Andhra Fish Fry recipe | Spicy Fish Fry
Last Updated on May 18, 2023 by Santosh Allada
Fish Fry recipe, marinated with flavorsome and spicy South Indian homemade masala paste and shallow fried, this fish fry tastes the best.
I grew up in the coastal town of Maharasthra. The fish market was nearby my house, where fisherfolks would sell the fresh catch from the sea every day.
So fresh seafood was regular on our menu. My father used to go to the fish market. I would accompany him on Sundays. I still remember my first visit to the fish market.
The fish market was an interesting place to visit. Varieties of fishes, with chaos people screaming for fishes, and bargaining for the lowest price.
The most amazing sight of the fish market in Maharashtra was, “The Fisherwomen”. Their attire, smart way of communication, sharp tone, core businesswomen are unique in their own style.
On weekdays, fisherwomen (vendor) with a rickety basket full of prawns or fish varieties would visit our home. In today’s digital era, I miss those days.
Seafood varieties like prawns, crabs, bangada (mackarel), pomfret, bombil (bombay duck), kapsali (anchovies) are favorites at home.
After relocating to Hyderabad, it’s me who gets the fish. The cleaning process of fish is tedious at home. So, I get the cleaning done at the fish stall itself for a nominal price.
About Fish Fry recipe
Spicy Fish Fry Recipe is a classic fish recipe from the Andhra region of South India. Andhraites also call the dish Chepa Vepudu.
Andhra cuisine is known for its tangy, hot, and spicy taste and this fish fry is no exception.
In the South, the fish fry is one of the favorites in every household. So, the fish fry recipe variations are endless. Some use freshly ground masala and some use spice powders.
Today I’m sharing a fish fry recipe with spice powders. It is a very basic spice powders mix, that is found in the spice box in every Indian kitchen. To bind the masalas, I add little rice flour.
There are 3 ways you can fry the fish.
Pan-fry: Use oil accordingly.
Shallow fry: I have shallow-fried the fish. It is also a standard fish fry recipe followed in my home.
Deep fry: This type of fish fry is usually prepared at stalls outside wine shops or at local bars.
The preparation of this fish fry is with basic Indian spices but what makes this dish stand out is the aroma and flavor that comes through the ingredients.
First, marinate the fish with spicy homemade masala paste and rest for 30-60 mins or for a couple of hours. If short on time, marinate for 5 to 10 minutes, or you can fry immediately.
The marination helps all the flavors of lemon juice, red chili powder, and garam masala penetrate beyond the surface of the fish flesh. Also, marination has protein-dissolving enzymes that tenderize the meat. Then, follow any of the 3 ways to fry the fish till golden brown.
Spicy luscious masala on the outside, slightly tangy and tender flesh inside, this fish fry will make your meal a delectable experience.
At home, these spicy fish fry pieces as a side dish with white steamed rice and pappu charu or sambar are a scrumptious combo on any day.
You can make this ahead of time. Marinate the fish and transfer the steaks to an air-tight container. Can freeze them for up to 10 days.
Whenever you want to eat, take the required number of pieces and place them on the kitchen counter to defrost. Make sure they are at room temperature before frying.
Reasons to make
Quick & super easy to make.
No grinding or special masala is needed.
Simple cooking techniques.
Looks exquisite and sparkles a little brighter on the dining table.
A perfect dish to entertain guests.
Apart from deliciousness, fish is known for the abundance of healthy benefits – a rich source of omega -3 fatty acids important for the body and brain, a good source of vitamins and minerals, lowers the risk of heart attacks.
How to clean fish to remove fish smell?
One of the reasons many avoid fish at home is because of the fishy smell. The fish you buy from a fish market has already been out of water for several hours after being caught. Even if the fish is sold as fresh, it has a fishy smell that you would want to remove before frying/cooking. Will suggest you three tricks to reduce the fishy smell.
When you get the fish home, you have to clean it again.
In a large bowl, add the fish slices and wash each piece well with water and remove any unwanted remains (scales and bones) over the fish.
There are a few ingredients easily available in the kitchen that you can add to reduce the fishy smell.
1. Soak the cleaned fish pieces in milk for 20 minutes. Rinse it off after that.
2. After cleaning the fish pieces, add salt, turmeric powder, and lemon juice. Rub each piece well. Rest for 10 minutes and wash well.
3. Squeeze lemon juice all over the fish pieces, add salt, wheat flour, and oil. Add little water and rub each piece with the mixture. Keep it aside for 10 mins. Wash each piece well.
Ingredients to make Fish Fry
Fish: The taste depends on the selection of the fish. Be it veg or non-veg, freshness is the key to preparing delicious dishes. But with fish, it is even more important.
I have used Rohu (carpo) fish in this recipe. You can use any firm flesh fish like bocha (catla), pomfret (white preferred than black), seer fish (vanjaram/king fish), basa, salmon, murrel (koramenu), hilsa (pulasa chepa) etc.
Ginger-garlic paste: I Will recommend using freshly ground paste. Or, you can use ready-made paste.
Red chili powder: Customize as per your spice preference. While making for kids, you can add kashmiri red chili powder which adds color but not spice.
Garam masala or Fish masala.
Lemon juice or vinegar: It helps to get rid of the fish smell. Also, it is a flavor enhancer, making the fish taste far tastier.
Rice flour: It binds the marinations ingredients. For extra crisp texture, you can mix semolina/rava or coat each fish piece from all sides with semolina.
Salt to taste
Curry leaves: It is one of the best herbs to go with fish.
Oil: In this recipe, oil is added to the marinade and used to fry the fish.
The purpose of adding oil to the marinade is to add moisture to the meat.
How to make Andhra Fish Fry
Wash the fish pieces by following the instructions mentioned above.
The next step is to prepare the marination:
In a bowl, add red chili powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder, garam masala, ginger-garlic paste, salt, oil, and lemon juice. Mix well.
Add water gradually, mix it and make a thick paste.
Add finely chopped curry leaves and mix well.
Add the fish pieces and apply some paste on each piece on both sides. Check for seasoning and adjust accordingly. Marinate the fish for 30 minutes.
Fry the fish pieces:
In a non-stick pan or cast iron tawa, add oil and let it heat.
When hot, place the fish pieces and cook on a medium flame for 3-5 minutes. Wait until the bottom side cooks well/becomes crispy before flipping to the other side.
Flip the pieces and cook the other side for 3-5 minutes.
Fry both the sides till golden brown.
Take the fish pieces on a plate.
Repeat the same steps for the rest of the pieces.
Serve Fish Fry hot with onion rings and lemon wedges.
Do not add the spice powders directly to the fish. You will not be able to spread the spices evenly. Instead, make the marinade separately and mix well with the fish pieces.
Use rice flour to keep the fish sticking with the marination or the masala will fall off.
Do not overcrowd the frying pan/tawa.
Fry the fish over medium flame.
Retain the moist texture of fish. Fry the fish for 3-5 minutes on each side. Can not recommend a precise time to cook the fish as it depends on the thickness of the fish steaks and the flame.
After adding the fish, wait until the bottom side cooks well/becomes crispy before flipping to the other side. When the bottom side cooks well, you can easily slip under the fish and will release it from the pan with minimal sticking. This step prevents the fish from breaking.
Do not keep flipping the fish. To check if a fish is cooked, prick it with a fork. The fork should easily get in.
What goes good with Fish Fry?
You can serve fish fry as an appetizer, or snack with onion slices and lemon wedges.
It is the best side dish with rice and dal/lentils varieties like pappu charu, sambar, tomato pappu (thick dal), rasam.
If you’ve tried this traditional Fish Fry recipe, then don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave a comment below! Feedback and suggestions are highly appreciated. Also, please share the recipes with your friends and family members.
You can also follow me on Instagram to see what’s latest in my kitchen!
Andhra Fish Fry recipe
- 6 pieces Fish (wash with salt, turmeric powder, and lemon juice.)
- 3-4 tbsp Oil (divided)
- 1/2 tbsp Ginger garlic paste
- 1/2 tbsp Red chili powder (adjust as per your taste)
- 1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
- 1 tsp Garam masala
- 1 tsp Coriander powder
- 2-3 tsp Lemon juice
- 1 tbsp Rice flour
- 2-3 tsp Water
- 3-4 Curry leaves
- Salt to taste
Cleaning the fish
- Take fish pieces in a bowl and wash each piece well.
- Add salt, turmeric powder, and lemon juice or vinegar. Mix well and keep aside for 10 minutes.
- Wash well with fresh water for 3-4 times.
Marinating the fish
- In a bowl, add red chili powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder, garam masala, ginger-garlic paste, salt, oil, rice flour, and lemon juice. Mix well.
- Add water gradually, mix it and make a thick paste. Add finely chopped curry leaves and mix well.
- Add the fish pieces and apply some paste on each piece on both sides.
- Check for seasoning and adjust accordingly.
- Marinate the fish for 30 minutes.
Frying the fish pieces
- In a non-stick pan or cast iron tawa, add oil and let it heat.
- When hot place the fish pieces and cook on a medium flame for 3-5 minutes. Wait until the bottom side cooks well/becomes crispy before flipping to the other side.
- Flip the pieces and cook the other side for 3-5 minutes.
- Fry both the sides till golden brown.
- Take the fish pieces on a plate.
- Repeat the same steps for the rest of the pieces.
- Serve Fish Fry hot with onion rings and lemon wedges.