Using mortar and pestle, make paste from ginger and garlic.
Take the tamarind ball and soak it in 2 tablespoon water for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, squeeze the pulp and extract thick tamarind pulp.
Discard the tamarind solids.
Take a small bowl and add the ingredients for marination – red chili powder, turmeric powder, ginger-garlic paste, tamarind pulp and salt. Mix well.
If needed add 1 or 2 tablespoon water and mix well to form a thick paste.
Now, take a slice of fish on your palm and apply fish paste on it generously on both sides. Repeat this for other slices of fish too.
Keep it aside to marinate for minimum 30 minutes. You can keep it in fridge too.
Now let’s masala fry the fish:
Take a tava or frying pan and add 2 tablespoon oil. You can use cast iron pan or non-stick pan.
After oil is heated, place the marinated fish slices and cook them for 5-8 minutes on low.
Spread 1 tablespoon oil on top of the fish.
Flip the fish to other side and cook for 8-10 minutes on low flame.
Shallow fry the fish nicely on both sides.
Add curry leaves on the tava or pan in end and fry them along with the fish.
Always make ginger-garlic paste using mortar and pestle. Try not to use store bought ginger-garlic paste.
If tamarind is not available, apply 1 tablespoon lemon juice to the fish.