Bengali bhetki fish fry recipe | Bengali style crispy fish cutlet recipe

Bengali bhetki fish fry recipe step by step with pictures – bengali fish means a crunchy deep fried breadcrumb coated well marinated boneless fish fillet. It’s a perfect evening snack or a wonderful starter recipe, popular in Kolkata, West Bengal as street food. Though we describe it as fish fry since ages it’s actually a recipe of the crispy fish cutlet. In this cutlet recipe, boneless fish fillet basically boneless bhetki fillet is being used to well marinate in lemon juice and onion, ginger, garlic, green chilli paste, then nicely coated in breadcrumbs to deep fry it in oil.

Authentic bengali fish fry or cutlet is actually a recipe of bengali bhetki fish, as bhetki is the main ingredient of this recipe. And we bengali believe the authentic taste of fish cutlet only comes from bhetki fillet. We are popular for being love to eat fish and that is the basic reason for our experiments on fish recipes. And I personally believe this recipe is part of that successful experiments of our bengali kitchen.

Generally, Indian fish fry indicates the recipe where well marinated whole fish or fish pieces are used to deep fry in oil. Even in bong’s kitchen, simply fish fry indicates the same as common Indian fish fry recipe. But when we specifically talk about this Bengali starter fish fry recipe, it’s totally different from other states of India. It probably invented in the British era when Kolkata was the capital of India. Though initially, it was only prepared in the kitchen of modern bengali society, later different cafes of Kolkata started making this recipe. And they earned fame for such interesting Bengali starters. Mitra cafe, Dilkhusa cabin, Basanta cabin, Allen kitchen, and many more old traditional Kolkata cafes from the pre-independence period are the names who introduced us with this wonderful fish starter.

bengali fish fry or bengali bhetki fish fry is served with kasundi

When we were in school then only a few people started to add this fancy fish starter in their menu of the marriage ceremony. And we were very excited if this bengali crispy fish fry would exist in the menu of any marriage ceremony. And we would eagerly wait for our turn when this crunchy bengali fish cutlet will be served. It was served with bengali mustard sauce or kasundi and some salads. And I can also remember when we dip it into the kasundi and take a bite with some salads that was a perfect bliss to me and you don’t believe still I feel the same with its every bite.

From my childhood I’ve seen my dad, not to like outside food, so in our childhood days every winter my dad used to take Bhetki or Bhekti fillet from the market especially on Sunday. Later my mom used to marinate it after lunch to serve it in the evening or just before our dinner as a starter. So my siblings and I were eagerly waiting for the winter to relish one of our favourite snack bengali fish cutlet at home. And still, whenever we go to Kolkata my dad takes bhetki fillet from the market for making homemade bengali bhetki fish cutlet recipe.

Today, I will share my Bengali fish cutlet recipe along with some tricks and tips. With these tricks and tips, can easily make this authentic bengali bhetki fish cutlet at home with awesome taste and amazing crunch. It’s my mom’s recipe which passed on to me later and I add a few tricks to enhance its crunch. Here, I’ve described how to make this recipe with single breadcrumb coating and double breadcrumb coating, go with anyone.

Try this bengali bhetki fish fry or cutlet recipe at home and please let me know your valuable feedback by leaving a comment in the comment section below.

You may check other snacks from my website, mochar chop recipe, chicken cutlet recipe or prawn cutlet recipe.

 Bengali bhetki fish fry recipe

Prep time: 40 mins

Cook time: 20 mins

Served in: 1 hr(not including 45 mins to 1 hr marination time)

Course: starter/evening snacks

Cuisine: Bengali

Served for: 8 people

Author: Moumita Paul

Ingredients of bengali fish fry

  • 200 gms or 7-8 bhetki fish fillet( or any boneless fish fillets)
  • 1 medium or 1/2 big sized onion
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 inch ginger
  • 2 green chillies
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper(powder)
  • 1 tbsp lemon
  • salt(as required)
  • refined oil for deep frying

For removing the fish smells and tenderize the fish meat

  • 1 tbsp vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cup water(lukewarm)

For the coating

  • 2 eggs (for single coating)
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs(for single coating)
  • salt

How to make bengali bhetki fish fry recipe at home with step by step pictures


How to marinate the bhetki fillet for making bengali fish fry or fish cutlet recipe

  • First, take boneless fish meat and make fish fillets(or fish slices) out of it by a sharp knife.
  • Now take 1 1/2 cup of lukewarm water in a bowl and put 1 tbsp vinegar to it and then add the fish fillets to it for 10 mins.

after adding vinegar in lukewarm water, add bhetki fish fillets in it

  • In between, take a small grinder jar, add 1 medium or 1/2 big size onion, 1/2 inch ginger, 6 garlic cloves, and 2 green chillies to it and make a fine paste(can add 2-3 tbsp water to make a smooth paste).

onion, ginger, garlic and green chillies in the grinder jar for making a smooth paste out of it to make bengali fish cutlets

  • Now take a mixing bowl, first add the onion-ginger-garlic-green chilli paste, then add black pepper powder.

add black pepper to the masala paste for making the marination of bengali fish cutlets

  • Then add lemon juice and salt to the mixing bowl. Mix it well together.

adding lemon juice and salt to the masala paste for making the marination of fish fillets

  • Now remove the fish fillets from the water and squeeze it gently to make sure water is completely removed. And then add the fillets to the mixing bowl.

after removing the water from the fish fillets, add it to the marination for bengali fish fry recipe

  • Then gently mix the fish fillets with the masalas and keep it for marination for 45 mins-1 hr.

bhetki fish fillets in its marination

How to coat the fish fillet with breadcrumbs

  • When the fish fillets completely marinated in masalas, then take another mixing bowl and add 2 eggs and 1/4 tsp salt to it. If using a double coat of breadcrumbs like then add 3 eggs. Beat it well.

beat the eggs to dip the marinated bhetki fish fillets in it

  • Now take 1 cup of breadcrumbs and add 1/4 tsp salt to it too. Mix it well.

add salt in the breadcrumbs for coating the bengali fish fry

  • Take the bhetki fish fillet from the marination, first dip it into the beaten eggs and then coat it nicely with the breadcrumbs.

dip the marinated bhetki fish fillet in the beaten eggs and then coat it with breadcrumbs

  • Bengali fish cutlet is ready with a single coat of breadcrumbs. If you give it a proper shape then follow the next step.

single breadcrumb coated fish cutlets are ready

  • Later place this single coated raw fish cutlet on a chopping board and shape it up with a knife as shown in the pic.

giving a perfect shape of this raw fish cutlets by using a knife

  • If you don’t want to get a double coat of breadcrumbs then keep all the single coated raw fish cutlet in the freezer for 15-20 mins to get an awesome crunch.

single coated raw fish cutlet with a perfect shape, keep it in freezer

  • And to get double breadcrumb coating, then take 2 cups of breadcrumbs, add 1/2 tsp salt to it.
  • For double coating, dip that single coated perfect shaped raw cutlet to the beaten eggs and then nicely roll it in breadcrumbs. Then shape it up again with the knife as before.

dip single coated perfect shaped raw bengali fish cutlet in the beaten eggs and roll it in breadcrumbs for double coating

  • Now put all the double coated bengali fish cutlet in the freezer for the same time as mentioned above.

How to fry bengali bhetki fish fry

  • Now take a pan, place it on medium heat, add refined oil for deep frying and let it gets hot.
  • Put the raw fish cutlet in the oil and slow down the flame for frying the fish cutlets correctly.

adding the raw bengali fish cutlet in the oil for frying

  • After some time, raise the flame to the medium again to get that perfect crunch of bengali fish cutlet. But don’t add more fish cutlet at a time in the pan.frying fish cutlet in oil
  • And fry till it gets golden brown colour from both sides.

nice golden colour bhetki fish cutlet in the pan

  • Then remove it from the pan on the paper towel to soak the excess oil.

bengali bhetki fish cutlet is removed from the pan on the paper towel for absorbing excess oil

  • Serve this bengali bhetki fish fry or cutlet recipe with kasundi or even tomato ketchup and salads.

 bengali fish fry or bhetki fish fry is served with sauce and salad


  • Adding raw bhetki fish fillet in lukewarm water with vinegar will be helpful to remove the smell of fish. And that will also tenderize the fillets.
  • The double coating is not necessary, it’s a choice of yours, can go with a single coating too.
  • Putting raw fish cutlets in the freezer will give it an awesome crunch and that is my trick which I mentioned above.
  • After putting the fish cutlet in the hot oil should slow down the flame, that will help to cook the fish from inside too. Otherwise, the breadcrumbs coating will be nice brown in colour but the fish remains uncooked.
  • Here though I’ve used bhetki fillet for this bengali fish cutlet recipe, you can use any boneless fish fillet. Choose the boneless fish fillets as per its availability i.e, bhetki, basa, tilapia or catfish.
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10 thoughts on “Bengali bhetki fish fry recipe | Bengali style crispy fish cutlet recipe”

  1. where can I get Vetki fish. How many cutlets one can make out of a normal size Vetki. Please let me know as I am very interested. Thankyou.

    • Search it in your nearby fish market or search it through online apps(preferably Indian or Bangladesh) as Barramundi or Asian sea bass…from 1 kg vetki we may get around 400 gms fish fillets… though the number of cutlets will depend on the thickness of the vetki fillets…14-16 cutlets can be made according to my recipe…however, fillets are too thick then you’ll get at least 8-10 cutlets

  2. Can I freeze the betki and make it later ? Also, can I marinate it in the morning, keep in fridge and later, when the guests arrive, keep in freezer and fry ?

    • Yes, you can freeze the bhetki fillets for later use. But while marinating the fillets then never keep them in the freezer(to avoid icing). You can also marinate the fillets in the morning, then keep them in the fridge(not in the freezer) for 1 hr. After 1 hr marination, you can coat the fillets with breadcrumbs, keep them in the freezer in an airtight container and fry it before your guest arrives. Even these breadcrumbs coated raw fish cutlets also can be stored in the freezer(in an airtight container or in a zip lock packet) for 2-3 days.

  3. Instead of deep frying the crumbed filets in oil, can you paint the surface with oil and bake them in an oven? It would take longer but one should use less oil but still get the same effect?🤔

    • Hello Mr. Anamit Sen,
      Yes, I’ve heard about an oven method too. As per that method, preheat the oven at 180°C/356°F or 360°F for 15-20 mins, take a baking tray, spray the tray with oil, place the breadcrumb coated fish fillets on the tray, bake it for 15-20 mins and our Bengali fish fry will be ready with the same crispiness coming from our traditional deep-frying method.
      Though I never try to bake it in the oven so I don’t have any personal experience of whether the crunch will still exist or not after baking. However, I don’t have any clear idea about this baking method. So I must try to make it in my oven soon and then let you know the exact result. As all of my recipes are fully tested in my kitchen first, then I share them in my blog post. So I don’t want to misguide you in any way.


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