Monday, May 19, 2008

Tilapia Spiced with Fish Masala and Basil

Last Friday, I had a most enjoyable and tasty dinner at my friend SAB's place. If one tasted her food, one would be surprised to know that although she loves eating good food as much as I do, she isn't as passionate about cooking as one would believe. On the menu, she had a perfectly baked and seasoned Tilapia served with a sidedish of spicy baked potatoes. Oh, and to start, she prepared two different types of salads, which were both so appetizing. I'm a huge meat eater and less of a salad fan, but these two were highly pleasing to my taste buds. One was drizzled with a fantastic Ceasar salad dressing made of anchovy paste, and the other had perfectly ripe avocados with a dash of lemon.
The show stealer was the fish which was simply seasoned with a spice I wasn't familiar with, called Fish Masala. It's slightly hot and not too powerful, which is perfect for fish. Fish is delicate in texture and taste that I think it shouldn't be seasoned and cooked in overpowering spices that just take away the taste of the fish. This spice can be purchased in any local indian/arab grocery store.

What I love about eating at SAB's is that I enjoy eating just about anything she makes, and I know that it's always simple to make. Just like many of us, she has an extremely busy schedule and only has time to make quick and easy meals. Funny thing is, she doesn't realize what a great cook she is!
Preparation time: 5 minutes, Cooking time: 20-25 minutes
Recipe "au pif":
4 fillets of Tilapia (or any other white fish like seabream, sea bass, cod..etc.)
1 tsp Fish Masala spice
1/4 tsp coarse sea salt (or any other flavoured salt of your choice)
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp finely minced garlic.
Finely chopped basil leaves to garnish
Preheat oven to 350F.
Lay fish fillets in a large baking dish. Season with Fish Masala, salt and black pepper. Sprinkle garlic on top of fillets.
Drizzle with olive oil.
Cover baking dish with aluminium foil and bake for about 20-25 minutes or until fish is cooked. To check if fish is cooked, use a fork and prick the flesh to make sure flesh is white and not translucid/grey.
Remove from oven and garnish with basil.
Serves 4 people.

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