This Mangalorean Fish Fry is full of flavor thanks to a simple marinade called Meet Mirsang. It’s addictive and so simple! You can use the marinade for chicken, tofu, and root vegetables. Keep a jar in your fridge.

Seven years ago, I moved to Bangalore. It was then that I discovered that the food in the south is more than just sambhar, dosa, and idli. Every state of the south has its unique cuisine, just like states in the north. Sadly, so many delicious foods are not available to us. My sister claims that I have always loved mustard seeds and curry leaves (which are not used often in North Indian homes), and she knew from a young age that I was a South Indian fan.

My husband hails from Mangalore, a sleepy coastal town in Karnataka. You can always find a seafood dish for your meal in Mangalore.

I’ve learned a lot in the two years I spent in Mangalore visiting my in-laws. Through the blog, I hope to discover some of this delicious cuisine.

Meet Mirsang, an all-purpose marinade used in many Mangalorean homes, was one of my first discoveries. This chili-based paste is preserved in vinegar and salt and has an addictive spicy, sour taste.

This paste is traditionally made by soaking the red chilies in water overnight, then grinding them into a paste using a mortar and pestle or a grinder along with other spices and vinegar. The smooth texture of the paste is created by the pulverizing action of a grinder stone, which releases flavors and makes it easier to work within a food processor.

I don’t have a big enough mortar and pestle to make this taste, but after some trial and error, I could replicate the taste using powdered red chilies. Although I recommend trying the whole thing, this instant version is a good place to start.

This paste is versatile and I will post a series of posts showing you how to use it in three delicious ways.

Today’s post includes a recipe for Meet Mirsang and a simple Fish Fry that will impress your guests. Pomfret is an Indian fish that is readily available. However, it can also be substituted for any other firm fish like Seer, King Fish, or Mackeral.

If you’re vegetarian, this marinade can be used to make paneer (cottage cheese), steamed cauliflower, and brinjal.


  • Make the Mirsang by combining all dry ingredients in a bowl. Add vinegar to create a thick paste.
  • Place the paste in an airtight container. Keep it in the fridge for up to two months.
  • Use your hands to mix. Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth. Wash your hands well after using.
  • For the fish fry
  • Make slits in your pomfret, and then apply one to one-and-a-half teaspoons of meet mirsang paste over them. If you prefer it hotter, you can add more marinade. Put the paste in the slits and let it rest for 10 minutes.
  • Place the fish in a nonstick pan with oil or ghee and heat it.
  • Pan fry the fish for seven minutes each side
  • Serve warm with onions rings and a squeeze of lime juice.