Calamari – 2 ways! : Spicy Sauteed and Chick Pea batter fried

DSC_0945Until a few years ago I thought that calamari was ‘fried squid’ – i.e I thought the name of the dish where squid was fried was calamari! So I am sure that some of you might still be under that confusion. So let’s clear your doubts.  Calamari, is just the Italian name for squid. And the dish that most of us seafood lovers love is ‘Fried calamari’ where calamari i.e. squid is deep fried in batter. OK now that we got that sorted out, I have two easy recipes for you.  One is a gluten free version of fried calamari where I used chick pea batter to fry them. And the other is a traditional Kerala recipe – a simple but spicy sauté in coconut oil with onion and red chillies. Choose your pick! As for me I will happily have a plateful of each!

I am bringing these appetizers to Throwback Thursdays as well as Fiesta Friday where Lily at the Littlesweetbaker  and Julianna from Foodie on Board are co-hosting this week. It is fun super bowl weekend after all!  

Chickpea Batter Fried Calamari

  • Servings: Makes about 20-25 pieces
  • Time: 30 minutes
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print


  • 1/2 cup chick pea flour or gram flour (besan)
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp garam masala powder (optional)
  • 1/2 cup water plus 1 tbsp more
  • About 1/2 a pound of squid, cut into about 1/4 th inch thick rounds- cleaned and wiped dry


Mix all the above ingredients except the squid pieces in  a mixing bowl to form a thick,smooth batter with no lumps.

Heat a deep frying pan with oil.  When hot, turn heat to medium and dip the squid pieces in the batter and deep fry till crispy. Transfer to paper towels to remove excess oil.

Spicy Squid Saute with coconut

  • Servings: Makes about 3-4 servings as side dish
  • Time: 30 minutes
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print


  • 1/2 of a medium onion
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder (use less for mild)
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 4-5 fresh curry leaves
  • 10-12 thinly sliced coconut pieces (I used frozen coconut pieces by thawing them to room temperature)
  • 1/2 tsp salt (or as needed)
  • About 1/2 a pound of squid, cut into about 1/4 th inch thick rounds- cleaned and wiped dry

Method: In a food processor/chopper, coarsely grind the onion and red chilli together – It should be only coarsely ground – Do Not grind to paste. Ideally use a mortar pestle.

Heat a medium size wok style pan (kadhai) with the coconut oil. Add the mustard seeds and when they splutter, add the onion and chili mixture.  Add the curry leaves and stir for about 2-3 minutes until the onions get crisp.  Add the coconut pieces and the squid. Stir and cook for about 4-5 minutes until the squid is cooked through. Do not over cook as it will turn hard and rubbery.



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0 thoughts on “Calamari – 2 ways! : Spicy Sauteed and Chick Pea batter fried

  1. I would take both, too, but I especially love how nice that gluten free batter is! Who would have thought!! Thanks so much for linking it to us at Throwback Thursday; we’re looking forward to seeing what you’ll have for us next week and we’ll be pinning to our Throwback Thursday board, too!


  2. Mmm, they both look so good, Indu! I do love calamari, or squid, or whatever else we want to call it! I love that you have shown us how versatile it can be and that it doesn’t always have to be battered to taste good. Thanks! And happy FF to you!

  3. Pingback: Gluten free Fried Calamari - Yum Goggle

  4. In Greece, squid is also called Calamari. Thanks for these recipes, we all love squid at home and make it often (you can buy frozen rings at the supermarket if you can’t get them fresh)

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