Simple Pan-fried Fish with Indian Spices Recipe

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20 votes | 159035 views

This is a simple dish I throw together with fresh white fish fillets (typically Swai, Tilapia, Catfish, or Orange Roughy). It's easy to make and our whole family loves it. I know it seems crazy to give this four and a half stars, but it's a really great combination of flavors. Try this with rice and a vegetable side dish or salad, and you won't be disappointed!

Prep time:
Cook time:
Servings: 4


Cost per serving $0.20 view details
  • 2 pounds fish fillets (Swai, Tilapia, Catfish, Orange Roughy, etc.)
  • 1 Tbsp paprika (approx)
  • 1 Tbsp cumin (approx)
  • 1 tsp turmeric (approx)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1-2 Tbsp vegetable oil


  1. Heat the oil in a large frying or saute pan.
  2. Meanwhile liberally sprinkle the paprika and cumin on both sides of the fish fillets, while less liberally sprinkling the turmeric. Then sprinkle both sides with Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  3. When the oil is hot, add the fish to the pan and cover. Cook for 2 minutes on a side, then flip and cover again and cook an additional 2 minutes on the other side. If the fillets are thick, cut in the thick part with a night to check if the fish is white and flaky on the inside. If the fish is still pink or translucent in the thickest part, continue cooking for approximately 2 more minutes, flipping back to the other side for the last minute.
  4. Serve over or next to rice with a vegetable.
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Nutrition Facts

Amount Per Serving %DV
Serving Size 235g
Recipe makes 4 servings
Calories 282  
Calories from Fat 99 35%
Total Fat 11.18g 14%
Saturated Fat 1.54g 6%
Trans Fat 0.13g  
Cholesterol 145mg 48%
Sodium 194mg 8%
Potassium 850mg 24%
Total Carbs 1.98g 1%
Dietary Fiber 0.9g 3%
Sugars 0.23g 0%
Protein 41.41g 66%



  • Nancy Miyasaki
    November 5, 2012
    I was a little frustrated when John threw this together last minute with no recipe and our kids raved about how they liked it better than other tilapia recipes I've cooked. That said, I have to agree that this is a really nice mix of spices and makes for a very easy pan fried fish.
    I've cooked/tasted this recipe!
    • November 6, 2012
      I've tried something similar with Tilapia. Anxious to use this recipe. Never used the turmeric on fish. Sounds good though (and it certainly is easy)
      • Lillian Grace
        November 14, 2012
        Hi John, tried this last night with fresh sea bass. Changed the tumeric to curry powder and only used half tablespoon of cumin, but added some red pepper flakes. Served with raisin and cilantro rice...yummy. Thanks for sharing.
        We made this again tonight, (May/15) with sea bass (that's all we can get here) and changed the flavor. We used a coffee ancho chili powder rub, and cooked the fillets a full 6 minutes, served this with sweet potatoes. The fish was perfectly cooked and the sweet potatoes with some butter and salt and pepper went well together.
        I've cooked/tasted this recipe!
        1 reply
        • John Spottiswood
          November 14, 2012
          Sounds delicious, Lillian. I'll try a variation like this in the future.
        • November 24, 2012
          I made this recipe using Swai & it was delicious! Definitely one of my favorites.
          I've cooked/tasted this recipe!
          • Chris
            May 3, 2014
            The fish was awesome! Tender & juicy! Will definitely make this again.
            I've cooked/tasted this recipe!
            • Bonnie Loubier
              February 24, 2015
              I've cooked/tasted this recipe!
              • Dayna Bunting
                August 8, 2015
                Did not have turmeric so used a bit of Jamaican curry instead & it turned out good! And I am not the biggest fish fan either, so that's saying a lot!
                I've cooked/tasted this recipe!
                • Maria Corrons
                  November 18, 2015
                  I made this last night with Orange Roughy and it was delicious! The combination of spices did the trick
                  I've cooked/tasted this recipe!
                  • Karla
                    December 1, 2015
                    I sprinkled each of the spices (except salt) on 2 Tilapia's coated in Mediterranean Oil (Costco) and baked for 9 minutes at 425 degrees...Served it with steamed brocolli and wild rice. It was excellent.
                    I've cooked/tasted this recipe!
                    This is a variation
                    • Margo - missingtx78
                      October 23, 2017
                      This is delicious John. Thank you for sharing. I never thought to add cumin, the spice blend is absolutely perfect. Love it with rice and vegetables
                      I've cooked/tasted this recipe!


                      • Sharon Fink
                        May 12, 2017
                        Sounds good, so I am going to try it tonight!
                        • Smokinhotchef
                          September 29, 2015
                          I like the implement of the Indian spice combination. I can wait to try this with some couscous and a vegetable tagine!!! Thanks for sharing.
                          1 reply
                        • ShaleeDP
                          December 18, 2012
                          My kid enjoys fish. She loves it. So I try to find different ways to cook them. This is one I could use too. Thanks for sharing.

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