Squid Roast to Shrimp Fry, 7 Yummy Indian Dried Seafood Dishes
Image Credit: Dried fish on Mumbai's Gorai Beach. Photo via Wikimedia Commons

Dry seafood dishes hold a significant place in the culinary tapestry of India. They are common in coastal areas where seafood is aplenty. Due to the surplus of seafood and them being prone to spoilage very quickly, the tradition of drying them out in the sun was cultivated. These dried fish and other seafood are stored and later used to make a variety of delicious dishes. From crispy fish fries to savoury shrimp pickles, these dry seafood dishes offer a delightful symphony of taste, texture, and tradition. 

Dry Shrimp Fry

Dry shrimp fry, or 'sukha jhinga' in Hindi, is a delightful dry seafood dish enjoyed in coastal regions of India. Made with dried shrimp, this recipe features a simple yet tantalising preparation method. The dried shrimp are first marinated in a blend of spices, including red chilli powder, turmeric, cumin, and coriander. They are then shallow-fried until crispy and aromatic. This crispy treat is a perfect accompaniment to a meal or a tasty snack.

Dry Squid Roast

Popularly known as 'sukha koonthal varattiyathu' in Kerala, is a flavoursome and savoury dry seafood dish. Dried squid is marinated in a blend of spices, such as black pepper, turmeric, fennel seeds, and curry leaves. The marinated squid is then sautéed until it absorbs the flavours and turns crispy. The result is a delightful dish with a perfect balance of spice and texture. Dry squid roast is often served as an appetiser or as a side dish with rice or roti.

Dry Mackerel Sukka

Dry mackerel sukka, or 'sukya bangdyache sukhe' in Marathi, is a popular dry seafood dish from the coastal regions of Maharashtra and Goa. Dried mackerel is marinated in a blend of spices, including red chilli powder, turmeric, coriander, and kokum (a tangy Indian fruit). The marinated fish is then cooked with onions, tomatoes, grated coconut, and a touch of tamarind for a burst of flavours. The result is a spicy and tangy dry dish that pairs perfectly with rice or Indian bread.

Dry Prawn Masala

Also known as 'sukha jhinga masala' in Hindi, is a mouthwatering dry seafood preparation from the coastal regions of India. Dried prawns are sautéed with a blend of aromatic spices, including cumin, coriander, turmeric, and garam masala. Onions, garlic, and ginger add depth of flavour, while curry leaves provide a fresh aroma. The result is a flavoursome and spicy dish that is perfect as an appetiser or as a side dish.

Dry Bombay Duck Chutney

This chutney, indigenous to the Maharashtrian coastline, is locally known as 'sukha bombil chutney' in the state. It is a tangy and flavoursome condiment made with dried Bombay Duck fish. The dried fish is roasted until crispy and then ground with a combination of spices, such as garlic, red chilli powder, tamarind, and roasted peanuts. The result is a delightful chutney with a unique taste that pairs well with rice, bread, or snacks.

Dry Anchovy Fry 

Dry anchovy fry, or 'sukhi nethili varuval' in Tamil, is a popular dry seafood dish from the coastal regions of South India. This dish features dried anchovies that are marinated in a spicy blend of red chilli powder, turmeric, coriander, and other aromatic spices. The marinated anchovies are then shallow-fried until golden and crispy. The result is a delicious and crunchy snack that can be enjoyed on its own or served as a side dish.

Dry Clam Stir-Fry 

'Sukha tisrya bhaji' in Konkani cuisine, the dry clam stir-fry is a delectable dry seafood dish that highlights the unique flavours of clams. Dried clams are rehydrated and then stir-fried with a blend of spices, including turmeric, red chilli powder, and cumin. Onions, garlic, and curry leaves are added to enhance the aroma and taste. The dish is finished with a squeeze of lemon juice for a refreshing tang. Dry clam stir-fry offers a delightful combination of textures and flavours and is a must-try for seafood enthusiasts looking to explore lesser-known dishes.

India's dry seafood dishes offer a wide array of flavours and textures, showcasing the rich culinary heritage of its coastal regions. From the fiery Dry Mackerel Sukka to the aromatic dry prawn masala, these dishes epitomise the use of spices and traditional cooking techniques. Whether you're a seafood lover or an adventurous food enthusiast, exploring the world of dry seafood dishes from India is sure to tantalise your taste buds and leave you craving more. So, dive into the diverse flavours of Indian cuisine and savour the delightful experience of dry seafood dishes from this vibrant country.