Some days don’t you wish you could take off from your hectic work schedules and spend a leisurely day, basking in the sun, stretch your legs out, or lie down on a pristine and serene beach. Smell the ocean, and hear the waves crash, saunter barefoot on a sandy shoreline or dip your toes in cold water. The smell of the salty sea and mouth watering barbecued seafood is what I’m talking about. I’m thinking of beaches in Europe – experience Spain or perhaps a little getaway to Goa in our very own India. A land blessed with splendid scenic beauty, beautiful  rivers and lakes, golden beaches and above all that irreplaceable Goan cuisine. Beautiful dishes of Hindu origin, four hundred years of Portuguese colonialism and modern techniques.

The Portuguese actually did a lot for us, in terms of introducing us to new fruits, vegetables, herbs and spices.They gave us potatoes, tomatoes, pineapples, guavas, cashews, papayas, passion fruit, pumpkins, aubergines, cilantro(coriander) and the much loved red chilli. The Portuguese bought goods to India mainly for their own consumption, trade and as a part of their culture. From the routes they discovered, they collected and brought over a host of plants an roots producing luscious fruits and vegetables never heard or seen before. In turn they took from here fruit bearing plants such as mangoes, coconuts and spices to places far as Brazil. And this became the famous spice trade, which enriched the culinary art and economy of various regions. This cross trade had more benefits too. Recipes from different countries were prepared in Goa. Initially with the produce they   carried into India from their travels, but also when the stocks were exhausted, they substituted them with local fresh produce, and hence new Goan dishes were created. And so the spices and fruits that came from various parts of the world had a big impact on the eating habits of the Goans, providing them with a rich cuisine, which is a mixture of the east and west.

Goan cooking generally involves liberal amounts of spices, giving the dishes a strange taste and distinctive aroma. The most commonly used spices included cumin, coriander, chillis garlic, vinegar and turmeric. Their food is simple and most of the dishes are chilli hot, spicy and pungent. And goan food is never complete without fish. This marinade is just perfect to make  at  home, and enjoy the Goan experience. I’ve used Red Snapper Fillets but feel free to use any fish that you like, which is firm and less boney. Can serve it with plain steamed rice, but I think it goes wonderfully with Lemon Rice.

This recipe is always a winner whenever I’ve served it. Try it with prawns or any seafood of choice. I’m updating my dining room furniture this week, so I’m planning to make this fish again this coming weekend and invite some friends over. Prefect dish to compliment my new furniture celebration.


For the Marinade

5 tbsp white vinegar

7-8 dried red chillis deseeded and soaked

4-5 whole black peppercorns

2 tsp jeera seeds

3 tbsp chopped garlic

½ tsp sugar

1 tbsp whole dhanya  seeds (whole corriander)

½ tsp turmeric

Salt to taste

2 fish fillets with skin on one side  (Red Snapper,Kingfish,Rawas – any firm fish with chunky boneless meat )

For  the    lemon  rice

1 cup basmati rice

1 large red onion chopped

1 tsp mustard seeds

1 green chilli chopped

2 twigs of curry leaves

½ tsp turmeric

Juice of 1 lime

Salt to taste

1 tbsp oil

Handful of chopped corriander

For the  fish  marinade, blend together all the spices in a chutney grinder, till it forms a smooth paste. Massage it on to the fish and leave for about an hour. For the Lemon Rice, you could use left over rice if you have any or just steam some in salted water and drain. Take a frying pan, and heat the oil, still smoking hot. Add the mustard seeds and when they begin to splutter, add the curry leaves and then the onions. Fry for about 2 minutes and add the rice. Sprinkle the salt n turmeric and mix well. Splash some water for all of it to come together and fry for about 5 minutes more on medium flame. Turn off the heat now, add the lemon juice and coriander and mix well.

For the fish, simply pan fry first with skin side down. When its done and crispy on one  side, flip over cook and then serve on a bed of  hot lemon rice.

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Comment :

So scrumptious looking! That fish is fried to perfection.



Thank you for the little lesson in Goan cooking…I knew the Portugese had colonised there but had no idea how much influence they had over the food. Love the spice mix and especially what you have done here…oh and that rice!

Love the color contrast in your picture. And that will be a perfect afternoon meal for me.


Rosa, Peter and Radhika … Thank You 🙂

Oh wow – The color on that snapper is beautiful! I’ve got this one bookmarked, thanks!

This pan fried snapper in goan marinade and lemon rice looks like a wonderful dish. Thanks for the recipe.

I do something similar using cumin, mustard, honey yoghurt and dill as the marinade, but this is absolutely delicious, making my (what I thought was fantastic) lunch today now seem so inadequate…!

That looks gorgeous!

The color on this looks great! Nicely done! I’m definitely saving this recipe, but I doubt I’ll ever be able to make it look this good. How many does this recipe serve? I’ve got a large family and will probably need to adjust some numbers
~Nancy Lewis~

The color on this looks great! Nicely done! I\’m definitely saving this recipe, but I doubt I\’ll ever be able to make it look this good. How many does this recipe serve? I\’ve got a large family and will probably need to adjust some numbers
~Nancy Lewis~


Serves 2 Nancy. Trust me its easier than you think.


Just made this great recipe for my family tonight and it turned out great (served it with a cucumber avocado salad). Thank you so much for this really uncomplicated recipe. We\’re quite an international/intercontinal family and your recipes just fit them perfectly.

Thanks for this great recipe for pan fried snapper. Goan dishes like this sound quite flavorful.

love the colour..bookmarkin this !:)

Oh don’t I wish I could take the day off and go to the beach. This lovely seafood dish transports me even if I can’t be there physically. Love the colours of this dish.

This looks amazing, so colorful and summery! Do you use lemon or lime juice in the rice? (I’m sure either would be delicious). I can’t wait to try this.


I used lime juice but if you like you can even use lemons. It doesn’t matter it just has to have that tangy flavour.

This not only sounds delicious, but looks delicious! Your food photography really does it justice!

Wazzap?!! I am a new subscriber of your blog. You got a very interesting dishes in here, especially this one. Gonna try making one this noon. Be back to feed my eyes to your other dishes.


I’ve had a similar food, I was licking my finger..mmm…mmm… yearning for one more. Is this available in any restaurant especially in Pune.

Roger R Dominguez

This recipe is amazing. Everyone who has tried it has remembered it for life I think!

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