Masala Fish Fry - the ghee edition

Masala Fish Fry - the ghee edition

3 minute read

My grandmom, Dolly or Dolly Mumma as I fondly called her was a complete lover of fish. For her, a meal was never complete without a small piece of fish on the side. It didn’t have to be anything fancy like pomfret – even a small bangda fish (mackarel) or a fillet of Surmai (king fish) would do.

Even when she got older and lost all her teeth, she would secretly request her grandkids to get her a piece of fish to have with her rice and dal. We had to somehow feed it to her without her children (our parents) finding out because they had forbidden her from having fish in the fear of her swallowing a bone.

The quickest way to satiate her craving was to whip up a Masala Fish Fry.

While there's growing awareness of Indian fish dishes like the Prawn curry or Patra ni Machchi, no one talks about the humble Masala Fish Fry. Coated in two spices and ready in five minutes, Masala Fish Fry can jazz up any dish in my opinion. Who wouldn’t enjoy a fillet of freshly fried fish to go with their boring weekday vegetables or curry. Or, if you’re feeling indulgent you could even just have two fillets of fish with some fresh roti! 

Masala Fish Fry (especially my ghee edition) works best with plain rice and dal. The kick of spice and the creaminess of the ghee complements the blandness of the dal well and makes what many may think of as an ordinary meal, extraordinary!

In the recipe below I've used Trevally but this works with salmon, snapper, king fish or even some frozen prawns! 

Fish Marinating for fried fish


2 thick fillets of any firm fish - trevally or snapper works great
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp red chilli powder
Salt to taste
4-5 tbsp Dolly Mumma Spiced Ghee
Optional: 1 tbsp Dolly Mumma Tandoori Paste
Lemon juice for squeezing


  • Wash the fish well and marinate the required amount of fillets in turmeric powder, red chilli powder, salt and the Tandoori Paste. Let this sit for about 30 minutes.
  • In a shallow frying pan, heat up the Dolly Mumma Spiced Ghee. The quantity of ghee you use depends on the thickness of your fish fillet. You could use less if your fillets are thinner/you're frying up prawns.
  • Slowly lower your fish into the pan taking care to not splatter the ghee all over your hand. Cover the pan with a glass lid and day-dream about the goodness of the Masala Fish Fry in your mouth while it cooks for two minutes. 
  • When the two minutes are up, slowly turn the fish around and fry the other side as well. Test that the fish is done by inserting a knife – it should come out clean and the flesh inside should be tender to the touch.
  • Serve immediately alongside your main meal, don't forget that squeeze of lemon juice!
  • I recommend NOT straining the fish on paper towel etc because you want the masala ghee to add that beautiful fishy flavour to your meal.

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Spiced Ghee

Spiced Ghee


Our Spiced Ghee is also better known as tadka or tempering. Made with locally sourced ghee, our tadka can be used anywhere you'd normally use oil or butter. It is especially magical in soups, dahl and stews. Wheat free |… read more

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