Fish Fry (or Meen Kaidina), when made with Tilapia fillets, makes for a great after-school snack that you can cook in 30 minutes!
Origin: Fish Fry, also called as Meen Kadina (Meen = Fish, Kaidina = Fry), is a common delicacy in Mangalore normally eaten as a side dish to go with a meal. Most wedding receptions (Thodamane) and baby showers (Baayke) ceremonies in Mangalore would be incomplete without a serving of Fish Fry or Meen Kaidina. Not to be confused with the Fish Fry you see in the US, where Fish Fry is a meal consisting of either breaded or battered fish deep fried in oil.
Method: Back home, we make Fish Fry by marinating either Pomfret or Mackerel in salt, lemon juice, and chili powder and then it is rolled in Semolina and shallow fried in oil. The grocery stores close to where we live don’t carry Pomfret or Mackerel so we use Tilapia as a substitute with amazing results.
Alternate cooking technique: If you are using Tilapia, you can also bake the fish in the oven. The technique I use is, I bake it in a gas oven for 6 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit, flip the fish over and broil for 5 minutes at low heat.
Serving suggestion: Typically Meen Kaidina or Fish Fry is served hot with rice and a curry-like dal.
- The use of chili in the recipe may seem excessive but the sooji or rawa neutralizes it.
- Marinating the fish is not necessary but it would be great if you can do it.
- Not all limes are made equal nor are chili powders, so use the quantities mention in the recipe as guidelines so do a quick taste test of the lime juice to check if you need more than the prescribed quantity or less.
Other Mangalorean recipes that may interest you
- Kori Gassi (Mangalorean chicken curry)
- Shrimp Ajadina (Dry shrimp/prawn Curry)
- Yeti Gassi (Shrimp curry)
- Bhuthai Gassi (Sardines in a Mangalorean gravy)
Fish Fry (Meen Kaidina)
- 1 pound Catfish / Mackerel / Pomfret / Tilapia
- 1/2 lime, juice squeezed out
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
- salt to taste
- 4 tablespoons Oil
- 1/2 cup fine sooji / rawa / semolina
- Cut the fish into the desired size.
- Prepare the marinade – Mix chili powder, lemon juice,turmeric powder and salt.
- Add the fish and mix well. Marinate it for 30 minutes,if possible,
- Heat the oil in a medium sized pan on medium heat and take one piece of a fish at a time and roll into the sooji until it is fully coated with sooji on all sides.
- Tap off the excess sooji off the fish and place it in the pan.[Note: You can fry multiple pieces at the same time but do not overcrowd the pan]
- Fry each side for 5 minutes and serve hot.
Disclaimer: Approximate Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and can vary depending on the exact ingredients/brands used. If you have health issues, please work with a registered dietician or nutritionist.
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