Fish and Chips with a Twist: Spiced Fish, Masala Chips, & Chickpeas with Spinach in Tahini

This is another spread that was inspired by the Big Family Cooking Showdown. This time, it’s one of the recipes of the winners from Season 1, the Gangotra family. I was really quite intrigued by the mix of Indian spices with what is well-loved and familiar: Fish and Chips.

In that episode, their fish looked like regular fish and chips, however, when you slice into it, you’ll see yellow color from the turmeric, and according to one of the judges, it was “the best fish and chips I’ve tasted before.” I’ve always wanted to try it before, but was a bit afraid because I haven’t been great with batters until recently. I knew I had to do a lot of substituting again because of the availability of the ingredients, so my recipe ended up as not an exact copy of the recipes, but it’s a rendition that I believe is close to theirs.

Instead of mushy peas and baked beans, I paired the fish and chips with one of my own recipes, Spinach and Garbanzos with Homemade Tahini, and a dip: a simple tartar sauce, with a strong lemon flavor.

Thanks to the Gangotra family for inspiring me to introduce great flavors on wonderful classics. So here’s three recipes in one post!

Fish and Chips with a Twist: Spiced Fish, Masala Chips, & Chickpeas with Spinach in Tahini.

Serves 5

Prep time: 1 hour

Cooking time: 30 minutes


Spiced Fish:

  • 500 grams of fish fillet (I used Dory fillet as this was available at the time, but recommended fish are: Haddock, Cod, or even Alaskan Pollock). You can opt to cut them into smaller, 3 inch pieces, or you can fry them whole.
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp coriander leaves (in the original recipe, it was ground coriander, which I didn’t have)
  • ¼ tsp chili powder
  • ¼ tsp anise seeds (this is my own addition)
  • 2 lemons, juice only
  • 1 ½ cup of cornstarch
  • 1 cup of self-rising flour
    • I didn’t have this so I substituted:
      • 1 cup of flour
      • 1 ½ tsp of baking powder
      • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon dried thyme leaves (the original recipe called for Ajwain seeds, and the best substitute for this is thyme)
  • 1 tsp crushed peppercorns
  • 1-2 cups of chilled sparkling white grape (you can also use beer/lager, like most recipes. But we don’t have beer at home, and this is a good substitute for those who don’t want to add alcohol to the recipe).
  • Oil, for deep frying

Spinach and Garbanzos with Tahini – you may find the full recipe here.

Masala Chips

  • 3-4 medium to large potatoes, peeled and sliced into at least 1-inch thick wedges
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper/chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons garam masala (if your garam masala is quite spicy and you want to tone down the spice level, you can skip the chili powder.
  • 1/8 teaspoon of paprika powder
  • Salt
  • Oil for deep frying.

Simple Lemony Tartar Sauce

  • 2 tbsp Japanese mayonnaise
  • 5 tbsp. regular mayonnaise
  • The juice of one lemon
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 pickle, minced
  • Salt


  1. Start with prepping the potatoes for the Masala chips. Put the potatoes in water and wash them.
  2. Drop the potatoes in a pot of boiling water and cooking for at least 5 minutes or until the potatoes are soft. Others prefer them to be almost falling apart, but this would be a bit more difficult to handle.
  3. Drain the water from the potatoes and place them in a tray or plate. Place in the freezer for thirty minutes, then transfer to the refrigerator for the next 30 minutes, and until it would be time to cook them.
  4. From this point, I worked on my replacement for “mushy peas”, which is Spinach and Garbanzos in Tahini. Click this link for the recipe. If you don’t have access to a lot of sesame seeds and cannot make your own tahini sauce or cannot buy at the moment, you can substitute with 2 tablespoons of sesame oil. However, the consistency of the dish will be a bit different.
  5. Pat dry the fish with paper towels or your kitchen cloth.
  6. Add the lemon juice to the fish and rub these mix of spices on each side of the fish: turmeric, cumin, coriander leaves, anise seeds, crushed peppercorns, a bit of salt. Marinade for at least 5 minutes.
  7. Prepare the batter for the fish: mix the self-rising flour (or the substitute ingredients for it) with the dried thyme leaves.
  8. Heat the oil to 150 degrees Celsius. Deep fry the potatoes for at 6 minutes, then place in a rack to cool.
  9. Combine the self-rising flour (or the substitutes), dried thyme, salt and pepper in a bowl. Add in the sparkling white grape or the beer, one cup first, then adjust as needed. The batter is ready when it doesn’t break when you lift your whisk or spoon.
  10. Crank up the heat of the cooking oil to 180 degrees.
  11. Dredge the fish in cornstarch, patting off the excess before dipping the fish in the batter.
  12. DO NOT DROP your fish in the hot oil abruptly! There is a need to seal the bottom of the fish first before you glide the fish into the hot oil: Place the fish on the hot oil at a 90-degree angle first. When you see that bottom is starting form a shell, gently slide the fish into the oil. Fry for at least 6 minutes, turning halfway.
  13. Place the cooked fish on the rack to cool.
  14. Drop the potatoes into the hot oil again for one minute to two minutes.
  15. Remove the potatoes from the oil and place them in the rack to cool for a 2 minutes.
  16. Toss your potatoes in the spices and salt: ground cumin, garam masala, paprika.
  17. Serve all dishes together with the tartar sauce (just mix all the ingredients for the tartar sauce).

How to estimate your stove’s temperature without a Thermometer:

Most of us don’t have frying thermometers or meat thermometers in the kitchen. However, there are ways to estimate the temperature of your oil when deep frying:

You can check if the oil is ready by dropping a little batter into the oil, and if it floats in 3 seconds, your oil is hot enough for frying. Then to keep it a moderate temperature, lower your fire to a medium-low heat.

If you see that the item that you’re frying is bubbling vigorously, there is a chance that your oil is very hot (from 200 degrees upwards). Lower the heat to regulate your oil’s temperature.

Original Source:

*note: this is not an exact copy of the Gangotra family’s recipes, but I substituted based on availability of ingredients here.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s