Spicy Tilapia Masala Recipe

Spicy Tilapia Masala Recipe Recipe

This is my go-to method for cooking white fish fillets during the winter. I prepared a spicy marinade, then placed the fish fillets in sealable bags and poured the marinade over the fish. I let the flavors infuse into the fish for a a few minutes, then baked it until cooked and opaque.

The recipe works well with any sort of white fish such as tilapia, cod, haddock or halibut. I used tilapia that I served with raita (minty yogurt sauce) and a fresh salad.


Yields: 4 servings

4 (6-ounce) tilapia fillets
juice of 2 lemons
¾ cup plain yogurt
¼ teaspoon turmeric
3 cloves fresh garlic, peeled and halved
¼ teaspoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
1 teaspoon white pepper, freshly ground
1¼ teaspoons salt
¾ teaspoon red chili powder
2 teaspoons mild honey (optional), warm
3 tablespoons canola oil (or any neutral oil), as needed
2 teaspoon unsalted butter
1 green onion, sliced


Marinating the fish:

Clean the fish fillets. Pat dry. Drizzle with the juice of 1 lemon and season with salt. Set aside.

Using a cheese cloth, strain out the excess whey of the yogurt for at least 15 minutes (that way the tandoori marinade will have a lower water content for creamier consistency). Add the marinade ingredients (ginger, garlic, red chili powder, turmeric powder, white pepper, the juice of 1 lemon, cumin powder and 1 tablespoon oil) and mix together with the yogurt. In a sealable container, combine the spicy marinade and the fish. Seal and shake well. Make sure the marinade coats and penetrates the fish. Chill in the refrigerator for about 1 hour.


Preheat the oven to 350°F.

In a small non-stick pan, heat the rest of the oil and coat the green onions until glistening. Add butter. Once the butter is melted, transfer to a plate. 

Pat dry the fish using paper towels. Place the fish fillets in a small, shallow dish greased with a spray of oil. Drizzle the fish with a bit of oil. Season with a bit of salt. Bake for 35-40 minutes.

Remove from the oven and check for doneness. The fish should be flaky. If the fish is not cooked through, bake for another 3-4 minutes. Garnish with the reserved green onions.

Serve warm with raita and a salad on the side.

Bon appétit!


You can also make your own variation using your favorite flavoring, such as a preserved lemon marinade.

Published By: Jacqueline Pham on January 15, 2014.


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