Fried fish roe
In the West fish roe is available in late January, February and early March time. I find cod roe is suitable for frying but herring roes are not suitable for frying. Cod roe is available in small and big sizes. Small ones are tastier. When you buy fish roe, try to buy whole roes and see that there are no traces of green colour anywhere - this is bile and has a bitter taste and should be discarded. Also some fish mongers sell cooked roes and you could use them instead and these need not be cooked before frying. I of course prefer fresh roes.
Fish roe 300 Gms - whole
Turmeric powder ½ teaspoons
Chilli powder 1 tablespoons
Salt to taste
Oil for frying
If fresh then wash and clean the roes and do not cut. If the whole roe is bigger than about 3 to 4 inches in length, then you have to cook it first before frying. The way to do is to wrap it in muslin cloth and tie round it to preserve the shape, place this bundle in a pot and add water and salt to taste and cook until it is cooked and firm. Drain and leave to cool for some time. If you have bought cooked roes, then you do not need to cook them again. Cut the cooked roes into smaller pieces about one to two inches wide.
In a dish, mix the chilli powder, turmeric powder and salt - will require less salt, remember you have added salt to the water in which roe was boiling - and make a paste.
Put the roes into this paste and smear the paste all over the roe pieces.
In a frying pan in hot oil fry this carefully in low fire turning them until they turn golden. Be careful, the roes might split in very hot oil, so cover the pan.
If the roes are smaller than 3-4 inches in length, then just prepare the chilli paste as above and smear all over the roes.
Shallow fry them in low heat turning occasionally. Cover the frying pan as this will split in hot oil.
Alternatively, you can dip the roe pieces in beaten egg and smear with bread crumbs and deep fry them in oil. I prefer the earlier method as they bring out the flavour and taste of the roes.
Alternatively if they are bigger than 3-4 inches, fresh and uncooked, rather than cooking first, they can be smeared with a paste of red chilli powder, turmeric powder and salt. Then wrap them neatly with little oil in baking foil and make them into smaller parcels. Then place them in the oven and cook at 180 C for about 20 to 30 minutes, check if not cooked and firm, leave for longer time. Once cooked remove and shallow fry in oil until they turn golden in colour. This is ideal for larger roes.
Serve with: Rice dishes or as a snack.