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I love fish recipes that are easy, quick, delicious and budget friendly. Indian Spiced Tilapia in Coconut Milk checks every one of those boxes!
Fish really is the original fast food. The tilapia, mainly a freshwater fish, cooks really quickly. However, I like to let it simmer awhile so that the flavors can infuse for a more delicious meal!
This Indian recipe uses simple ingredients, and makes for a delicious (and low carb) main course! And as mentioned, it is super simple to make!
What Ingredients Are Needed To Make This Fish Curry?
Minimal ingredients are needed to make delicious Indian Spiced Tilapia in Coconut Milk!
All you will need is:
- Olive oil (or vegetable oil)
- Tilapia fillets
- Chilis (I used Thai chilis - omit if you prefer a mild dish)
- Your favorite Indian curry ground paste! I used Patak's Vindaloo Curry Paste, but you can use whatever you prefer!
- Coconut milk
- Lemon juice (can sub lime juice)
- Salt to taste
The Patak's Vindaloo Curry Paste contains a spicy concentrated blend of turmeric powder, paprika powder, cumin and ground red pepper.
I have included links to the Curry Paste and coconut milk for convenience if you are interested in purchasing on Amazon.
Simple, Quick and Easy Prep!
Prepping for this tilapia recipe couldn't be simpler! You will need to slice an onion, and mince the garlic, ginger and chilis (if using). I love using a small food processor to make easy work of mincing the garlic and ginger. However you can mince by hand if you like.
Simply combine in a small bowl some curry paste with your minced garlic, ginger, and chilis (if using). This will make a thick paste, but we will add some lemon juice to loosen it up. Then you have your paste ready to coat your fresh fish with!
The Easy Method To Cook This Dish
Easy prep is followed by easy method! Indian cooking doesn't get much simpler than this!
Begin by heating a nonstick frying pan or cast iron skillet to medium-high heat. Then simply fry the sliced onion in olive oil for a few minutes until golden brown and soft. You'll then add the fish fillets coated with the spice paste, and fry each side for a couple of minutes.
Be sure to pan fry the fish pieces in a single layer. If you can't fry them in a single layer then you will need to fry in batches.
I used a very nicely seasoned cast iron skillet for this recipe. I do recommend that you use something similar to prevent the delicate fish sticking to the pan. You could also use a nonstick pan as well. 🙂
After frying the fish pieces, add the coconut milk and allow to simmer just under a medium heat for around 10 minutes or so, to allow the flavors to infuse. Then add salt to taste.
The end result is some mighty tasty fish!
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes! Choose another firm and flaky white fish such as catfish or whiting!
The fresh tilapia fish that you choose should smell fresh and not fishy. If the tilapia smells fishy, then it may be spoiled.
Yes! Ginger garlic paste is used frequently in Indian cooking. If you have it, you can use ½ tablespoon - 1 tablespoon to sub for the 3 cloves of garlic and 1 inch of ginger.
How To Serve This Delicious Tilapia
You will definitely want to put this splendid dish on your dinner menu rotation!
Suggested garnishes are red or green chilies, green onions, cilantro, and lemon slices.
I believe this dish is best served with basmati rice, the king of rices! Combine rice with the curry sauce and the taste is incredible!
For a complete meal, serve the fish and rice along with an incredible salad called Cachumber!
Here are two versions of Cachumber to choose from:
Click the links below the pictures for the Cachumber recipes, or click here!
This salad is the perfect side dish to this meal. 🙂 I hope you will try this luscious tilapia! So easy to make it's a great choice for a delicious weeknight meal!
Here Are Some Other Dishes You May Enjoy!
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Indian Spiced Tilapia In Coconut Milk
- Use a well seasoned cast iron skillet or a nonstick skillet
- 2 tablespoon olive oil can sub vegetable oil
- 1 onion slice thinly
- 2 tilapia fillets large (mine were around ¾ lb total weight)
- 3 chilis I used Thai chilis, or omit for a mild dish
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 inch ginger peeled and minced
- 2 tablespoon Indian curry paste I used Vindaloo paste. You can use whatever paste you fancy!
- 7 oz coconut milk I used ½ of a 14 oz can of coconut milk
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice can sub lime juice
- salt to taste
- coriander or green onions optional garnish
- green or red chilies optional garnish
- lemon slices
- Slice your onion thinly. Mince garlic, ginger, and chilis (if using) and place in a small bowl. Add the Indian curry paste and lemon juice and mix well. This will be the spice you use to coat the fish!
- Now coat both sides of the fish with the spice paste.
- Heat your nonstick pan or cast iron skillet to medium high heat. Add the olive oil (or vegetable oil), and once hot add the sliced onion. Fry the onion for around 6 minutes, or until the onion is soft and browned. Move the onion to the side of the pan.
- Lower the heat to medium. Add the fish (in a single layer) which has been coated with the spice paste to the center of the pan. Fry each side for 2 minutes. Then add the coconut milk.
- Allow to simmer at just under a medium heat for approximately 10 minutes. Add salt to taste, and then garnish with coriander.
Amazing talapia recipe! I just had to make this recipe since my daughter loved it so much ! She doesn’t like Indian type of dishes in the restaurants but she really loves this one so I just had to make it. The smell was so amazing while cooking and the aroma just filled our house with so many spices. Delicious topped with lots of cilantro! Thanks to my sister Grace for sharing !
June ...thank you so much for making and commenting on this recipe! I'm so happy that you and your family enjoyed it! Thanks again!! Grace
A very good starting point!
We found that a full can (for doubled recipe) was far too much coconut milk. Even with doubling the rest, we've written into our notes to use only 1/4 to 1/2 can next time. I enjoy a creamy sauce, but the sheer amount of milk overwhelmed all the other flavors. We kept adding seasoning and it still just tasted milky when the dish was done.
Otherwise, the process and timing worked well. The texture of the fish was good and the onions were a nice addition. We will be trying it again with the reduced amount of coconut milk and hope it will be stellar!
Hi Mel! Thanks so much for trying out this recipe and taking the time to comment here! I very much appreciate your comments and will add some of your notes to my post which will do well to help other readers! If you do try it again with the reduced amt of coconut milk I'd love to know how it turns out and hopefully it will be 5 star then! Thanks again, and I hope you have a brilliant day! Grace