unlike other fish, this can be marinated and frozen for days to retain the taste. However, please note that if you keep the Anjal steaks in the freezer without marination, they may lose the taste and become harder. At least apply some salt and keep them in the freezer for better preservation.
Mangalorean GSBs have opened new fish specialty restaurants and street food joints namely Giri Manja's, Prabhu Brothers, Machali and Bapama's. One thing common with them all is that they sell a specialty which is spicy, tangy and aromatic. They coat the fish with a unique masala and shallow fry them in lots of coconut oil on the iron skillet or Tawa and serve them garnished with freshly chopped coriander leaves, onion slices and lemon wedges. People hype and rave about them and make a mad dash as soon as someone updates his or her social networking status with pictures of that yummy looking fried fish! They call it Anjal Tawa Masala Fried and charge a decent price for the amount of oil, oops the size of the fish steak they serve, as per prevailing rates. I have tasted this specialty from Giri Manja's and Machali a couple of times and found them tasty, but very oily as expected at any restaurant.

With my abilities to taste something and guess the ingredients that go into that, I did a quick guess work about Anjal Tawa Masala Fried as well, and formulated my recipe. Please note that I have added garlic paste to the masala and at Giri Manja's or Machali, they may add asafotoeda or hing. I have not tasted the item at Bapama's or Prabhu Brothers, hance no guess about that. Whatever, adding hing is your choice, but I like it with lots of garlic. After all, Kundapur masala needs garlic to enhance the flavour!

Yes. You guessed it right. The kitchen friendly Kundapur Masala has come to my rescue when I formulated this dish. It is always in stock in our fridge, and we use it for many preparations like Masala Fried, Rava Fried, Tawa Fried and Ghee Roast. A versatile masala powder, not so easily available in any store near to you, but you can prepare it at home following the recipe given here.
 
Always use a good non stick tawa/pan for frying fish. I mentioned 'Good Non Stick Pan', because this is a kind of fried fish which gets stuck to the pan if you are not using a clean pan. In restaurants they use the iron skillet that's recurrently used for frying fish, and has a coating which avoids the fish steaks from sticking to the pan. Besides, the amount of oil they add for frying fish is mindblowing, and that amount of oil ensures that the fish remains intact with the masala!

For authentic Anjal Tawa Masala Fried, you may go to Giri Manja's, Prabhu Brothers, Machali or Bapama's, but you may also get a pool of oil with them as bonus! Addiction to these fried items call for frequent visits and ultimately we run the risk of cardiac ailments if we eat these things in excess. So be wise and prepare these at home. After all, Kudpiraj's Garam Tawa also cares for your health and better living.


Ingredients:
Anjal/Seer Fish Steaks - 1 Kg(or around 14 medium size steaks)
Kundapur masala Powder - 6 Tsp(Adjust according to taste)
Kashmiri Chilli Powder(Optional for better colour and taste) - 2 Tsp
Rice Flour - 2 Tbsp(or around 40 Gms)
Tamarind - A pea size ball, pulp extracted in little water.
Salt  - 3/4 Tsp(or to taste)
Water - About 3/4 cup(approx)
Coconut Oil - 100 Ml (for shallow frying)
Coriander Leaves(or curry leaves) - A handful chopped
Method:
Clean and wash the fish steaks, pat dry and keep aside.
Combine all the powders, salt and tamarind extract.
Add water little by little to obtain a thick and smooth masala paste that feels like wet mud.
Apply the paste over the fish steaks and arrange them in a way shown as per picture.
That way, the masala gets coated better, doesn't drop off when you lift the fish steaks, and the steaks can be easily detached from one another.
Heat a nonstick pan on medium heat.
Spread 2-4 teaspoonfuls of coconut oil, allow that to heat up and then place 3-4 marinated fish steaks on the pan.
Reduce the flame to sim and allow the fish to sizzle.
After 3-5 minutes, one side starts getting crusty.
Sprinkle some chopped coriander leaves on the fish steaks and flip them over to get roasted on the other side.
After another 2-3 minutes, the steaks will be well fried and ready.
Don't allow the coating to harden and get browned much, as tawa masala fried fish has a crust much softer than its counterpart tawa fried fish.
Transfer them on to a platter, garnish with more chopped coriander leaves.
Likewise fry all the fish steaks and serve them with onion slices and lemon wedges.
You can have them as starter, with fish curry rice, or with accompaniment like ghee rice, pulao or biryani.

2 comments:

Greeshma said...

Made this recipe, it was superb. Thank you so much. I think u forgot to mention garlic paste in the recipe.

Rajanikanth Shenoy, Kudpi said...

Thanks for trying it. Garlic paste or ginger garlic paste can be added, but I didn't add in this masala. Commercially available Kundapur masala has garlic flakes in it. You can also add hing to the masala for that typical GSB style tawa fried fish.

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