National Sardari Machli Main

Lahori Sardari Machli

Mustard oil, unique in flavour, has a special affinity with fish and it is widely used in the subcontinent as a cooking aid. This authentic recipe comes from the vibrant Sikh community in Lahore where the Sardars coat boneless fish fillets with a thick gram flour mixture which is then deep-fried. One bite and you know you’re in love!

  • Prepare in: 120 mins

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For Marination

  • Rahu Machli : 1 1/2 – 2 kgs
  • Crushed Chili : 1 tablespoon
  • National Chili Powder : 1 teaspoon
  • National Coriander Powder : 1 teaspoon
  • Ajwain (Carom Seeds) : 1 teaspoon
  • National Iodized Salt : 1 tablespoon / to taste
  • Lemon Juice : 6 tablespoons
  • National Ginger & Garlic Paste : 1 tablespoon each
  • Yogurt : 3 tablespoons

For Fish Batter

  • Gram Flour : 2 cups
  • Crushed Chili : 1 tablespoons
  • National Iodized Salt : 1/2 teaspoon
  • Zarda / Orange Food Color : a pinch (optional)
  • Water : 1 1/2 cup or : as required

For Frying

  • Mustard Oil : for deep frying


For Marination

Scale, clean the cavity and trim the ends of the fish. Cut into 5-6 inch pieces diagonally and keep aside.

In a large bowl combine all the ingredients and mix well.

Rub the marinade onto the fish pieces, pouring the remaining over the fish, and allow it to marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.

For Making the Batter

In a large bowl, whisk all the dry ingredients with water, make sure there are no lumps.

Whisk for 5 minutes to get a light batter. Adjust the quantity of water to get a thick runny batter.

For Frying

Heat the mustard oil to a smoking point.

Thoroughly coat the marinated fish with the batter.

Gently drop the coated fish in hot oil, turn the heat to medium and fry till golden in color.

Serve hot with National Chili Garlic Sauce.