Masala Fried Fish with Chilli Jam

Writer’s block – the singular dreaded phrase that every writer goes through from time to time. I am no exception; my mind has just gone numb blank and I just cannot seem to focus the thoughts into words. It is a phase – one that will pass in good time and till then, all I can do is exercise a little patience. Better said than done, eh!


Getting to today’s recipe (which was meant to be posted a long time ago), it was all about discovering Indian cuisine and its vast influences on foreign ones. If I were to read ‘masala fried fish’ anywhere, the only country that would come to my mind would be India. But surprisingly, this is a South African and more specifically, a Cape Town fish preparation.

The Indian influence on South African cuisine is legendary and this fried fish is ample proof for that. The marinade resplendent with spices and aromatics like garlic, cumin, coriander, pepper and turmeric is as Indian as it gets, but I don’t think we use this in any part of India (well, at least not to my knowledge; correct me if I am wrong) to prepare fried fish. Allow the fish pieces to swim and soak away in this luscious marinade for as long as you can and the result – beautifully spiced (but not fiery) succulent pieces of fried fish. Heaven!


And the perfect accompaniment to these golden beauties is the chilli jam (

Recipe Courtesy – Tortoises and Tumbleweeds (Journey through an African Kitchen) – Lannice Snyman


1. White fish fillet – 1 kg, cut into thick chunks
2. Salt – to season
3. Freshly milled black pepper – to season
4. Marinade
• Garlic cloves – 2
• Green chilli – 1
• Lemon – juice of ½ lemon
• Ground cumin – ½ tsp
• Ground coriander – 1 tsp
• Turmeric powder – ¼ tsp

5. Vegetable oil – for shallow frying the fish pieces
6. Lemon wedges – to serve
7. Chill jam – to serve



• Pound all the ingredients for the marinade till well combined.
• Season the fish pieces with salt and pepper and then coat well in the marinade.
• Leave for at least 2 hours or longer if time permits.
• Shallow fry the fish pieces till golden brown.
• Serve hot with lemon wedges and chilli jam




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4 thoughts on “Masala Fried Fish with Chilli Jam

  1. […] I initially paired this jam with South African masala fried fish, I have been making it every since – so far have tried it with cheese toasts, meatballs, potato […]


  2. afracooking March 16, 2014 at 12:54 pm Reply

    The writers block does not shine through the post. It is as eloquent as all your posts. You know, I struggle with this feeling that the words get stuck so often. At some point they to not flow anymore and then my brain starts second guessing every phrase that comes out. Part of the process I guess 🙂


    • vanyadhanya March 16, 2014 at 11:15 pm Reply

      so true….it felt so forced and not free flowing as it usually does. thank God the recipe helped.


  3. Chilli Jam | skinnychefdecuisine March 16, 2014 at 7:55 am Reply

    […] I initially paired this jam with South African masala fried fish (, I have been making it every since – so far have tried it with cheese toasts, meatballs, potato […]


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