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Sunday, October 15, 2017

Dhakai Fish

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I have had the good fortune to be always blessed with great neighbors. Our Seattle home is no exception. We meet a few times over the summer vacation to indulge in barbecue and pot-lucks.This summer when one of my neighbors organized a get-together at their place, I asked them what I should get. I got the request of something spicy.

I wanted to ensure I bring something from our homeland and not the fake Indian food like butter chicken. It also needed to be finger food and palatable to the western taste. I settled on Dhakai fish, which is a shallow fried fish garnished with sautéed onion and green chilies. I made it with locally available fresh rock-fish fillet. You can use any fish of your choice both as fillet or cut into steaks. You can even use whole cut fish like pomfret. Just change the frying time depending on the size of the fish.

I have no clue why this is referred to as “Dhakai” or from Dhaka the capital of Bangladesh, it’s just what my mom used to call it.

Ingredients

  • 1lb fish fillets cut into medium cubes (2" *2")
  • 1tbswp. ginger garlic paste
  • 1 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp. red chili powder
  • 2 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp. rice flour
  • 2 tbsp. Besan (Bengal Gram Flour)
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil for shallow frying

For Serving

  • 1 onion thinly sliced
  • 2tbsp. minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp. minced ginger
  • 2 tbsp. chopped green chilies
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp. oil

Procedure


Marinate the fish cubes with all ingredients other than the flours and oil for half an hour.

Once the margination is over sprinkle the flours over it and mix it gently so the fish cubes are roughly coated with the flours.

Heat oil in a frying pan and fry the fish pieces on medium high heat in a single layer so that their surface turns crispy yet the inside stays soft and juicy. It takes about three minutes. Remove them.

Now keep one tbsp. oil in the pan and add chopped ginger, garlic, onion sliced fry on medium high heat for about two to three minutes. Add green chilies to it and fry everything together on low heat.
Add fried fished to it and toss very gently to coat the fishes with the fried spices. Take care not to break the fishes.

Serve on a platter and garnish with chopped cilantro and crushed black pepper.

Enjoy with plain rice or as a finger food.


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