The Smelt fish found in US is almost similar to the Lady fish/Kaane that one finds in Coastal India,with the difference being slightly in the taste and of course the size.
I found this in my local market last week,fresh-wild-caught and cleaned and I went ahead and bought it for the first time.Normally when we fry Lady Fish/kaane ,we remove the skin as it is thick and scaly ,and over powers the delicate taste of the flesh.The draw back of this process is removing the skin is a little cumbersome as the skin is very slippery.I found this job quite easy when I tried to do it with the smelt as it was pre cleaned ie head and scales removed.On one side this task is very easy but the size of Smelt is much lesser than the the Lady fish therefore the numbers one needs to clean might make the process cumbersome.
The Rava fry is Mangalore specific style for fish fry ,in which the fish is marinated with spicy then rolled in Semolina/Fine Sooji/Rava and deep fried.Kaane Rava fry is a wide known specialty of the Konkan Coast and since I cannot find the fish here,I found Smelt a almost similar to it and went ahead with it.
- 15 Smelt Fish-Cleaned and Skinned.
- 1 1/2 tbsp Chilly powder
- 1/4 tsp astefotida/Hing
- Salt to taste
- 1 tsp Rice powder.
- Oil for frying
- Mix Chilly powder,salt,astefotida/hing,and Rava with water and apply it all over the fish .
- Set aside for 30mts
- In a pan,add oil and heat it on medium flame
- Roll the Fish in semolina/Rava to coat it evenly.
- Check oil by dropping some Rava in it(it should sizzle)
- Now fry the fish for 4-5mts on medium flame to fry it completely(you have to toss it from one side to the other in between for even frying if the fish is not completely submerged in oil).