This Restaurant Style Tawa Fish is a thing of beauty, with its crispy golden crust and spicy, juicy flesh inside. It’s a super quick and can be ready in less than 20 minutes and tastes just like the restaurant’s you would think it’s take-out. Recreate your favorite Tawa Fish cheaper and better at home!
One of the things I find so much fun about food blogging as a living is putting myself up to the challenge of recreating restaurant favorites at home. Although often involving a series of trial and error, it’s very rewarding to come up with a homemade version that’s pretty close to, if not better, than the original.
The way I cook this Tawa Fish is a little unorthodox – but it’s a highly effective, no fail method! A blast of heat in a griddle pan and a basting of mustard oil and fish own juices does wonders for plain fish.
This Restaurant Style Tawa Fish is made with a basic combination of rice flour and desi seasonings. Don’t be fooled by the simplicity of this dish. The fish fries up crispy and delicious. The cooking time is so short that the smell — which, if your fish is fresh and not funky, should not be overpowering — will dissipate quickly. And in the meantime, you have an easy dinner of spicy fish with a toothsome crust, anointed with rice flour and spices, mustard oil , perfumed with fresh Lemon wedges, paired with apricot chutney and naan.
Rohu and Catla (Thela) Fish are two excellent choices for Tawa Fish, but baam, cod, or any other mild white fish should work fine. You can use any fish but my preference is rohu, skin on or off, as long as it is not too thick. Be careful not to overcook thin fillets.
If the fish starts browning too fast, reduce the heat and add a splash of mustard oil to prevent scorching, or squeeze in the juice of half a lemon.
How to cook Perfect Tawa Fish every time!
1. Use a heavy duty Griddle (Tawa) – it DOES NOT need to be a non stick griddle or pan! Contrary to popular belief, it’s not just about using a non stick pan. A thin, cheap non stick pan will cause the fish to be in closer and harsher contact with the stove, causing the fish to brown unevenly in the few minutes it’s on the stove. Some crispy patches, some not so crispy ones.
Use a heavy duty Griddle (Tawa), like a cast iron pan or a good quality, heavy non stick frying pan. I love my Griddle Pan, it heats better, and more evenly, which really helps to get an even, golden, crispy crust.
2. Heat the pan first before adding the oil – I have NEVER had problems with fish sticking to the pan since I adopted this technique. It’s just an easy way to ensure the oil is hot enough but not too hot (a common mistake people make).
To do this, just heat a dry pan, and as soon as you see small wisps of smoke, add oil, swirl to coat base, then immediately add the fish.
3. If it sticks a bit, do not move until it naturally releases – Most fish fillets will initially stick to the pan as they start to cook (unless you’re using so much oil you’re basically shallow frying them). But it naturally releases once the surface is cooked and golden.
So give it a nudge, and if it doesn’t want to move, then it means that it’s not ready. So just leave it and try again in another 15 seconds or so!
4. Pat fish dry – Dry fish = crispier surface. Especially important for thawed frozen fish.
5. Keep Basting with a little oil and its own juices – it will gives nice juicy flavor.
Packed generously with a crunchy coating but there is so much more to it than what meets the eye! The flavor beneath the crunchy golden layer is delicious because of the magical spice that hits you with the first bite!! This is one fish that everyone is sure to love. Using this Restaurant Style Tawa Fish recipe, you’ll get perfectly flavored tawa fish.
That’s one last picture before you go. So that you can get a close, hard look at this Restaurant Style Tawa Fish and get tempted. Oh so so tempted.
Sauces or Chutney For Tawa Fish
With well seasoned crispy golden texture outside and spicy juicy flesh inside, I don’t need anything more than a squeeze of fresh lemon. But I am a sauce person, so I never turn down a sauce even for fish! Here are my few favorite Sauces for Tawa Fish:
- Apricot Chutney (Khubani Ki Chutney) for Tawa Fish – this is an absolute ripper. Totally restaurant worthy, few ingredients, the secret is to soak apricots before preparing the chutney.
- Mint Tamarind Chutney for fish – a shop stopper kind of chutney with its tangy Minty flavor – made with fresh mint leaves and tamarind pulp.
- Imli ki Chutney – traditionally thought of for fried fish but equally good with the Tawa Fish.
- Data Chutney / Khajoor ki Chutney – This smooth chutney, which balances the tartness of vinegar with the sweetness of dates, is a delicious accompaniment to the Tawa Fish & Naan.
- Brown Chutney – for Fish Mellow down the spice of fish by adding a little brown chutney.
- Lemon Chutney for Fish. Lip-smacking chutney to add more zesty flavor to Tawa Fish. It’s finger licking good!
This Restaurant Style Tawa Fish recipe is ‘sea’riously worth trying , it’s cheaper to make at home and tastes so much better!
Restaurant Style Tawa Fish Recipe
- Flar Iron Pan (Tawa)
- Mixing Bowl
- Large Spatula
- 1-1/2 kg Fish Fillets
- 4 tbsp Lime Juice (Khatti)
- 2 tbsp Lemon Juice (limo)
- 1 tbsp ginger paste (adrak paste)
- 2 tbsp garlic paste (lehsan paste)
- 2 tbsp crushed red chili (Kutti Lal Mirch)
- 1 tbsp coriander powder (sukha Dhainya)
- 1 tbsp cumin seeds (crushed zeera)
- 1 tbsp all spice powder ( garam masala)
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon carom seeds ( ajwain)
- salt to taste
- 2 tbsp plain flour
- 1 tbsp rice flour
- 1 tbsp water
- oil for shallow frying
- chaat masala for sprinkling
- Lemon Slices
- Cut off the fish head off directly behind the gills, if desired.
- Now rinse he fish of, inside and out, in cool water then cut fish into halves, lengthwise.
- Pat fillets dry with a paper towel.
- Sprinkle lime juice and lemon juice over the fish.
- Put salt and ginger-garlic paste on the fish.
- In a small bowl, mix together the rice flour, plain flour, red chili, coriander powder, cumin powder, all spice powder, turmeric powder, carom seeds (ajwain) with 1 tablespoon water and make a smooth paste.
- Dab this paste onto fish and refrigerate for 6 hours or preferably overnight. Remove from the fridge and strain excess water.
- Heat a large griddle (tawa) or cast-iron pan over high heat.
- Remove from the fridge and strain excess water.
- Heat a large griddle over medium heat.
- When the pan is hot, add the mustard oil ( you can use any cooking oil).
- Put the fish on the griddle, skin side down (if applicable), laying them down away from your body.
- If fish fillets have skin, press down gently with a spatula for about 20 seconds to prevent curling.
- Lower heat to medium and let sizzle until fish is crispy, golden and caramelized around edges, about 5-7 minutes.
- Carefully flip fillets and add some mustard oil to the griddle.
- Tilt the griddle slightly to let the mustard oil pool at one end.
- Use a spoon to baste the fish with the mustard oil.
- Continue basting until golden all over and cooked through, 2-3 minutes more, depending on the thickness of your fish.
- Take it out in a serving platter when crispy and golden brown from outside and cooked from inside.
- Sprinkle chaat masala and lemon juice over it.
- Garnish with Lemon slices.
- Your Restaurant Style Tawa Fish is ready to eat. ENJOY!!
If I may, ahem, say so myself, I’ve had quite a few successes with copycatting recipes. Here are a few of my favorites if you’d like to check them out:
Put your own spin on it. And lemme know how it turns out and do take a few seconds to rate it! I would love to see your recreations so tag me on instagram @recipestable or Facebook (Recipestable) or on Twitter so I can see how lovely yours turn out.