whole tilapia fish in coconut sauce(samaki wa kupaka)_Sheenas Kitchen

TILAPIA FISH IN COCONUT SAUCE also commonly known as “samaki wa kupaka” is a popular coastal region dish here in Kenya. I will be honest you cant really go wrong by adding coconut milk to your favorite dish.  This is my healthy version take on samaki wa kupaka, and so the fish is not deep fried. However you could grill the fish if you have a charcoal oven like they do in Mombasa, then add the fish to the sauce. Though personally I added the fish directly to the sauce after marinating, so just play around and go with the option that best suites you.

Recipe Serves 2:
  • 2 whole tilapia fish (scale,cleaned & flesh cut lightly to create slits for marinade to infuse)
  • 200ml coconut milk
  • 1 medium onion (roughly chopped)
  • 2 large tomatoes (roughly chopped)
  • 3 whole garlic cloves (rough chop)
  • 1 inch size fresh ginger (1/2 a thumb size or 1/2 tsp) -peeled (rough chop)
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tbsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil (or any veg oil)
  • 2 tbsp fresh chopped dhania
  • 2 fresh green chilies *(optional)
Fish Marinade
  • 2 whole tilapia fish (scale,cleaned & flesh cut lightly to create slits for marinade to infuse)
  • 1 tbsp curry powder
  • salt to taste
  • pinch of black pepper
  • juice of 1 lemon

whole tilapia fish in coconut sauce(samaki wa kupaka) close_Sheenas Kitchen

  1. Marinate the fish, with the marinade ingredients and leave to marinate for at least 20min.
  2. In a blender combine the onions, tomatoes, ginger and garlic & blend with some little water until smooth
  3. In a pan heat some oil in a pan, and add the blended tomato-onion mix, cook the mix for about 5 minutes or until the mixture turns turns slightly brwonish-reddish in color
  4. Add the whole green chilies,spices, salt, black pepper and stir everything  in well
  5. Add the tomato paste and stir until well mixed
  6. Add the 3/4 of the coconut milk and stir everything well. Check the seasoning at this stage.
  7. Add the fish and simmer to cook on very low heat for about 15-20min.
  8. After about 10 minutes, turn the fish gently careful not to break it
  9. In the last five minutes add the capsicums I like mine crunchy, otherwise you if you like yours soft, add them as your adding the spices
  10. Finish by drizzling the leftover coconut milk and some fresh chopped dhania.
TIP: The marinade step is optional but including it will just enhance the tilapia fish flavour.

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4 Responses

  1. jwangutusi says:

    Hi. Thanks for the recipe. I will try cooking at home.

  2. Anne says:

    Tried the recipe yesterday. Lovely, my fish has never tasted this fingerlicking good. Thank you.

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