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Tuesday, October 20, 2020

In The Kitchen With Kanta : Grilled Tilapia

Headlines In The Kitchen With Kanta : Grilled Tilapia

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Today I thought I would bring you something extremely healthy to start your week off in the right way.  “Start as you mean to go on” as they say; so for today’s lunch I went for a grilled Tilapia, also known as Chiloli, or Pale in Bemba, and a lovely fresh salad.  The great thing about this fish is that you can enjoy it with pretty much anything, rice, and oven baked chips/potatoes; and of course nshima.

Grilling any meat is great because it drains all of those extra oils that you don’t want. It’s a bit like barbequing, but indoors; and of course you are not using an open fire when grilling.  And before you comment, I already beat you to it, for those of you with electricity issues; you can actually cook this fish on an mbabula.  I remember when I was very little and we were living in Zambia, whenever the electricity would go, we would just cook outside on an mbabula; so why not try that for size.

grilled tilapia 3


  • 1 whole tilapia
  • 2 tsps Salt
  • 2 tsps Pepper
  • 1 tsp Chilli flakes (optional)
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 4 tbsp olive oil or vegetable oil

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Preparation & Cooking time: 20 minutes

Ready In: 1 h 30 m

Serves 4 people

  1. In a bowl, combine garlic, olive oil, salt, pepper, chilli flakes and lemon juice.
  2. Place the Tilapia in a shallow glass dish or a large re-sealable plastic bag, and pour the marinade over the fish. Cover or seal and place in the refrigerator for 1 hour, turning occasionally.
  3. Preheat the grill to a medium – high heat.
  4. Remove Tilapia from marinade and drain off the excess. Place the fish on the grilling pan, about 4 inches away from the heat.  Grill for about 15 minutes per side or until the fish is done.  It should be white on the inside and resemble the image above.
  5. For the salad, I simply tossed together lettuce, tomato, onion; and red, green and yellow bell peppers, with a drizzle of olive oil and lemon juice, and a bit of salt to taste.

As I mentioned before, this tilapia can be eaten with anything.  So enjoy it with a salad of your choice, rice, potatoes or even nshima and ifisashi.

grilled tilapia

Kanta Temba is a cake maker and decorator. She is also the owner and founder of Kanta Kakes – cake shop.

You can find her work on www.kantakakes.comFollow her on twitter @KantaKakes and Instagram @KantaTemba.

Baking with Kanta - IMG



  1. Kanta, kudos for your efforts! I like your zest despite the criticism. This is a delicious meal but… there is a but, of course! Mbabula, perfect! It cooks better even. Fridge chabe, magesi ali ku?

    • Ms. Fox pal,
      You are just like me! I eat like a pig and this business of trying to force people to eat tiny small portions is almost insulting to me. Tilapia fish, no matter how tiny the size, can only be consumed by one normal man. There are really no ifs or buts about this fact.

  2. These un travelled dishes are becoming boring. No creativity, that’s the average way of preparing a fish dish in Zambia

  3. Why an Mbabula? Its a mbabula. It doesnt have any vowel at the beginning unless you are a muzungu. They cant pronounce “Mba” so they say “emba”

  4. Good job on this on Kanta, but get serious with your potions naiwe… 1 bream + akabwali = 1 fully grown man. Not 4 people on 1 fish. Are they toddlers?

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