Pan Fried Tilapia / Jalebi Fish

PAN FRIED WHOLE TILAPIA

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While I have been taking some days off being neck deep in my current project, the winters have slipped in cautiously. Cautiously yes, since the farm fires cloud this season so bad in North India that every breath makes you feel it very evidently. Gone are the fears of the industrial pollution, it is the farm pollution which is beating us flat now.

Winters also brings the best fishes to the pools, rivers and the seas and hence auto speeds up my dishing out fish based delicacies. And though however tied up I may be to write up and share, I always squeeze time to cook up some great treats. Here’s sharing one that I managed to make for myself at midnight while writing up a case study. It made the stressful night so much more enjoyable 🙂 ! Read on, this meaty tilapia recipe will surely tickle your taste buds !!

….need to know (food details)

  • Number of people served : 1 fish to delight 2.
  • Preparation time : 30 minutes
  • Serving size : Half platefuls would be a great treat.

….and we need (ingredients)

  • Tilapia fish, cleaned, scaled and slit diagonally 500 grams approx. : Tilapia is a very popular fish in Asia and Africa though is also common near the Caribbeans. It’s not the most tasty of fishes but is chunky, pretty looking decently good for immunity. Remember that unlike most expectations, this fish is not rich in omega 3 and is a low fat fish.
  • Salt, 3/4th teaspoon : Use the sea salt for authenticity and it’s minerals.
  • Lemon juice, 1 teaspoon or from 1 average sized lemon : Sour and acidic, with a good amount of citric acid, we add lemon here not just to enhance the sour essence but also to use it’s hydrating and digestive qualities.
  • Aniseed, 1 & 1/2 teaspoon : Anise is a sweet and fragrant spice very similar to the essence of cinnamon. It has wonderful antiseptic property and help in clearing the respiratory track.
  • Turmeric Powder, 1/2 teaspoon : Turmeric gives a great orange color and a mild bitter taste to the pickle here. It is a wonderful antioxidant and anti inflammatory. I grow them in tubs in my backyard. They test your patience coming up, but they are amazingly pretty as a plant.
  • Cumin seeds, 1/2 teaspoon : Cumin has the classical earthy and nutty essence. Cumin is also extremely popular due to it’s aid to digestion, immune system, respiratory system and being a source of iron.
  • Garlic, 6 cloves : The King Pungent. Pungency is the reason why we use this allicin rich clove which combats sickness and common cold.
  • Black peppercorns, 8 : Good proportion of salt and pepper are great anti oxidants too.
  • Ginger, 1 inch : Unmistakably earthy, the ginger adds the heat quotient in the dish. The gingerol in ginger is a strong anti nausea and anti inflammatory agent.
  • Onion, chopped, 1/4th cup :  As in Red Onions for us Indians, strong, acidic and bitter. That’s what a good red onion is supposed to be. They are also good sources of Vitamin C and Iron and are good for hair, skin and help in weight-loss.
  • Parsley, 5 to 6 twigs : I grow moss green, long leafed, Italian varieties of parsley till late April. It is mildly bitter but an amazing garnish. It cures bad breath, diabetes and boosts our immunity. One can much the sweeter varieties fresh & raw from a harvest.
  • Paprika, 1/3rd teaspoon : Light and bitter with good amount of vitamin e and a strong antioxidant.
  • Oil, light vegetable or coconut oil would be good.

….time to cook ‘n roll (preparing instructions)

  • Wash the fish and pat dry. Now season it with salt, pepper, turmeric and lemon juice and set aside. Salt and turmeric takes away the foul smell of seafood.
  • Dry grind the whole spices i.e. aniseed, pepper, paprika, salt, cumin. 
  • Separately wet grind ginger, garlic, lemon juice and onion and make a paste mixing the dry ground spices to it.
  • Marinade the fish with this paste for 30 minutes. 
  • Heat a non stick pan not less than 10″ in diameter. Pan fry the fish well for 15 minutes on medium heat till well done. A well done fish would be soft and separate easily near the bones.
  • Garnish with parsley chopped and serve steaming hot.

Storage : Surely, a 500 grams fish is enjoyable in one sitting only.

Missing Something ? : Dress it up with a lemon wedge and enjoy with a homemade pesto dip  or a nice sweet homemade cherry tomato ketchup !!

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