Sunday, 9 March 2014

Tandoori Tilapia

Here's something you wouldn't normally expect: I'm an Indian who doesn't enjoy most Indian foods. I'm not a huge curry fan, and sometimes I just can't handle the heat and pungency of most spices used. It also could be that I don't enjoy how long some of my favourite dishes take to make because I have no patience. I have a few select dishes that I enjoy (Butter chicken, butter chicken,, wherefore art thou butter chicken?) but I can never replicate mom's recipe quite perfectly.

There is one dish that I can do perfectly, according to my mom, and that dish is tandoori chicken. Marinated in a tangy yogurt-tandoori masala and cooked at a high heat, the chicken becomes moist, an incredibly flavourful. The only thing I don't have at my disposal is a tandoor (an oven that exposes whatever is being cooked inside to a wood fire, which results in smoky, delicious meat), but I make do with an oven and a broiler. Lately though, I've been wanting to experiment with different tandoori-styled meats.

Tonight was the night that I tried something new. Tonight I substituted my beloved standby chicken for...tilapia.

I love fish and shellfish because they're very easy to prepare, and chock full of flavour. A lovely piece of salmon in a creamy dill sauce? A dozen fresh raw oysters, lemon wedges and some mignonette sauce? Shrimp tempura? Tuna sashimi? I eat it all.

Tilapia is a firm white-fleshed fish, and perfect for this recipe. Whip up the quick yogurt marinade and baked for 25 minutes, it turns into a mouth-watering dish.

Easy, delicious and doesn't take forever? I'll take it!
Tilapia covered in marinade, before baking

Tandoori Tilapia (serves 4)

3/4 cup plain yogurt (2% yogurt works best)
2 tbsp tandoori masala (found at any Indian store, or Bulk Barn)
1 tsp garam masala (found at any Indian store, or Bulk Barn)
1 tbsp turmeric powder (found in any spice aisle, or Bulk Barn)
1 lb tilapia fillets, cut into large chunks
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees if wanting to bake right away
  • Mix together everything but the fish in a square baking dish
  • Add the fish to the baking dish, mixing to evenly coat the fish in marinade
  • If not baking right away, marinate in fridge for at least a half hour, but no longer than two hours
  • Bake fish for 25 minutes
  • After baking, broil fish for 5 minutes
  • Serve with basmati rice or roti 

Tilapia, after baking and broiling

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