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Indian Spiced Tilapia in Coconut Milk in a silver bowl garnished with cilantro, lemon slice, and green and red chilies

Indian Spiced Tilapia In Coconut Milk

 Indian Spiced Tilapia In Coconut Milk is easy, quick, delicious and budget friendly! It makes for the perfect luscious weeknight meal!
4.5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Servings 2 servings
Calories 543 kcal


  • 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

Optional Garnishes

  • 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!
    minced chili, garlic, ginger, and curry paste in a yellow bowl
  • Now coat both sides of the fish with the spice paste.
    tilapia coated with 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.
    onions around the side of a skillet
  • 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.
    Indian Spiced Tilapia in Coconut Milk With Onions
  • Allow to simmer at just under a medium heat for approximately 10 minutes. Add salt to taste, and then garnish with coriander.
    Indian Spiced Tilapia in Coconut Milk


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.  
If you have ginger garlic paste, you can use ½ tablespoon - 1 tablespoon to sub for the 3 cloves of garlic and 1 inch of ginger.  
Serve this delicious and delicate fish with basmati rice, and garnished with lots of coriander or green onions!  The rice tastes so amazing bathed in this spiced coconut sauce!  
This recipe is easily doubled to make 4 servings.  


Calories: 543kcalCarbohydrates: 16gProtein: 38gFat: 38gSaturated Fat: 22gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 85mgSodium: 111mgPotassium: 1070mgFiber: 2gSugar: 6gVitamin A: 645IUVitamin C: 107mgCalcium: 66mgIron: 5mg
Keyword coconut milk, Fish, tilapia
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!