Vanjaram Meen Varuval / Vanjaram Chepa Vepudu/ King Mackerel fry
The one fish mostly, I and brothers enjoyed eating, growing up was 'King fish'. The second best was Pom fret. We were hardly exposed to any other variety of fish. As the name says King fish lives up to its royalty in taste and so not to mention its cost.. This is one fish so popular in South Indian. Back home we used to enjoy this fish both the fried and the gravy with absolute indulgence...It was a staple very week in our house hold. Mum used to fry it so passionately, that the aroma of fried fish would make it difficult for us to finish our home works and wait till dinner time to enjoy it with hot rice and rasam or sambar.
My mom had a simple method of making this fish fry. Just add home made chilly powder(which consists of other spices too), turmeric and salt. God knows how even with so less ingredients the taste used to be so excellent.
After marriage I adopted a newer version adding ginger garlic paste, and off late I add sambar powder and tamarind paste to enhance the taste more..but I still miss my mom's chepa vepudu(fish fry).
For now here is my version :
6-7 medium sized Vanjaram fish fillets, skin on
2 Tbsp oil
1 tsp ginger-garlic paste
1 Tbsp Sambar powder
1/4 tsp turmeric pwd
1 tsp red chilli pwd
1/4 tsp Tamarind paste
salt to taste
few curry leaves
1 medium Onion cut into Wedges
Few Lime Wedges
Combine all the marinade items to make a paste. Add a few drops of water if the marinade is dry.
Clean and wash the fish fillets and pat them of any water.
Apply the marinade to the fish pieces and keep aside for 20-30 mts.
Heat oil in a non-stick pan/tawa, place the marinated fish and fry for 10-12 mts on medium heat, flipping on the next side after one side is reddish brown.
Just before removing flip the pieces again and add few curry leaves to roast along with the fish for a minute
Remove from heat and garnish with onion and lemon wedges topped with roasted curry leaves.
Enjoy with hot plain rice with sambar or pappu charu.
Will post the gravy version next.