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Fish for All Occasions!

Posted on March 12, 2020 at 2:10 PM by Madhu Gadia

March 12, 2020

Fish for All Occasions!

Fish is a delicious, low fat, high protein food that has a way of swimming into all kinds of restrictive meals. During Lent, which begins Ash Wednesday and runs until Easter, some people give up eating meat on Fridays. Others may not eat meat for the full season. But fish is ok. For some muddled reasons fish is not meat. In Bengal, India, fish is called “jal torai – water gourd” and thus eaten by all vegetarians, including Brahmins/priest class (devout vegetarians). Many converted vegetarians throughout the world, will include fish into their diet. Everyone appears to have a different reason to include fish.

Lent – Meatless Fridays

Hi there. Teresa here. The (wo)man behind the camera for Madhu’s cooking videos. Madhu suggested I add a little something here, given I grew up Catholic and eat a lot more fish during Lent than any other time during the year. I thought about writing something generic, about attending church fish frys as a kid, but decided to go ahead and make the black pepper tilapia dish. If just for the photos.

One of the great things about working with Madhu is not only have I started cooking some of her dishes, I have started cooking. Each year I tell myself “this will be the year,” but then I mostly live off take-out food or the generosity of friends and family who don’t mind cooking as much as I do. Madhu has motivated me to not only turn on an oven, but to also experiment with new spices.

For the tilapia dish, I was worried that visually it wouldn’t come out as pretty as Madhu’s. And I was right. But taste-wise? It was great. In fact, because it was so yummy, I underestimated how many pieces my dinner guests would want to eat. So I made the meal, served it, and then made more the same evening. And then ate the leftovers the next morning. I’m already considering making it again next week.

Type of Fish to Choose?

Check out this Baked Black Pepper Fish video, it’s easy, flavorful and simple. For the black pepper fish, I use a white fish that is mild in flavor. Today, I am using tilapia. Use any white fish such as tilapia, cod or catfish. Choose your favorite white fish.

If you live near a fresh fish market, of course choose fresh fish. But if you live in the middle of the country, like I do, most of the fish sold are frozen, even in the meat counter. It’s a great substitute, as the freshly caught fish is flash-frozen, keeping it nutritionally intact and safer. Plus, you can keep some in your freezer and enjoy it when you want it.

Enjoy Happy Healthy Living!



Baked Black Pepper Fish (Curry) Recipe
(Machhi Kali Mirch)

Gluten Free

This is an easy and delicious fish. Use any mild flavored, white fish such as tilapia. Sometimes I marinate the fish overnight; it adds more flavor and then can be cooked quickly when needed. I usually bake the fish, but it can be microwaved, or cooked in a pan.

Nutrition: Fish is high in protein and low in fat and calories. Tilapia, white fish, is also a good source Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids and selenium. 

2 pounds fish fillets (Tilapia or any white fish) 
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoon canola oil
Cooking oil spray
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

  1. In a flat pan combine oil with minced garlic, salt, turmeric, ground cumin, and black pepper. Gently toss fish fillets to coat well on both sides. Cover and marinate for 20 minutes at room temperature or longer in the refrigerator.

  2. Preheat over to 400° F. Coat the bottom of a baking dish with the pan spray. Place the fish in a single layer and pour the marinade over it. Bake uncovered for 12 - 15 minutes. The fish should be firm to the touch. Fish is done when it easily flakes with a fork. Sprinkle with lemon juice.

Makes 8 servings
Serving size: 3 oz each
Amount per serving: Calories: 140; Protein: 23 g; Fat: 5 g (Sat Fat: 1 g); Carbohydrate: 0 g
Dietary Fiber: 0 g; Sodium: 350 mg
(Recipe from New Indian Home Cooking by Madhu Gadia, M.S., R.D.; HP Books, 2000) 

Categories: Blog Articles, Recipes

Tagged As: Fish, Indian Spices

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