A peppery delight

Rajni’s recipe is a flavorful sea bass fry using green peppercorns.

String green peppercorns are in abundance in Kerala, with some of the best green peppercorns coming from the coastal, Malabar region. They grow on vines and are dried and used to make different sauces. My recipe is a flavorful sea bass fry using green peppercorns. This is a popular dish in an area called Kozhikode. It’s usually made with sardines but most fishes can be used for this dish. The sea bass is smothered with a green peppercorn paste and then shallow-fried. This dish goes well with hot steamed rice or mashed potatoes.

Sea bass with string green peppercorns


1 bunch cilantro leaves, chopped

20 curry leaves crushed

2 sea bass fillets

3 cloves garlic

2 teaspoons whole green pepper

2 shallots, peeled

1 tablespoon lemon juice

2 tablespoons coconut oil

2 tablespoons water


1. In a food processor, mix curry leaves, cilantro leaves, lemon juice, water, garlic, green pepper, salt and shallots to make a rough, slightly thick paste.

2. Rub this paste over the fish steaks on both sides and marinate them for half an hour.

3. Place coconut oil in a nonstick pan on medium heat, then add in the marinated fish to sear it well. Lower the flame and cover to cook the fish for about 3 minutes.

4. Open the lid after 3 min to flip onto the other side. Cook for another 3 to 4 minutes covered.

5. Place the fish over a bed of mashed potatoes or rice. 

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