From quick weekday curries to healthy baked dishes and indulgent deep-fried snacks, we cover different cooking methods to inspire you
Basa fish is a popular choice for restaurants across India given how versatile it is and how well it brings out the best of the spices and condiments used. Another reason is that it's one of the most affordable fish varieties, and of course, it lends itself to many cooking styles. Whether you're looking to fry, bake, simmer, or grill basa, there are plenty of tasty preparations it can adapt to. Whether you are looking to pan fry, bake, simmer, or grill fillets of this versatile fish, there are endless tasty preparations to explore.
We will introduce you to both classic Indian recipes for cooking basa as well as some new ideas to experiment with in your kitchen. From quick weeknight curries to healthy baked dishes and indulgent deep fried snacks, we cover a variety of cooking methods. By the end, we hope to have sparked your curiosity to bring basa to the centre of your dinner table on a regular basis. So, without further ado, let's get started!
1. Basa Fish Fry
When it comes to quick and easy fish dishes, you can't go wrong with a fry. For basa fish fry, start by making a besan or rice flour batter. Mix in spices like turmeric, red chilli powder, carom seeds, and salt to taste. Cut the basa fillets into bite-sized pieces. Dip them into the batter, then shallow fry them in oil until crisp and golden. The outside will be crunchy, while the inside will stay moist and flaky. Serve hot, paired with wedges of lemon. This Indian Chinese inspired starter is perfect for weeknights.
2. Basa in Coconut Milk Curry
For a richer curry, coconut milk basa is a delicious option. Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds, curry leaves, and sliced shallots or onions. Fry until translucent. Add chopped tomatoes and cook further. Then add the basa fillets along with coconut milk. Allow it to simmer, covered, for 10–15 minutes until the fish is tender. Finish with coriander leaves. The creamy coconut sauce clings beautifully to the fish. Enjoy it with rice or rotis for a satisfying meal.
3. Tamarind Fish Curry
Tamarind lends a sweet-sour flavour to curries. For this recipe, soak tamarind in warm water, then extract the pulp. Heat oil and temper with mustard seeds, urad dal and red chillies. Add finely chopped onions and sauté until golden. Add the tamarind pulp along with turmeric, coriander and cumin powder. Let it come to a boil. Then add the basa fillets and some water. Simmer for 10 minutes. Garnish with coriander before serving with rice. The tamarind infuses every bite of fish with a rich tanginess.
4. Baked Basa Fish
For a healthy oven-baked preparation, line a baking tray with foil and place cleaned basa fillets on top. Mix yoghurt with ginger-garlic paste, green chillies, coriander, and salt. Spread this mixture generously over the fish. Sprinkle sesame seeds, then bake at 180°C for 15-20 minutes until the top is crisp. The yoghurt marinade keeps the fish moist from within while the sesame coating adds crunch. Enjoy as is or with a raita or salad on the side.
5. Grilled Basa Fish
If you have access to an outdoor grill, basa lends itself beautifully to live fire cooking. Make diagonal slashes on both sides of the fillets. Rub lime juice, salt and a pinch of chaat masala into the cuts. Thread onto skewers and grill over medium-high heat for 3-4 minutes per side, basting occasionally with oil or butter. The smoky charred exterior complements the tender flesh within. Serve grilled basa with wedges of lime or a spicy chutney.
6. Basa Fish Moilee
Originating from Kerala, moilee is a classic coconut milk based curry. Heat oil and temper with mustard seeds, curry leaves and sliced shallots. Add turmeric, coriander, red chilli powder and cook for a minute. Pour in thick coconut milk and bring to a boil. Add the basa fillets along with curry leaves. Simmer for 10 minutes, then finish with coriander leaves. The coconut and spices infuse a rich flavour into every bite of fish. Enjoy moilee with fluffy rice puttu.
7. Steamed Basa Packets
For a healthy one-pot meal, make foil packets filled with basa fillets and vegetables. Place cleaned fillets on foil sheets and top with sliced onions, tomatoes and green chillies. Season with salt, pepper and a drizzle of lime juice. Seal the foil tightly to form packets. Place on a steamer and steam for 10-12 minutes. The packets trap all the juices and flavours inside. Open and enjoy the tender fish with the softened vegetables.
8. Basa Fish Pulao
To make a hearty one-pot meal, try basa fish pulao. We know it might sound ridiculous, but nevertheless, it is delicious. To make this dish- Soak rice and drain. Shallow fry sliced onions in ghee until golden. Add spices like cinnamon, cloves and green cardamom. Sauté pulao masala or biryani masala for 30 seconds. Add the drained rice and mix well. Pour in water and bring to a boil. Add cleaned basa fillets on top. Cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes until rice is tender. Garnish with fried onions, coriander and lemon wedges.
We hope this article has inspired you to explore new ways of preparing basa fish. From quick weeknight curries to indulgent fried dishes, there are many options to suit different tastes and occasions. Its mild yet u qualities allow basa to be adapted in diverse cuisines. Don't be afraid to get creative in the kitchen and experiment with new seasoning blends. This affordable and nutritious fish is sure to become a favourite for home cooks when prepared with the right techniques. Bon appétit!