10 Delicious Seafood Recipes from Northern India to cook up

You know why an Indian meal is an exhilarating and deeply gratifying adventure? That’s because Indian food is as regionally specific and diverse as its population. The cuisines are heavily influenced by India’s history, conquerors, trade partners, and the religious and cultural practices of its common people. Owing to its vast coastline India is a land of exotic fishes and seafood. Different states in India have a varied repertoire of recipes of preparing and cooking varieties of seafood. Different species of fish, crabs, shrimp, mussels and prawns are fried, baked, pickled, salted and preserved to make delicious dishes having a unique identity of their own.
So, get your aprons out and get ready to cook up some lip-smacking curries, tikkas and tandoori fish as we embark on this journey of exploring the top 10 seafood recipes from Northern India.
  1. Amritsari Fish Fry from Punjab

    Well this one is a complete no brainer – A visit to Amritsar is incomplete if you haven’t laid your hands on this crispy batter covered flaky white fish fillets – spiced with Indian flavours of garlic, ginger, cumin and chaat masala. A hero at North Indian weddings this preparation is usually served as an appetizer. A very simple recipe to make, but the flavor packs a punch. All you need to do is make the batter and dunk every piece of fish into it before deep frying. Season it with chaat masala and a squeeze of lime and you are good to go. The only pre-requisite is that you need to get hold of really fresh fish.

    Recipe: Fish Fry
     

  2. Fish Tikka from Old Delhi

    One of the most common dishes at seafood restaurants across India, this fish kebab comprises of chewy pieces of fish soaked in tandoori masala, mint, spices and yoghurt and then grilled in the tandoor or a clay oven. This is a delicious spicy fish recipe which can be eaten with Biryani, Butter Nan, Kulcha or any other Indian breads. Use of different marinades will give you different forms of this fish as Fish Ajwaini Tikka, where the fish is marinated with carom seeds, Fish Hariyali Tikka- here the fish is marinated with mint and coriander chutney. A large boneless fish marinated for atleast 6 to 8 hours is all that you need to make a spicy, tangy and melt in the mouth fish tikka. This kebab is usually cooked in the clay oven or tandoor, but you can try this stove top method here.

    Recipe: Fish Tikka
     

  3. Gaad Nadur from Kashmir

    An important Kashmiri delicacy usually cooked on religious occasions and festivals like Shivaratri and also on cultural functions like ‘Shraan Sundar’ (ceremonial bath) of a newly born baby in the family. Nadur in Kashmiri means lotus. In this delicacy, fish is cooked with lotus stem and vari, a Kashmiri spice blend and what results in an semi dry, robust Kashmiri preparation. A rich gravy with dollops of desi ghee, as is the custom with most Kashmiri delicacies, this curry comes together with thin slices of fresh lotus stems for the ultimate local touch. A waft of cinnamon tickles your taste buds and this is best eaten with a mound of white rice, or a thick roti, slathered with some more ghee. You need to use King Fish or Surmai to get that indigenous taste. The other variant of this delicacy is where fish is cooked with radish and is called Muji Gaad. Fill your kitchen with the sweet smell of this Kashmiri curry.

    Recipe: Gaad Nadur
     

  4. Kullu Trout from Himachal Pradesh

    From the house of Himachal Pradesh, this pan fried fish preparation gets its unique flavor from dill leaves and lemon rind which form an integral part of the marinade. With a tempering of mustard seeds, coriander and lemon juice this recipe is sure gives a punch with its flavors. The beauty of this mouth-watering dish is credited to the freshness of the juicy fish itself. Best place to get it? Befriend a Himachali and pray you’re welcomed into their home for a good fish curry dinner! Or get hold of some Trout and the necessary ingredients and make this recipe for a great weeknight dinner.

    Recipe: Kullu Trout
     

  5. Tandoori Jhinga

    Another spectacular preparation from the kitchens of the North, this is the Indian version of the grilled shrimp. A twist on the popular Indian favourite Tandoori Chicken. I am quite fond of the chicken variation but I just love what the recipe does to prawns. Prawns are marinated in a tandoori masala and cooked on the BBQ, in a girdle or baked in an oven. Most of you may not have a tandoor (outdoor clay oven) so just use a regular oven. Or better still, barbecue the prawns and serve with cold beer! Best way to experience this crowd-pleasing entree that will entertain your family and friends is to whip it up yourself but we will say that it’s the quality of the prawns and how well they are cleaned that makes all the difference. Serve it with mint yoghurt chutney are you are ready with a party pleaser!

    Recipe: Tandoori Jhinga
     

  6. Machchi Ke Sooley from Rajasthan

    If you’re cooking for friends or for a party then these fish kebabs will do the trick; marinated in a gorgeous blend of spices they’re prefect grilled or fried. Give your taste buds a flavourful shock with this Rajasthani gem. Be it a special meal for the family or a pot luck, these kindhearted Machchi Ke Sooley will always come to your rescue. Tender fish pieces are marinated in a green paste enhanced with the bright flavor of dry mango and ginger powder, gives this dish its delectable taste. You can actually amaze yourself by cooking deliciously perfect machchi ke sooley at home.

    Recipe: Macchi ke Sooley
     

  7. Zamin Doz Machhili from Uttar Pradesh

    This dish originated in Lucknow, a traditional fish dish from the royal kitchens of Awadh. An ancient recipe of stuffing a whole fish with spices, sealing it in an earthenware pot, burying it in the ground and covering it with charcoal or cow dung fire on top. This results in an earthy flavored fish preparation that takes 6-8 hours to cook. In a modern kitchen you can bake this fish in an oven at the lowest possible temperature. You need to get hold of good quality whole Salmon and Trout to recreate this magic in your kitchen. Don’t worry let the spices work their charm for you in this dish.

    Recipe: Zamin Doz Macchili
     

  8. Fish Kofta Curry – Rajasthan

    In Fish Kofta curry, ground fish is spiced, rolled into a ball shape and then either deep fried or baked or grilled and simmered in delicious thick gravy. A perfect main course dish that can be served alongside rice and a green salad or vegetarian side dish. These koftas melt in mouth and the mildly sweet and spicy gravy compliments them. This awesome recipe will motivate you to get yourself a boneless Tilapia fillet and cook this child friendly fish delicacy. It’s surely easy enough to include this dish on your dining table if you so please.

    Recipe: Fish Kofta Curry
     

  9. Tandoori Pomfret

    A delicious fish delight. This dish is for those days when you’re craving something lighter, and not the chicken and the mutton kebabs. This delicate tandoori pomfret will liberate you. As you might imagine, whole Pomfret are soaked in an orange, spicy tandoori masala and grilled in a tandoor. They say this dish first appeared on the very first menu of Moti Mahal and remains there to this day. These kebabs are then charred to perfection. A tip – squeeze that lime all over it for an extra zesty, acidic touch. It makes the fish sing.

    Recipe: Tandoori Pomfret
     

  10. Mughlai Fish Curry

    With the wide spices found across North India, this fish curry has the unique fragrance of different flavours mingling to tickle your taste buds. A rich blend of poppy seeds and cashews gives this curry a thick texture, making this a classic Mughlai curry. Suitable for special occasions, it tastes best poured over hot steamed rice or mopped up with rotis.

    Recipe: Mughlai Fish Curry

Add these recipes to your collection and embark on a fishy affair with us. Stay tuned for more seafood recipe collections from Southern India


About the Author
She day-dreams about new recipes, devours cook-books, writes, cooks and takes pictures of delicious food.
Monalisa Mehrotra


Image Credit: Cover
Image Credit: FishFry
Image Credit: Fish Tikka
Image Credit: Gaad Nadur
Image Credit: Kullu Trout
Image Credit: Tandoori Jhinga
Image Credit: Macchi Ke Sooley
Image Credit: Zamin Doz Machhili
Image Credit: Fish Kofta Curry
Image Credit: Tandoori Pomfret
Image Credit: Mughlai Fish Curry

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