Sigh. I made the mistake of allowing my 6 year old to watch the 18th Kids' Choice Awards on Nickelodeon against my better judgement. Even deeper sigh. We were up till 2 a.m. last night because my daughter's calves and ankles hurt. We are not a pill-popping family so we did the entire regimen: sit up and massage your own legs, hot water bottle (well, hot gel-pack), Ben-Gay, some more massage, Reiki. I was very close to reaching out for Tylenol when she blurted out that she didn't stop running because she wanted to defeat the "little person in her head who kept telling her to stop running." Huh? But, since Will Smith told all kids to "keep running" on Nick's annual show, she thought she would be giving up when things got tough and kept on running...I desperately want to throw something at Will Smith. It's bad enough that we lost an hour on Saturday night due to Daylight Saving Time; I was up through most of Sunday night, too.
It was the thought of delicious fish pakodas that kept me going through today. Fish pakodas? Yes! That, too, with yogurt. There is a belief in some parts of India that fish and yogurt don't go well together and is a recipe for a stomach upset. I pooh-pooh the thought because I stand testimony to the fact that no stomach upset occurs. While growing up, Sunday lunch used to be spicy kingfish curry, which I would tone down with home-made yogurt. No stomach upset ever ensued; just bliss!!
An IFR original recipe
- 3 fillets of catfish (or tilapia)
- 1 cup of besan
- 1/2 cup of yogurt
- 1 egg-white
- 1 tbsp lemon juice, preferably fresh
- pinch of ajwainoptional
- 1 tsp red chilli powder
- 2 inch piece of ginger, grated
- 2 medium cloves of garlic, grated
- salt to taste
- oil for shallow frying
- Cut the fish fillets into nugget size bites
- Mix the besan, yogurt, egg-white, lemon juice, ajwain, chilli powder, ginger, garlic and salt into a thick batter
- Marinate the fish in this batter for about half an hour, preferably in the fridge
- Heat the oil in a shallow frying pan; make sure it is not too hot or smoking
- Gently put the fish nuggets, coated generously with the batter, into the oil and fry each side until golden brown, approximately about 3-4 minutes each side on medium heat. Less if the fillets are on the thinner side.
- Drain as much oil off the fish pakoda by placing them on a paper towels
- If you have chaat masala, sprinkle some on the pakodas and for the best flavor, eat while the pakodas are hot!!
We loved these fish pakodas which were inspired by 100% vegetarian grated onion pakodas - no egg or fish. I usually have a fair amount of batter left after the fish is done, so I add grated onion to this mixture - about half an onion or so. Since the onions are usually juicy and release their own juices, I add about 1/4 cup more of besan to prevent the batter from becoming too runny. Drop small quantities of this mixture into the oil and fry till golden brown. The ajwain gives it a delicious aroma and the chaat masala adds a tang to the overall excellent spicy taste flavor.