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Chai Time: Crispy Masala Fish Roll

Chai Time: Crispy Masala Fish Roll

Chai Time is an ongoing series on Spicewalla’s IGTV featuring chef and Spicewalla founder Meherwan Irani cooking Indian dishes LIVE in his home and answering all your cooking qs. Check out the video for Crispy Masala Fish Roll here to learn some tips and tricks that only an Indian mom or aunt could teach you! Follow us on instagram to tune in live and join the conversation.

This crispy masala fish roll, legendary at Chai Pani and Botiwalla, primarily uses ginger garlic paste (GGP) as the main ingredient. What's so beautiful about this dish is the fish comes out crispy without breading, it’s just the ginger garlic paste frying and forming a nice crust, and it's gluten-free! The GGP and lime juice give a nice tangy zing, warm, fragrant notes from roasted coriander, a pinch of heat from the Kashmiri chilli, and beautiful color from the turmeric. Welcome to your new favorite way to cook fish!


1 tsp Spicewalla Roasted Coriander Powder
1 tsp Spicewalla Kashmiri Chilli Powder
1/2 tsp Spicewalla Turmeric Powder
Kosher salt to taste
2 Tbs Ginger Garlic Paste (GGP)
Juice of half a lime
2 Tbs neutral oil (we used grapeseed oil), plus more for frying
1 filet flaky white fish such as tilapia, cod, or haddock, cut into 1" strips
Maggi ketchup, for finishing
Fresh cilantro, for garnish

for the cilantro chutney:
1 cup of fresh cilantro leaves
2 large cloves of garlic
Small knob of ginger
1/2 small jalapeño or serrano chilli pepper
1/2 tsp sugar
Salt to taste
Juice of half a lime


  1. Place roasted coriander powder, Kashmiri chilli powder, turmeric and salt in a medium mixing bowl and stir together. 
  2. Stir the ginger garlic paste into the dry ingredients until well combined, it should be a vibrant red color.
  3. Stir in lime juice and oil. Taste and adjust to your liking.
  4. Coat your fish in the marinate and let sit for at least 2 hours, no more than 6 hours.
  5. Heat a generous amount of neutral cooking oil in a sauce pot to 350 degrees. Using a thermometer, keep your oil between 325 and 350 degrees. (You can also pan fry in about 1" of oil as well.)
  6. Carefully drop in your well-coated fish without crowding the pot, cook until golden brown, about 3-5 minutes.
  7. Place fish on paper towel to dry off excess oil.
  8. Repeat with remainder of fish.
  9. Make the chutney: Blend all ingredients in a food processor or blender, do not puree, you are looking for a thick and chunky texture.
  10. Warm your naan on the burner and top with chutney, sliced onion, Maggi ketchup, and more cilantro.
  11. For the full Chai Pani experience, wrap in foil or wax paper and enjoy!


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