Classic Fried Mackerel

For me, my blog is like wet cement right now. Whatever I cook and write about, will sort of define me and leave a permanent print. So, I wondered for days about my first blog. What should I write about? What should I cook? I thought the best thing to do would be to write an elaborate dish which is super difficult to cook. But, after thinking for days about it, I decided to go back to basics. I asked myself a few questions and found the answer. The perfect answer!

As a child, I remember sitting on the kitchen counter, tasting the marinade my grandma prepared for the fish. It was spicy, sour and salty. The colour of the marinade was fire-engine red. My grandma would warn me about touching it with my bare hands. It so happens that the chilies used in the marinade would make your fingers burn even if you washed your hands several times.

Yes, I know it might sound really scary. But trust me, once the fish was cooked, something magical would happen. The red would turn into a golden almost charred colour. The spice and salt would just soak right into the flesh and give the fish the perfect flavor. With each bite, there would be a little explosion of beautiful flavours in your mouth. I could eat it just as it is or with simple boiled rice and plain dal. The fried fish must be the showstopper on your plate.

So, here you have it! One of my favourite dishes presented to you with a sprinkle of memories.


Mackerel fish – 5 nos.

Oil for frying

For the marinade –

Kashmiri red chili powder – 2 tbsp.

Spicy red chili powder – 2 tbsp.

Turmeric powder – 1 tbsp

Ginger paste – 1 tbsp

Garlic paste – 1 tbsp

White vinegar and Salt to taste


  1. Clean the mackerel by removing the guts and the gills. Wash the cavity thoroughly to get rid of any remnants.
  2. Make two diagonal slits on each side of the body. Make sure that the cut is bone deep. This will ensure that the marinade sticks and seeps in properly.
  3. After the fish is prepped, get a small bowl to make the marinade. Mix all the marinade ingredients together in the bowl and add salt and vinegar to taste. Don’t make the marinade too watery as it will not stick to the fish properly.
  4. Keep tasting it until you get the right balance of flavours. Once ready. Smear the marinade onto the fish properly. Place all the fish in a bowl and cover it with cling film. Leave it to marinate for about 20 minutes.
  5. Get a frying pan and add vegetable oil to it. After it’s hot enough, shallow fry each fish for about 4 minutes each side (depending upon the size of the fish).
  6. The fish should be slightly golden brown and little crisp on the outside.
  7. Serve it hot with lemon and sliced onions or relish it with dal and rice.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. ~j~ says:

    Lovely first blog post! And fried mackerel done the Mangalorean way is definitely one of my favourites. I’m going to look out for more posts.

    All the best, A. Cheers!

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