Ranjit’s South Indian Pan Sautéed Fish

My brother-in-law Ranjit is an amazing cook. He made this outstanding South Indian pan sautéed fish one evening when we visited him and my sister in Philadelphia over the summer. The whole family loved it, kids and adults alike. Being vegetarian I didn’t taste it, but what he made looked so good that I wished I did eat fish. Ranjit served the fish with rice and the combination of golden yellow fish and fluffy white basmati rice looked positively gorgeous on the plate. I asked Ranjit to share the recipe, and here it is.


Ranjit’s South Indian Spiced Pan Sautéed Fish


  • 4 fillets of fish preferably white fish
  • 1tsp Cumin powder
  • 1 tsp Turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp Garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp Mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin seeds
  • Cayenne pepper or paprika to your taste
  • 1 dried Ancho Mexican chili
  • 4 fresh curry leaves if you have but not needed
  • 2 tbsp Coconut oil
  • Salt


  • In a pan melt 2 tbsp coconut oil.
  • Add mustard seeds and cumin seeds until lightly toasted.
  • Lower the heat and add fresh curry leaves, cumin powder, turmeric powder, garlic powder, Mexican red chili, and cayenne pepper.
  • Toast the spices in oil for 30 seconds. Do not burn the spices.
  • Add the fish fillets and sauté fish in the spices with a little salt.
  • Cover the pot for 5 minutes or until fish is cooked through.
  • Serve with white rice.

2 thoughts on “Ranjit’s South Indian Pan Sautéed Fish”

  1. Indeed , both Ranjit and Bhanu are great Cooks and Wonderful Hosts …Ranjit makes delicious Chicken dishes for his kids too as he believes firmly Meat protein is essential in a diet . our Bhanu Kutty made a tasty Pancha Dhall Dish ( five Lentils) on your dad’s 70th birthday and needless to say it was full of Flavor and Protein rich …

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