Saraswat-style Green-masala Surmai fry

Marinating the fish with  green masala..

Marinating the fish with green masala..

Green Masala Surmai fry..

Green Masala Surmai fry..

Saraswat style green masala Surmai fry, top-view..

Saraswat style green masala Surmai fry, top-view..

Fish was something I did not prepare for a while, ever since the onset on monsoons since this happens to be the breeding season for fish and traditionally, fishing is avoided during these months. Now that the new fishing season has commenced, and also because the family will be sticking to vegetarian food during the Ganpati festival starting tomorrow, there was just that narrow window to cook with fish which we were craving for a while.

A senior colleague of mine belongs to the Goan Saraswat community, and they are really well-known for their lip-smacking fish preparations. She was craving her fish fix before Ganpati too, so encouraged by each other, we went to the local market to procure some fresh catch. My family has traditionally been vegetarian, so I learnt everything I know about fish either from friends or by trial and error. So yesterday was a wonderful experience for me going fish-shopping with my colleague who taught me the finer nuances of selecting the perfect fish, getting the right cuts, and avoiding those which may not be so fresh. We bought some Surmai or kingfish yesterday, and I made a fish-fry with those with a family recipe that the same colleague graciously shared with me.


1kg Surmai (kingfish) roundels;

1 Ā½ cup fresh coriander leaves;

15-20 garlic cloves, peeled;

2-inch piece of ginger, peeled;

4-5 slit green chillies;

1tbsp lemon juice;

1/4tsp cumin seeds;

5-6 pepper corns;

Rice flour, for coating;

Oil, for shallow frying;

Salt, to taste.


  1. Wash the fish roundels properly under running water, drain in a colander and then pat dry with a clean kitchen towl.
  2. In a blender jar, add coriander leaves, garlic, ginger, green chillies, pepper corns and cumin. Grind then together without any water, to make a smooth paste. This forms the green masala base.
  3. Add salt and lemon juice to the ground masala base and combine. Coat the fish roundels evenly with the green masala paste and marinate for 30-45 minutes.
  4. Take some rice flour in a plate and coat the fish slices uniformly.
  5. Heat a non-stick pan on high heat and then heat oil in it till it reaches a smoking temperature. Then gently place the fish slices into the pan and shallow fry on high heat for a minute.
  6. Lower the heat now and cook for 3-4 minutes more on the same side with the pan covered.
  7. Flip the fish and cook on the other side as before for 4-5 minutes on low flame.
  8. Serve hot with sliced onions, a wedge of lime and the Konkani drink Sol Kadhi.

Note: Any other fish can be used similarly with the same masala.


7 comments on “Saraswat-style Green-masala Surmai fry

  1. abhishekramgadia
    September 16, 2015

    Thanks for sharing the recipe. Looks pretty simple to use. Will surely give it a try next time around. Also do share some fish buying tips as I am not even close to a novice when it come to buying a fish šŸ™‚


    • nitali04
      September 16, 2015

      Thank you Abhishek..It is quite an easy to prepare, yet delicious recipe that she shared with me..She described several things to look for in different kind of fish; scales, intactness of skin, eyes and several others that is too long a list to include here..Maybe we should do a fish-shopping trip with other foodies sometime..

      Liked by 1 person

      • abhishekramgadia
        September 16, 2015

        So when I plan to cook, I will have to pick you up from MG Road first , to buy the fish ….


  2. nitali04
    September 16, 2015

    haha..else just go to Taru’s shop near Kumbharwada..always has very fresh fish and will guide you properly if you tell them you are a novice..


    • abhishekramgadia
      September 16, 2015

      Kumbharwada !! Where is this place now ? I see one sear Saswad… Seriously, Saswad if it is that one !


  3. nitali04
    September 16, 2015

    no, this one is near PMC building..


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This entry was posted on September 16, 2015 by in Recipes and tagged , , , , , , , .
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