Friday, 13 July 2012

Amritsari Macchi - Punjabi Style Pomfrets

Here is a delicious fried fish dish known as "Amritsari Macchi", with the flavor of Ajwain (also known as carom, ajowan, or bishop's weed), which is a delicacy in Punjabi cuisine. "Ajwain" is a herb also known as Bishops Weed. This beneficial herb is used in culinary process as spice as well as a major ingredient of different kind of medicines. Ajwain seeds are small in size but taste hot, penchant and bitter. It acts as good appetizer and laxative and used to treat abdominal pains. 
This dish makes an excellent snack as well as a starter to a meal. The Punjabis mostly make this dish using boneless pieces of fish and the fish mostly used is Sole, but I have used whole Pomfrets to make this legendary "Amritsari Macchi".

Serves 3

Pomfrets - 3 to 4 - large

Ajwain (or carom, ajowan, or bishop's weed) - 2 tsp
Garlic paste - 2 tsp
Ginger paste - 2 tsp
Red chilli powder - 2 tsp
Garam masala - 1 tsp
Lemon juice - 6 tbsp
Salt - 2 tsp
Gram flour - 4 tbsp
Oil - for frying
Chaat Masala - for garnishing
Mint leaves - for garnishing

Clean the pomfrets and pat dry.
Mix together Ajwain, Garlic paste, Ginger paste, Red chilli powder, salt , garam masala and lemon juice to make a thick paste. Marinate the fish in this paste/marinade doe 2-3 hrs in the fridge.

Now take a pan, add oil so that one side of the pomfret gets immersed in the oil. Keep on medium heat.
Now take each pomfret, sprinkle gram flour on either sides and fry in oil on both sides till they are golden and crisp.

You can also shallow fry if you wish.
Some traditional Punjabi cooks actually cover the whole fish or fish pieces with gram flour batter and then deep fry but I have just sprinkled the same as per my liking.
Serve hot garnished with chaat masala, lemon wedges and mint leaves.

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