Seafood creations from our recent trip to Maui Hawaii left me with a desire to replicate fresh island fish flavors, using Indian spices and a fresh tomato relish.
If you haven’t already; do check out last week’s post ‘Aloha! Maui Hawaii in Pictures’ filled with beautiful pictures from our journey through this Hawaiian island filled with nature’s bounty.
For this recipe, I’ve lightly spiced and sautéed tilapia fish (use any white flesh fish of your choice.) However, it’s the fish topping that’s the real deal – the ‘pièce de résistance’ of this preparation.
An olive oil tempering of fresh garlic and green chilies, with a touch of spices, is added to fresh diced tomatoes, herbs and lemon juice. The result, is a topping that creates mouthwatering bites of refreshing island flavors over light flaky fish – a dish best served freshly made.
Recipes like this one are perfect for summer, when all you feel like eating is quick cooking meals with fresh ingredients. Serve spiced fish topped with fresh tomato relish as a weekday meal or for weekend entertaining.
My cookbook ‘Tikka, Tikki & Spicy Bites’ has been getting great reviews and is ideal to have on hand for many summer-simple kebab and tikka recipes, with easy ideas for chutneys and raita. Hope you’ve taken a look at it!
- 1 lb (about 4) tilapia fillets, or use white flesh fish of your choice
- ½ teaspoon ground red chili or Cayenne pepper
- ¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Olive oil to cook the fish
- 1 cup diced fresh tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
- 1 tablespoon chopped mint leaves
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
- ½ teaspoon finely chopped fresh green chili pepper, Serrano or Thai works best
- ½ teaspoon cracked black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon black mustard seeds (optional, if on hand)
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Wash and dry the fish fillet using a paper towel. Note: the fish needs to be completely dry for the spice rub to work.
- Make a blend of ground red chili, turmeric and salt; apply uniformly over the fish fillet. Cover and refrigerate till ready to cook and serve.
- In a bowl, mix the chopped tomatoes, lemon juice, cilantro and mint.
- Create a tempering by heating olive oil in a sauté pan. Add chopped garlic, green chili pepper, black pepper and mustard seeds (if using). Stir for 30 seconds and add ground cumin and salt.
- Add the olive oil tempering to the fresh tomatoes in the bowl. Note: tomatoes will release water as they stand – you can drain the water, if preferred.
- The relish is served at room temperature.
- Prepare the fish just prior to serving.
- Heat oil in pan and cook the spiced tilapia fish fillet for 2-3 minutes on each side. (Cook times will vary based on the fish being used.)
- Serve the freshly cooked fish with a topping of tomato relish.