A word of warning-- the name of this recipe may sound spicy but it is not anything fiery.
I would say it is just an awesome combination of spices that you can rub on any kind of fish and get the same excellent taste. The combination of the spices and shallots enhance the flavor and marinate the fish so well that it reminds me of being in Kerala. I used smelt this time especially since they remind me of a tiny fish that is local to Kerala called "netholi". Sometimes, I may decide to omit the black pepper and shallots for a quick King fish fry instead.
Smelts- 1 lb washed and cleaned.
Chilli powder- 1 Tblspn
Corainder Powder- 1 tspn
Shallots- 2 cut in half
Black Pepper powder-1/4 tspn
Lemon juice- 1 tspn
Curry leaves - 1 sprig
Salt to taste
Flour- 3 Tblspn
Oil for pan frying
1. In a blender or food processor, blend shallots, Chilli, black pepper and coriander powder in lemon juice until smooth.
Do not add any water. If it needs water, add a tspn.
2. Rub the paste along with salt into and all over the fish. Leave this overnight in the refrigerator.
3. When ready to eat, heat oil in a shallow skillet. When the oil is piping hot, reduce the flame to medium.
4. Take the marinated fish and toss very lightly in the flour to coat and fry it up in the hot oil.
5. Turn the fish only after the first side is brown and remove when both sides are the same color. Drain the fish and toss with curry leaves.
6. Serve with sliced onions and lemon wedges if desired.