Okay, so this recipe may not exactly be from Kerala, but it is Indian in inspiration.
My wife doesn’t like chickpeas, save in hummus, while I’ve always loved the flavor – I love chickpeas in the tripe dish we call callos, in stews, I even like the chickpea-based desserts we had in Delhi.
But what I really like to do with chickpeas is to use them as breading. And they’re perfect with catfish. Wifey loved it! They made a thick, crunchy, nutty-flavored crust on my catfish.
- 1/2kg catfish, cleaned and filleted
(cream dory/pangasius is also good)
- 1 cup besan flour*
- 1 tsp cayenne powder
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- salt to taste
- 1 egg, beaten
- oil for deep frying
*I couldn’t find any besan flour here in Davao, so I made my own: bought dried chickpeas, ground them up in my trusty food processor.
Wash and drain the catfish fillets. Dry with paper towels. Sprinkle salt and half the spices on the fillets, and mix the remainder with the besan flour.
Heat oil to about 350-375 degrees. Dip catfish fillets in egg, then dredge in the chickpea flour and spices mix. Fry until golden brown.
We had ours with a banana ketchup/hot sauce mix.
If you don’t like catfish, this will also work with any white-fleshed fish, and even chicken.