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Blog / Tilapia

A Taste of Africa: Ngege (Tilapia) in Groundnut Sauce

Getting to know Africa includes experiencing the vastly different - and yummy - expressions of each culture through food.

We love Tilapia and this simple, straightforward version is easy to make. African cuisine uses peanuts in a variety of different ways to create tasty culinary treats. This one will become a favourite, we're sure!

There are lots of online recipes for this dish. This recipe is a basic recipe showing how we make it in our family. An online recipe site we use over and over again is The Congo Cookbook. Tons of great recipes in an easy-to-prepare format.

Bon Appetit has a fabulous recipe for Red Curry Peanut Sauce that you can make ahead and use in a variety of recipes. They call for cilantro which we don't personally like. You can substitute broad leaf parsley.


  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 cup of cooking oil (we used a blend of canola and olive oil that we use all the time)
  • 1 entire Tilapia per person (suggest 1 to 2 pounds each), filets
  • 1 to 2 onions (we like 2 medium size sweet onions)
  • ½ cup peanut butter (we use natural, unsweetened peanut butter)
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder (use your own judgement - to taste)

Like with any recipe, the first time you make this you'll determine whether you want more (or less) onions or seasonings. For example, we use a heaping teaspoon of curry powder.

You can also grind your own peanuts rather than use a prepared peanut butter. We really like the sauce, so we tend to increase the peanut butter a bit.



  1. Pre-heat oven to about 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Rub salt and pepper (to taste) into each fish fillet.
  3. Heat your oil in a deep frying pan until hot enough to fry. Remember, if you use the canola and olive oil blend, to watch your oil carefully. Don't let it "burn" as this will ruin the flavour.
  4. Fry the fish until browned and crispy on both sides.
  5. Reduce the heat and cover the pot. Let the fish cook for about 2 minutes more.
  6. Remove the fish fillets from the oil, drain on some paper towels for a minute.
  7. Place the fish in a lightly greased casserole dish.
  8. Shut the oven off.
  9. Place the covered casserole dish in the oven. This is only done to keep the fish warm while you are preparing the sauce.


  1. Using the same pan you used to fry your fish fillets, saute your onions (we chop ours roughly) until caramelized. We like the crunchy bits!
  2. Remove the onions with a slotted spoon and use them to cover the fish in your warm casserole dish.
  3. Now add the peanut butter and curry powder and mix well with the oil remaining in the pan.
  4. On very low heat slowly stir in about a cup of water and blend thoroughly. We usually whisk our sauce until blended, but a friend of ours uses an immersion blender.
  5. Pour your well-blended sauce over the fish and onions.

We like this dish over rice but you can also serve it with Ugali (which we consider to be the polenta of Africa!). There are plenty of recipes for Ugali available online.


There are plenty of variations we've seen. Some people like to add garlic (we often do), peppers, hot chili peppers and tomatoes. Enjoy! And please let us know how you enjoy this recipe and any creative culinary modifications you make.

A great way to show off your African culinary skills is to present this dish at a table set with our hand-beaded table mat set. Each package consists of table mats, table runner, colour coordinated napkins and beautiful hand-beaded napkin rings.

Currently on sale and available in a variety of gorgeous colours to match your decor. Bring Africa into Your Home!

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