Stewed Whole Fish

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  1. Dust the tilapia on both sides lightly with the wheat flour and shake off any excess.
  2. Heat the vegetable oil in a saucepan until it begins to shimmer and then sear the tilapia on both sides till they develop a nice golden brown crust.
  3. In the same oil add your onions and fry till they turn translucent and then add the ginger and garlic. Cook for just a minute.
  4. Add the tomato paste and cook for about a minute to get rid of the raw taste.
  5. Slit the green chillies lengthwise and add them to the saucepan. You can cut them up into small pieces if you want to have more heat.
  6. Add the garam masala at this point and cook off the entire mixture until the oil separates from the tomato paste.
  7. Finely chop the tomatoes and then add them to the saucepan together with enough salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste. Reduce heat to a low simmer, cover and cook for a few minutes for the tomatoes to soften and break down.
  8. Add enough water to make a thick stew and then cover and bring to a gentle simmer.
  9. Taste for seasoning and if too tart add honey to cut through the tartness.
  10. Scoop out half the stew before placing the tilapia in the saucepan.
  11. Pour the stew that you scooped out over the top of the tilapia and make sure to spread it evenly to cover the fish.
  12. Cover and simmer on low heat for 25-30 minutes for the tilapia to fully cook and for the stew to thicken further.
  13. Sprinkle all the bell peppers and spring onions on top of the tilapia and cover to simmer for a few minutes until just softened but still crunchy.
  14. Finally, add the dhania and turn off the heat.
  15. Serve and garnish with more coloured bell peppers and lemon wedges.



1-2 Whole Tilapia
3 medium sized tomatoes
1/2 bell pepper
Yellow bell pepper
Red bell pepper
1 lemon
2 medium sized red onions thinly sliced
3 spring onions stalks
3 green chillies
bunch of dhania (coriander)
100g tomato paste
3 cloves garlic finely minced
2″ ginger finely minced
Enough all-purpose wheat flour to coat two tilapias
Enough vegetable oil to shallow fry both tilapias
1 Tbs of garam masala or curry powder
Salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
2 Tbs honey


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