This fish 65 recipe was unplanned. The taste and flavor of the chicken 65 that I made 2 days back was still lingering. So in a snap, I decided I’ll try out fish 65 and I am so glad that I did. It was so so good.
For people outside India Fish 65 is a fried fish recipe similar to chicken 65 recipe which is popular in South India. The meat is marinated in spices and deep-fried.
It usually tends to be very spicy and mostly food color is used in restaurants. But to make it guilt-free I have fried it in the air fryer, using as minimum oil as possible. Using Kashmiri red chilly powder gives a natural red color to the preparation.
Today after a long long time we went to the local fish market. It was a very hot day and they were winding up at around 1 pm. Managed to get a red snapper and the local Imad or round batfish, which looked a bit like a big sized pomfret.
It was pretty cheap, but since I wasn’t very sure about the taste I got only a small one. It was a flat fleshy fish with just a central bone, and the way they cut it into bite-size pieces tempted me to try out this dish.
Its the same as my chicken 65 recipe, just that the chicken is replaced with the fish. I have used fish with bone, but you can use boneless fillets too.
If you are using fish with bone just ensure that its a fleshy fish with just the main bone. Else, it becomes a pain to keep on removing bones once you pop it into the mouth.
The fish tends to stick a bit to the wire basket of the air fryer, so you have to dislodge it carefully after cooking. Or you can opt to place a parchment paper covering the wired base and place the fish over it.
After 3 minutes remove the paper and place the fish on the greased wire base. Since the fish is cooked it will not stick further.
Also, while tempering I have added some water before sauteeing the fish, which ensures the fish is coated evenly and quickly without breaking.
Bottom line – The dish was absolutely delicious and is a must-try. And people here in Qatar, you need to give this Imad fish a try. So good 🙂 .
Over to the recipe….
- 250 g Fish(boneless or with central bone)
- 1 tsp coriander powder
- ½-2 tsp Kashmiri chilly powder/regular red chilly powder
- 1 tsp salt(or as needed)
- ½ tsp pepper powder
- ½ tsp cumin powder
- ½ tsp garam masala powder
- ½ tsp jaggery/sugar
- a pinch turmeric powder
- 1 tsp ginger-garlic paste
- 2 tsp oil
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp rice powder
- 3-6 curry leaves(finely chopped)
- 1 tsp chopped coriander leaves
- 1½ tsp oil
- ½ tsp cumin seeds
- ½ tsp Kashmiri chilly powder
- a pinch of turmeric powder
- salt as needed
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- few curry leaves
- Whole green chillies(as needed)
- Clean the fish thoroughly and chop into bite-size pieces. Marinate with all the ingredients listed under marination for at least half an hour.
- Brush the wired base of the air fryer basket with oil. Spread the fish pieces in the basket and set the temperature to 180°C.
- Let the fish cook for 6 minutes. After 3 minutes, shake the air fryer basket or move the fish pieces, using a blunt knife or spoon. This releases the fish pieces from the base.
- If you do not have an air fryer, go ahead and deep fry or shallow fry the fish pieces. Alternately, you can even roast them with a little oil in a skillet.
- After 6 minutes, transfer the fish from the air fryer to a plate.
- Next, take a skillet and add oil to it. Once it gets heated up add the tempering items one by one. Fry for a second and add 2 tbsp of water. When it starts boiling, add the cooked fish pieces to it. Saute so that the fish pieces are fully coated with the tempering.
- Transfer to a serving dish and serve with lemon wedges and onion rings
- The addition of spices is purely based on preference. You can increase or decrease the chilly powder as per need.
- Do a taste test of the fish, once they are fried. The spices in the tempering can be adjusted depending on this.
- I prefer to add apple cider vinegar for tempering. Coz somehow I always feel that lemon juice turns bitter most of the time while tempering. You can go ahead and add lemon juice if you do not have any such issues.
- Do not omit the tempering, as it gives that final red color and a very nice flavor to the preparation. If you don’t want too much heat in your fish you can opt to decrease the chilly powder in marination, and increase it while tempering, as per need.
- Also, if you are using regular red chilly powder decrease to ½ or ¾ tsp in the marination. Else, it will become very spicy.
- I have replaced honey with jaggery, as I am not sure about the compatibility of honey with fish. A little bit of sweetener added balances the remaining flavors. You can omit if you do not want it.
- Also, while tempering, I have avoided using a nonstick pan as the fish was with bone.
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