Puti Fish Fry Recipe (Puti Mach Bhaja)

5 from 1 vote
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Puti fish fry is a delicious and popular dish originating from South Asia, particularly West Bengal, Bangladesh and Nepal.

It features puti fish, which are small freshwater fish known for their delicate flavor.

The fish are seasoned, coated, and fried until they turn crispy and golden brown.

Puti fish fry is a favorite among seafood lovers and is often served as an appetizer, a side dish, or even as a standalone snack.

Puti Fish Fry

Key Takeaways:

  • Puti fish fry is a popular dish in South Asia, known for its crispy and flavorful preparation.
  • The dish features puti fish, which has a delicate flavor and is seasoned, and fried until crispy and golden brown.
  • Puti fish fry can be served as an appetizer, side dish, or snack and is often enjoyed with accompaniments like steamed rice, chutney, salad, pickles, and lemon wedges.
  • Pro tips for making puti fish fry include using fresh fish, marinating for an adequate time, adjusting spices to taste, maintaining the right oil temperature, frying in batches, draining excess oil, and serving immediately.
  • There are alternative fish options for puti fish fry, such as sardines, smelt, anchovies, whitebait, and mackerel, each with its own unique flavor and characteristics.

The Ingredients:

Puti Fish Fry Ingredients

  • Japani Puti Fish: 7 pieces (washed properly and slit each piece at 3-4 places)
  • Turmeric powder – 1 tbl spoon
  • Kashmiri chilli powder: 1 tbl spoon
  • Black pepper powder
  • 1 lemon cut into halves
  • Mustard oil 4 tbl spoons
  • Salt to Taste

How to Make Puti Fish Fry (Step by Step Images)?

1. Marinate the fish with salt, turmeric powder, Kashmiri red chilli powder, black pepper and lemon juice. Let it rest for 20 minutes.

Marinating the puti fish

2. Place a deep-frying pan on the gas stove. Pour oil into it.

Placing a deep-frying pan on the gas stove and pouring oil into it

3. Add fish pieces one by one to the hot oil.

Adding puti fishes one by one to the hot oil

4. After one side gets brown, turn them upside down and fry the other side till golden brown. Repeat the process after all pieces are deep fried.

Frying both sides of the puti fishes

5. Serve them on a plate and garnish with sliced lemons.

Puti fish fry is ready

Pro Tips for Making Puti Fish Fry

Here are some pro tips that can help you make a delicious puti fish fry:

Freshness is key: Ensure that the puti fish you use is fresh. Fresh fish will have a pleasant smell, clear eyes, and firm flesh. It contributes to the overall taste and quality of the dish.

Marination time: Allow the fish to marinate for an adequate amount of time. This allows the flavors to penetrate the fish, resulting in a more flavorful end product. Marinating for at least 15-20 minutes, or even longer if possible, will yield better results.

Adjust spices and seasonings: Adjust the spices and seasonings in the marinade according to your personal preferences. Increase or decrease the amounts of chili powder, turmeric, ginger-garlic paste, or other spices to achieve the desired level of heat and flavor.

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Oil temperature: Maintain the right oil temperature for frying. Too hot, and the coating may burn while the fish remains undercooked inside. Too cold, and the fish may turn greasy. Ideally, the oil should be heated to around 350-375°F (175-190°C) for crispy and evenly cooked fish.

Fry in batches: Avoid overcrowding the pan while frying. Fry the fish in batches, allowing enough space for each piece to cook evenly. Overcrowding can lead to uneven frying and soggy results.

Drain excess oil: Once the fish are fried, place them on a paper towel-lined plate or wire rack to drain any excess oil. This step helps maintain the crispiness of the fried fish and prevents them from becoming greasy.

Serve immediately: Puti fish fry is best enjoyed when served immediately after frying. The crispy coating and delicate fish texture are at their prime when hot.

By following these pro tips, you can elevate the flavors and textures of your puti fish fry, ensuring a delectable and satisfying dish. Enjoy your culinary adventure!

What to Serve with Puti Fish Fry?

Eating Puti Fish Fry

Puti fish fry can be served with various accompaniments to create a well-rounded and delicious meal. Here are some popular options to consider:

Steamed Rice: Serve puti fish fry with steamed white rice. The simplicity of steamed rice complements the flavors of the crispy fish, allowing you to enjoy the textures and spices of the dish.

Chutney or Dipping Sauce: Accompany the fish fry with various chutneys or dipping sauces to add a burst of flavor. Mint chutney, tamarind chutney, or a spicy yogurt-based dip are popular choices. These condiments provide a tangy and refreshing element that complements the fried fish.

Salad: Serve a simple side salad alongside puti fish fry to add freshness and balance to the meal. A crisp cucumber and tomato salad with a dash of lemon juice and salt can provide a refreshing contrast to the fried fish.

Pickles: Accompany the fish fry with a selection of pickles or achar. The tangy and spicy flavors of pickles complement the fried fish and add an extra dimension of taste to the meal.

Lemon Wedges: Squeeze fresh lemon juice over the puti fish fry just before serving. The citrusy acidity of the lemon enhances the flavors and cuts through the richness of the fried fish.

Remember, these serving suggestions are just a starting point, and you can mix and match according to your personal preferences. The goal is to create a balanced and enjoyable meal by combining the crispy puti fish fry with complementary flavors and textures.

How Does Puti Fish Fry Taste?

Puti fish fry has a delicate and mild flavor with a hint of sweetness. The taste of puti fish itself is subtle and not overpowering, allowing the spices and seasonings used in the marination and coating to shine through.

The marination process infuses the fish with flavors like turmeric, chili powder, ginger-garlic paste, and other spices. These seasonings add a touch of warmth and a subtle kick of heat to the fish, enhancing its overall taste.

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The crispy outside of the fish provides a pleasant crunch and texture, contrasting with the tender flesh of the fish. The coating can be seasoned with additional spices or herbs, adding further depth and complexity to the overall flavor profile.

When cooked properly, puti fish fry offers a delightful combination of textures and flavors. The exterior is crispy and golden, while the interior remains moist and flaky.

The mild sweetness of the fish shines through, accompanied by the aromatic spices and the slight tanginess from the lemon juice or other acidic components used in the marinade.

Overall, puti fish fry delivers a balanced and enjoyable flavor experience. The delicate taste of the fish, combined with the spices and the crispy texture, makes it a popular and satisfying dish among seafood lovers.

Puti Fish Fry Alternatives

You can replace Japani Puti with almost any fish.

However, the dish tastes better if you choose Mourala Fish (mora carplet).

However, Hilsa fish fry will transport you to another world, Pomfret Fry, Parshe Fry, Amudi Fry, Pabda Fry, Topse Fry, Bhetki Fry, Sardine Fry, and Mackerel Fry.

Recipe Card:

Puti Fish Fry

Puti Fish Fry (Puti Mach Bhaja)

By Mita Mondal
Puti fish fry refers to a dish made from puti fish, a small freshwater fish found in South Asia, particularly in regions like West Bengal, Bangladesh, and Nepal. The fish is marinated with a combination of spices and seasonings, and then deep-fried until crispy and golden brown.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Resting 20 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Indian
Servings 4


  • 7 pieces Japani Puti Fish (washed properly and slit each piece at 3-4 places)
  • 1 tablespoon Turmeric powder
  • 1 tablespoon Kashmiri chili powder
  • ¼ tablespoon Black pepper powder
  • 2 pieces Lemon wedges
  • 4 tablespoon Mustard oil
  • Salt to taste


  • In a bowl, marinate the puti fish with salt, turmeric powder, Kashmiri red chilli powder, black pepper, and lemon juice. Ensure that the fish pieces are evenly coated with the marinade. Let it sit for about 15-20 minutes to allow the flavors to penetrate the fish.
  • Place a deep-frying pan on the gas stove and pour oil into it. Heat the oil over medium-high heat until it reaches the right frying temperature, around 350-375°F (175-190°C).
  • Carefully add the marinated fish pieces one by one into the hot oil. Be cautious to avoid overcrowding the pan. Fry the fish until one side turns brown and crispy.
  • Gently flip the fish pieces and fry the other side until it turns golden brown and achieves a crispy texture. Ensure that both sides are evenly cooked.
  • Once fried, remove the fish pieces from the oil using a slotted spoon or tongs, allowing any excess oil to drain.
  • Transfer the fried puti fish to a serving plate and garnish with sliced lemons for added freshness and tanginess.


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Freshness of the fish: It is essential to use fresh puti fish for the best taste and texture. Look for fish that has clear eyes, firm flesh, and a pleasant smell. Avoid using fish that appears dull or has a strong odor.
Proper cleaning: Thoroughly clean the puti fish before marinating and frying. Rinse the fish under cold water and remove any scales or impurities. Slit the fish at 3-4 places to help the marinade penetrate better.
Marination time: Allow sufficient time for the fish to marinate and absorb the flavors. Marinating for at least 15-20 minutes is recommended, but you can extend the marination time for more enhanced flavors. You can also refrigerate the marinated fish for a few hours or overnight for a more intense taste.
Adjusting spices: The amount of spices mentioned in the recipe is a guideline. Feel free to adjust the spices according to your preference for heat and flavor. If you prefer a spicier fish fry, you can increase the amount of Kashmiri red chili powder or add some chopped green chilies to the marinade.
Frying temperature: Maintaining the right oil temperature is crucial for achieving a crispy exterior while ensuring that the fish cooks evenly. The oil should be heated to around 350-375°F (175-190°C) before adding the fish. Use a thermometer or test the oil by dropping a small piece of bread or a pinch of the batter into it – it should sizzle and rise to the surface immediately.
Avoid overcrowding: To achieve a crisp and evenly fried fish, avoid overcrowding the frying pan. Fry the fish in batches, giving enough space for each piece to cook properly. Overcrowding can lower the oil temperature, resulting in a greasy fish fry.
Draining excess oil: After frying the fish, transfer them to a paper towel-lined plate or wire rack to drain any excess oil. This step helps maintain the crispiness and prevents the fish from becoming too greasy.
Serving immediately: Puti fish fry is best enjoyed when served immediately after frying. The crispy texture is at its prime, and the flavors are more pronounced when the fish is hot. Serve it alongside your desired accompaniments for a delightful meal.
By following these recipe notes, you can enhance the taste, texture, and overall experience of making Puti Fish Fry. Enjoy your delicious and crispy fish fry!
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Fishes always taste better if fried in mustard oil. Make sure to deep fry them; otherwise, you won’t get the crunchy bite.

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If you are cooking the dish as evening snacks, tea is the best partner to serve it with.

Stay connected to me for more such wonderful crispy, crunchy and delicious recipes.

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