Red Chili Fish Fry (Lal Mirchi Ki Macchi)

Serve this North Indian dish with basmati rice. For a milder version, add 1/2 cup of light coconut milk instead of water in step 4. You can buy ginger-garlic paste, black mustard seeds, and curry leaves at Indian markets and online.

Serves: 4Hands-on: 25 minutesTotal: 35 minutesDifficulty: Easy

Serves: 4


  • 4 whitefish filets (such as tilapia, catfish, or cod)
  • ¾ tsp. turmeric powder
  • 3 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • ½ tsp. black mustard seeds
  • 8 fresh curry leaves
  • 4 dried red chilies, roughly pounded
  • 1 large onion, minced
  • 2 tsp. ginger-garlic paste
  • ½ tsp. red chili powder
  • ¼ tsp. turmeric powder
  • Table salt, to taste
  • ½ cup water


  • Place the fish filets in a bowl. Rub them well with the turmeric and set aside for about 10 minutes. Rinse the filets and pat dry.
  • In a large skillet, heat the vegetable oil. Add the mustard seeds and when they begin to sputter, add the curry leaves, red chilies, and onions. Sauté for about 6–7 minutes or until well browned. Add the ginger-garlic paste, red chili powder, turmeric powder, and salt; mix well.
  • Add the fish and fry for 3 minutes. Turn and fry for another 3 minutes.
  • Add ½ cup of water and bring to a boil. Cover, lower heat, and simmer for about 6 to 8 minutes or until the fish is completely cooked through. Serve hot.