Fish Fry Masala Recipe

Fish fry masala is one of the most common fish preparation styles in India’s coastal regions.

Generally, people from these areas catch their fish from the sea and fry with well-preserved masalas. This quick cooking technique actually helps retain the best flavors and taste of the fresh catch, which you’d never find in restaurants.

If you get some fresh fish from you local market, you can replicate the same method and treat your taste buds with this preparation.

In the following post, I’ll show you the way to make your own masala required for this fish fry recipe. And of course, I’ll also talk about some of its variations served in different parts of India.

So, let’s begin with the preparation part and then I’ll take you to its traditional recipe.

How to make Masala Paste

It’s not as difficult as it sounds. Just get these couple of spices and you should be good to go.


  • Onion – 1, medium sized
  • Ginger – Small sized piece
  • Garlic – 5-6 pods
  • Coriander Seeds – 2 teaspoon
  • Fennel Seeds – 1/4 teaspoon
  • Cumin Seeds – 1/4 teaspoon
  • Black Peppercorns – 5-6 nos.
  • Dry Kashmiri Red Chilli – 1, cut into half
  • Yogurt – 2 teaspoon


  1. Dry roast all the spices in a pan on medium flame.
  2. When some of the spices start to change their colors, turn off the flame and allow them to cool down.
  3. Get a grinder and add these roasted spices along with Onion, Ginger, Garlic, and Yoghurt.
  4. Prepare a very fine paste out of it and keep aside.

Fish Fry Masala Recipe

Now that we have prepared the paste for fish fry masala, it’s time to use it in the following recipe.

For this type of recipe, it’s always recommended to get a fish that can be sliced into decent pieces. I’ve selected Pomfret for this preparation, as it’s a favorite fish among seafood lovers.


  • Pomfret Fish Pieces – 4-5 nos.
  • Fish Masala Paste – 2-3 tablespoon or as required
  • Turmeric Powder – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Red Chilli Powder – 1-1/2 teaspoon
  • Oil for shallow frying
  • Salt to taste

Marination –

Here’s how you can marinate the fish pieces with your masala paste and some other spices –

  1. Clean the Pomfret pieces thoroughly with water.
  2. Put the salt, turmeric powder, red chili powder and fish masala on these pieces.
  3. Coat this mixture properly on the pieces.
  4. Cover it and keep in the refrigerator for around half an hour.

Note – We have used Yoghurt in the masala paste preparation, so there is no need to use Lemon juice again.


1. Heat some oil in a pan on medium-high flame.

2. When the oil turns hot, place the marinated fish pieces in the pan.

3. Cover it with the lid and cook for around 3-4 minutes.

4. Now, turn the pieces upside down and cook further for another 3-4 minutes. This time, though, do not cover it with the lid.

5. Switch off the flame and get ready to serve.

6. (Optional Step) – Garnish your fish fry masala with very finely chopped coriander leaves.

Serve it with any of your favorite Indian bread. I like to enjoy it with Maharashtrian Rice Bhakri.

In case you don’t have time to make these breads, serve it with Plain Rice and Fish Curry/Sambar/Dal.

Variations for Fish Fry Masala

As you can see above, I’ve shared all the details that are needed for this delicious fish fry masala recipe. Some people, however, use their own set of masalas to come with this type of dish.

Here’re some of the interesting variations for you –

Gram Flour based Masala Paste

In this variation, you should add gram flour in place of Onion as the base ingredient. The flour basically helps in binding other spices together.

Apart from this, there is no major change as far as above recipe is concerned. You may replace Yoghurt with Lemon Juice if you want.

So, that’s pretty much about it and you can follow rest of the steps as mentioned.

Gram Flour Masala Batter for Fish Fry

This is another version of aforementioned variation, though it’s more close to the basic fish fry recipes.

For this recipe, you will have to prepare a smooth Gram Flour based batter with Red Chilli Powder, Turmeric Powder, Lemon Juice and Salt. When the batter is ready, you just have to dip the fish pieces into it and keep aside for marination.

Finally, you can go ahead and shallow fry the fish with or without Rice flour/Semolina coating.

Chettinad Fish Fry Masala –

Chettinad style fish fry can be prepared in a similar fashion i.e. the way I’ve shown you in the original recipe.

Have a look at these steps –

  1. Prepare Chettinad powdered masala using dry-roasted spices. (Use store bought masala powder if you want to save some time.)
  2. Marinate the fish pieces with Salt, Red Chilli Powder, Turmeric Powder and Lemon Juice for half an hour.
  3. Coat the Chettinad masala powder on the marinated pieces and fry them on both sides until you get the desired crisp color.

With Onion-Tomato or Coconut base –

In this version of the recipe, you can prepare a simple Onion-Tomato base with some of your favorite spices. Then, place the half-fried pieces into it and cook further under the lid.

If you like Coconut base, use the grated coconut and grind it to a fine paste along with the dry-roasted spices. Cook this paste in a little bit of oil. Once the base is almost cooked, add the fish pieces and follow the same process.

Personally, I like this variation, as you don’t have to cook separate curry for Roti or Bhakri. It tastes good and does save a lot of time in the kitchen.


When you come across dishes like Fish Fry Masala, you realize that you don’t really need hundreds of spices to create a mouthwatering dish.

Even a quick homemade masala paste can do wonders to your preparation. All you need to know is the trick to using it in the right dish.

Once you manage to pull it off successfully, you will hear all praises from your family, friends, and guests.

So, I hope you’ve enjoyed this recipe as much as I did while sharing it with you. If you have any questions or suggestions related to it, please drop a comment below.

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