Never Stop Running and Fish Pakodas

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!!

Fish Pakodas
An IFR original recipe

fish pakodas
  • 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

  1. Cut the fish fillets into nugget size bites
  2. Mix the besan, yogurt, egg-white, lemon juice, ajwain, chilli powder, ginger, garlic and salt into a thick batter
  3. Marinate the fish in this batter for about half an hour, preferably in the fridge
  4. Heat the oil in a shallow frying pan; make sure it is not too hot or smoking
  5. 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.
  6. Drain as much oil off the fish pakoda by placing them on a paper towels
  7. 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.


Anonymous said...

I bet you loved the pakodas! :-(
Since I came to Canada from India, all I know is how to put meat in sandwiches, and gulp it down with pop.

Give out some easy recipes for newbies now, come on!



Indian Food Rocks said...

Hey Mairu! Good to see you here!

If I can cook, anyone can!! Most of the recipes here are my own. Kheema and Turkey Burgers are really simple and taste great.

Tell me what you miss and I'll try to come up with a real easy recipe for it. I've been meaning to put recipes for chutneys but life gets in the way every so often. Drat! It's tax time (in the US) too and as usual, we're scrambling to get it done.

Indira said...

Umm.. Looks delicious.

Jag said...

Interesting you use youghurt and egg-white in the pakora batter mix. We have been using just water since as far as I can remember!

It's great to discover other people's variations to try out - endless possibilities!

Check out our method/recipe at:

Indian Food Rocks said...

Hi Jag, since this recipe has fish, it's important that the pakoda stay in the pan long enough for the fish to cook. With most veggie pakodas, you can toss them in hot oil, have the batter become crisp and not worry about e-coli or other bacteria. Not so with fish. The egg-white held the pakoda together very well and actually helped in ensuring that the fish cooked thoroughly.

I noticed you are in London. Stay safe!

SPG said...

The Fish pakoda looks yummy! I'm going to try it out!