Friday, January 25, 2013

Pepper crusted Tilapia Indian style with green beans and mustard sauce

Indian approach to fish is totally different from other styles of cooking. I have never seen the fish monger in India fillet them, they just chop them along with their bones.I am from South India and our approach to cooking a fish is also different from the other styles of cooking like baking,or the simple crusting with salt and pepper and cooking them on a pan. We usually coat them with spices and shallow fry them or add it to the curry.
When my mom cooks fish curry the whole house comes awake with that wonderful aromatic spice and fish smell. We used to play a game where in we find out which house on the street is cooking fish by  just walking on the street. We don even have to be inside the house to smell the fish! I think everybody from Southern part will know what i am talking abt !

My father loves fish ,my husband also loves fish, any style.Hmm.. I am beginning to wonder my husband and my dad are so much alike, in so many things.... I usually make fish curry on the weekends and i bake or pan fry the fish on weekdays for lunch.This is a recipe i made yesterday for my husband for lunch. Usually when he orders fish in restaurants he feels they are bland, cos he is used to eating spicy tangy fish,so I put my own twist in it by adding ginger and garlic paste (G&G paste) which is a staple in Indian cooking. All Indians are familiar with this paste. For those who doesn't not know abt this paste, as the name suggest it is a blend of ginger and garlic with some oil. You can make your own paste at home by grinding the ginger and garlic with oil in your blender and you can store it in an air tight container in the refrigerator for a months. You can find this paste in any Indian store. Little goes a long way so be careful when you coat it over the fish.

I also put a twist on the usual mustard sauce with a touch of cumin and cayenne. Plus, I added capers for the salty burst to balance the sweetness of the honey and mustard.

This is such an easy recipe it literally took me 5 mins for prep and cooking. I brushed the fish with the G&G paste and added salt and lots of pepper as my husband likes it spicy:) I also cook the fish to a well done and not medium, as in India we are used to eating well cooked fish and never medium or opaque in the middle. I remember my father sending away the fish cos it was opaque in the middle.But feel free to cook the fish any way you want.But recommend pan frying it than baking cos the G&G paste has to completely cook down.

 I am using Tilapia fillets here, any white fish would be good. I know i know what some of you are thinking, but, I don know what tilapia fish is called in tamil guys, sorry.

Pepper crusted Tilapia Indian style with green beans and mustard sauce Serves 4


Tilapia fish fillets - 4 or any white flesh fish
Ginger & garlic paste (G&G paste) - 1 tspn
Coarsely ground pepper - 5 tspn
Oil for frying

Sauteed Green Beans Ingredients

Green beans frozen any style - 1 bunch, if french cut - 11.5 cups precooked
Garlic chopped - 2
Onion chopped - 1/4 cup
Slithered almonds - 4 tspn
Panko bread crumbs - 4 Tspn
Oil - 1tspn

Mustard sauce

Low fat Yogurt - 1 tspn
Low fat Mayonnaise - 1tspn
Dijon Mustard - 1 tspn
Capers - 1 tspn
Cayenne pepper - a pinch
Cumin powder - apinch
Honey - a very small dollop
Salt and pepper


Pepper crusted Tilapia

Brush the tilapia with the G&G paste, add salt and pepper. the paste makes the salt and pepper stick to the fish.Repeat the same on the other side.
Repeat the same on the other fillet
Heat the pan with oil, once the pan starts to smoke add the fish and cook for 2 mins on each side, or according to the thickness of the fish it might take few more or even less minutes.

I recommend cooking the fish on pan instead of baking because the G&G paste has to completely cook down.

Sauteed Green beans

In a pan dry roast the slithered almonds and panko until golden brown. Keep aside in a cup.
Add oil in pan, add the chopped onion and chopped garlic and fry for a minute.
Wash and drain the beans and add it to the onion and let the oil coat the beans
Add salt and pepper and toss the beans around for a couple of mins.
switch off the heat and add the panko and almond mixture and toss around

Mustard sauce

Add the yougurt,mayo,mustard,honey, salt and pepper mix well. Taste for seasoning.
Add the other ingredients like cumin and cayenne and capers and mix well.
Sauce is ready to serve.


  1. Looks yummie! will try it soon. hope i can try it with any fish i get.