Tilapia fillets are so easy to put together for a quick weeknight dinner or lunch. Serve with a bowl of seasoned brown rice or some creamy pasta and you have a fancy looking dinner ready within no time.
I like to usually bake my tilapia after marinating for 20-25 minutes. If you marinate it for longer, it starts falling apart. Sometime I would fry it in a skillet with a small amount of oil/butter. Whichever method you use, it is equally delicious.
The secret ingredient that I like to use for my tilapia is a small amount of crushed carom seeds (ajwain in urdu). Carom seeds are typically used in Pakistani style fried fish that you see street vendors selling. Fried fish is a popular street food in Pakistan during the winter months.
If you are skeptic about purchasing carom seeds and storing them, let me assure you that they store well for years. Keep them in an airtight glass jar/bottle for maximum freshness. Also a pinch of carom seeds does wonders for gastric issues.
4 tilapia fillets
juice of half a lemon (if big, otherwise a whole lemon)
1 teaspoon freshly minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon fresh crushed black pepper
1/4 teaspoon crushed carom seeds
1/2 teaspoon salt
red pepper flakes (optional)
oil for frying
Marinate the fillets in all the ingredients for 20-25 minutes. Heat a skillet and put a tablespoon of oil on high flame. Place the fillets in the hot oil and fry on high flame for a few minutes on each side, trying to flip just once.
Alternatively, place the fillets in a baking sheet. Drizzle some olive oil on top. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 425 F for 15-20 minutes or till fish flakes with a fork. Squeeze fresh lemon juice on top before serving for an extra kick!