Spicy Indian Fish Fingers Recipe
Rasam powder is a South Indian spice-mix that is easily available in any Indian grocery store. The addition of rasam powder to this dish adds a lovely depth of flavor but is completely optional. I have included a homemade recipe for rasam powder, but feel free to buy the readymade version. The MTR brand is my personal favorite.
This basic recipe also works well with any firm white fish fillet such as tilapia, sole, cod, halibut, flounder, pollock, grouper, mahi-mahi, sea bass…).
RASAM POWDER (South Indian Spice Mix)
½ cup toor dal (split pigeon peas)
¼ cup chana dal (split chickpeas)
8-10 fresh curry leaves
5-6 dried red chilies, to taste
2 tsp black mustard seeds
2 tbsp cumin seeds
3 tbsp coriander seeds
1 tbsp black peppercorns
½ tsp fenugreek seeds (methi seeds), optional
1 tsp turmeric (haldi)
good pinch of asafetida (hing)
Dry roast, let cool and grind to a fine powder. Store in the pantry for up to 1 month and in the refrigerator for up to 3 months.
SPICY INDIAN FISH FINGERS
1 lb firm, boneless/skinless fish filets (I used cod filets)
1½ tbsp cornstarch
½ tsp smoked Spanish paprika
½-1 tsp red chili powder, to taste
½ tsp garlic powder
1 tsp ground coriander powder
½ tbsp rasam powder
salt & pepper, to taste
1 large egg
1 cup of Panko bread crumbs
1 tbsp of peanut oil (or any vegetable oil)
cooking spray as needed
First, preheat your oven to 475 degrees F. Then line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil & spray lightly with cooking spray (or you can simply use non-stick aluminum foil). Set aside until needed.
Then in a large mixing bowl, combine the cornstarch along with the paprika, red chili powder, garlic powder, ground coriander powder, rasam powder, salt & pepper). Mix well to combine & set aside until needed.
Next, cut the fish filets into long strips lengthwise (about 2-3” in length and about 1” or so in width). Then add the fish strips to the bowl with the mixed spices & toss gently – until the fish strips are lightly coated with the spices. Let marinate for about 10-15 minutes or so.
While the fish is marinating, in another large flat bowl – make an egg wash by simply mixing the egg with a little water (about 1 tbsp) & lightly beating to combine.
Now in another large flat bowl, combine the Panko breadcrumbs along with the peanut oil and a good pinch of salt & pepper. For super spicy fish fingers, feel free to add ½ tsp red chili powder to the Panko breadcrumb mixture. Mix well to combine.
Now in simple assembly line fashion: dip each fish strip into the egg wash first, making sure it is lightly coated on all sides. Then roll the fish strips around in the Panko breadcrumb mixture, lightly pressing & making sure they are well coated on all sides. Lastly, place each breaded fish strip onto the prepared baking sheet.
Bake for about 12-15 minutes or until golden brown. Feel free to sprinkle them with just a little more rasam powder as soon as they are out of the oven & still hot. Serve with your favorite sauces & dips.
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