There are umpteen ways one can make fish fry and this perhaps is one more addition to the list. I have always found, oats are healthy as much as they are versatile and we are trying to include it in our day-today cooking other than having it with warm milk as breakfast. But then to be honest about it, that is something I am not too fond of. The sogginess of oats in warm milk completely puts me off, even if I do get extra sugar in it, or may be mash up some bananas or add other fruits into it. So, perhaps that’s why I try to cook them in other possible ways. Well, I often grind them finely and store it in air-tight containers, and then use as required – like mix in with whole wheat flour to make rotis or granola bars or granola ladoo or oats carrot and raisin cookies or apple -pear-oats smoothie or yogurt shakes etc and sometimes even coat it over fish fillets/chicken drumsticks for frying purpose.
This fish fry recipe is just like that, a fish fillet is first marinated with Indian spices and then its coated with spiced and grounded oats mixture and then deep fried. If you think frying is lot of calorie generating, then put them in oven and bake it off. But then, that baking method of fish is something I am not that fond of either, unless it calls for spiced gravy accompanied with it or the fish itself is cooked in the spiced gravy in oven/microwave like a “dum pukht” type of preparation .These types of “bhaja” as in Bengali or fry in English, as the name suggest should be done according to what it should be, like dropping them in hot oil and then deep fried. There is no substitute of the flavor and texture of deep fried fish fry that gets generated by following this way. So, as the name goes for it, recipe for sea bass fish fry is written beneath. You can even try this recipe with any firm white fish fillets like Haddock, Pollock or more traditional Cod as well.
Sea Bass fish fry
3-4 sea bass fish fillets
1 tsp of red pepper powder
1 tsp of turmeric powder
2 tsp of freshly grounded home –made masala
Take about 2 heaped tbs of coriander seeds+1 tbs of cumin seeds+few cardamoms+few cloves+ cinnamon sticks+3-4 dry red whole chilli.Grind them to a fine powder to get freshly made home-made rubbing/marinating masala.
2 tsp of lemon juice
Salt as per taste
For the coating of the fish fry
1 cup of tightly packed quick cook oats or porridge oats
10-15 whole black peppercorns
2 tsp of nigella seeds
Salt as per taste
Half cup of cooking oil for frying
Marinate the sea-bass fish fillets or any other fish fillets – like haddock, cod and polluck etc with the home-made freshly grounded masala+red pepper powder+turmeric powder+salt+lemon juice.
Now coarsely ground porridge oats, or quick cook oats. I have often used Scottish porridge oats for the coating and it works out fine. Put this grounded oats in a flat plate.
Grind some 8-10 whole black peppercorn or "gol morich'+1 tsp of nigella seeds or "kalo jeerey" into fine powder.You can even make this powder in bulk, store and use accordingly as the recipe calls for it.
Take about a tsp of this freshly made powder and mix in with the grounded oats. Adjust salt also. You can add whole of the grounded mixture for even more spice
After about half an hour, put the marinated fillet in the above grounded oats mixture. Coat well with the mixture, shake off excess of it and then again coat well, pressing some of it even with clean hands. You can even do egg wash if you wish to coat fish with eggs and then coat them with oats mixture again kind of “double coating method”.
Now put a deep bottom pan/kadai or fry pan over medium high heat, hob mark 6 or 7.
When the pan is heated enough, add in cooking oil, check if the oil is ready for deep frying. Drop some cumin seeds if it sizzles then the oil is ready for deep frying.
Now fry the fish fillets over a medium heat to medium high heat for about 4-5 mints. Take out and then drain off excess oil over kitchen towel.
Serve and enjoy. I had these with cooked cous-cous+green peas and potato stir/fry- “sabzi/torkari” and boiled eggs. A complete meal itself.
Happy cooking friends