Tandoori Fish Recipe with King Mackerel | Tandoori Surmai Recipe

grilled fish is ready to be served with onions and lemons

It’s June and yesterday we experienced the very first showers. It had been cloudy since morning and we were looking forward to enjoying a barbecue meal on the terrace with some friends. Tandoori food is an all-time favorite at our place. The rains, great company, tandoori dishes being cooked over the hot coals as its smoky whiff lingered in the air created a perfect atmosphere. So the menu was simple and had something for everyone; a typical tandoori Indian fare. Tandoori fish (तंदूरी फिश) for my seafood lovers, paneer malai tikka (Recipe here) for the vegetarian buddies, and chicken tikka for the rest graced the table.

The choice of fish can make or break the deal. Pomfret and surmai are the most desirable picks where I live. The result is flawless, delicious, and flavorful tandoori fish. This time I used the surmai (सुरमई), which is liked by a lot of people who love seafood. Surmai fish in English is known as king mackerel and seer fish. I had posted the recipe of surmai fish fry, the recipe of which you can check out here.

Marinade for Tandoori Fish

When it comes to making the marinade, you don’t necessarily need a fancy tandoori masala. A few simple ingredients can create a magical tandoori marinade. I have used full cream yogurt and mustard oil for the base of the marinade, and some conventional fish spices. So you get a really intense and rich flavor.

We got ourselves a custom-made tandoor that we keep on the terrace. It has a lid too, which ensure quicker and more uniform cooking while preserving the flavors and lending it that delicious smoky fragrance to the food. Now we can cook tandoori dishes anytime. I will share the details of the tandoor and the tips to use one efficiently so that you can have barbecue parties at your place too.

More Restaurant-Style Tandoori Starters Recipes

Now let’s see how to make tandoori fish at home using surmai/king mackerel.

How to Tandoori Fish Recipe

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Tandoori Fish Recipe with King Mackerel | Tandoori Surmai Recipe
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Tandoori Surmai, also known as grilled king mackerel is a lovely, melt-in-mouth barbecued fish recipe with prominent flavors of mustard, hint or lemon, and a kick of the traditional fish spices.
Author:
Recipe type: Appetizer
Cuisine: North Indian
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • Surmai/King mackerel/Seer fish – 750 grams, gutted and rinsed
  • Mustard oil – ¼ cup, heated to the smoking point & then cooled
  • Yogurt – ¼ cup
  • Turmeric powder – ½ tsp
  • Red chili powder – 1 tbsp (Byadgi Mirch)
  • Salt – to taste
  • Yellow mustard seeds/Rai ki dal – ½ tsp, ground
  • Ajwain/Carom seeds – ½ tsp
  • Ginger – 1 & ½ inch, finely crushed
  • Garlic – 15 cloves, medium-sized, finely crushed
  • Lemon juice – ½ tbsp
Instructions
  1. Heat mustard oil to the smoking point and then let it cool. To make the tandoori marinade, combine mustard oil, yogurt, turmeric powder, red chili powder, salt, ground yellow mustard seed, ajwain/carom seeds, ginger, garlic, and lemon juice.
  2. Give it a whisk.
  3. Add the pieces of king mackerel fish to the marinade.
  4. Gently rub the marinade on the fish and cover the bowl with a cling wrap or a lid. Pop the marinated fish into the freezer for the next 24 hours or at least overnight.
  5. Take the fish out of the freezer and let it thaw. It usually takes 2 hours. Prepare the tandoor/barbecue and place the individual pieces of fish on the banana leaves.
  6. Do not completely wrap the fish in the banana leaf. Just fold the leaf.
  7. Place the fish on the barbecue grill. The coals should not be on fire per se. They should be hot and radiating heat. Cover the tandoor with its lid and let the fish cook for about 4-5 minutes.
  8. Carefully turn the fish covered in banana leaf with the help of a pair of tongs. Cover and cook for another 3-4 minutes.
  9. Remove the grilled fish onto the plate using a pair of tongs.
  10. Tandoori fish is ready. Serve immediately with onion slices and lemon. Enjoy!

 

Grilled King Mackerel Recipe with Step by Step Pictures Below


Step 1

Gather the ingredients for making the tandoori paste or tandoori marinade.

ingredients for tandoori marinade for king mackerel prepared and ready


Step 2

Heat mustard oil to the smoking point and then let it cool. Combine ¼ cup mustard oil, ¼ cup yogurt, ½ tsp turmeric powder, 1 tbsp red chili powder, salt to taste, ½ tsp ground yellow mustard seed (rai ki dal), ½ tsp ajwain/carom seeds, finely crushed 1 & ½ inch piece of ginger, finely crushed 15 medium-sized cloves of garlic, and ½ tbsp lemon juice.

tandoori paste being made by combining yogurt, mustard oil, and tandoori spices


Step 3

Give it a whisk.

tandoori masala paste is ready to marinade the surmai fish


Step 4

Add the pieces of king mackerel fish to the marinade. That’s 1 kg of fish.

seer fish being added to the marinade


Step 5

Gently rub the marinade on the fish and cover the bowl with a cling wrap or a lid. Pop the marinated fish into the freezer for the next 24 hours or at least overnight.

king mackerel marinated for 24 hours to make grilled fish


Step 6

Take the fish out of the freezer and let it thaw. It usually takes 2 hours. Prepare the tandoor/barbecue and place the individual pieces of fish on the banana leaves.

Surmai fish pieces being kept on the banana leaves to make grilled fish


Step 7

Do not completely wrap the fish in the banana leaf. Just fold the leaf to cover the fish.

Banana leaves folded to cover the marinated surmai fish


Step 8

Place the fish on the tandoor grill. The coals should not be on fire per se. They should be hot and radiating heat. Cover the tandoor with its lid and let the fish cook for about 4-5 minutes. Alternatively, you can bake the fish in the preheated oven at 160 degrees C for 20-30 minutes.

tandoor is ready and king fish is being placed over the hot tandoori grill


Step 9

Carefully turn the fish covered in banana leaf with the help of a pair of tongs. Cover and cook for another 3-4 minutes.

tandoori fish flipped with a pair of tongs and continued to cook


Step 10

Remove the grilled fish onto the plate using a pair of tongs.

tandoori surmai being removed from the barbecue and unwrapped


Step 11

Tandoori king mackerel fish is ready. Serve immediately with onion slices and lemon. Enjoy!

 tandoori fish is served with onion slices and lemon

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20 Comments

  • Reply
    Shreya Patil
    June 9, 2017 at 5:30 pm

    surmai chhan diste…mastach…he oven madhe banawta yete ka? temperature kiti thevayahe aste?

    • Reply
      Monica
      June 11, 2017 at 3:05 pm

      Hi Shreya. Ho, hi fish oven madhe bake karu shaktat pan tyala smoky flavor nasel and tyamule taste pan vegla asel. 160 degrees C for 20-30 minutes.

  • Reply
    Priyanka Sawant
    July 7, 2017 at 7:32 am

    nicely done

    • Reply
      Monica
      July 8, 2017 at 6:30 pm

      Thanks, Priyanka. Glad you like it.

  • Reply
    Chirag Agnihotri
    August 8, 2017 at 5:14 pm

    tandoori fish looks spectacular..just wow!

    • Reply
      Monica
      August 9, 2017 at 5:05 pm

      Thank you.

  • Reply
    Bhukkad Bhaalu
    August 14, 2017 at 9:15 pm

    fish tandoori looks perfect..mouthwatering delight

    • Reply
      Monica
      August 15, 2017 at 7:39 am

      Thanks. I am loving your name. It cracked me up! 😀

  • Reply
    Reshma Dheer
    August 24, 2017 at 7:28 am

    whenevr i go to my fav seafood restaurant, i always order tandoori fish..i love it a lot..your recipe seems easy n simple.. must try this

  • Reply
    Vijaya pathare
    September 17, 2017 at 9:47 pm

    This is best Sweetwater fish

  • Reply
    Anjali patwal
    September 24, 2017 at 12:53 pm

    Wow super crispy fish ek dum mast….

  • Reply
    Pinto thomas
    September 25, 2017 at 1:51 pm

    Yummm mmm… Mouth watering….. Epic recipe….

  • Reply
    seema bhalla
    November 23, 2017 at 11:45 am

    badhiya dish hai!

  • Reply
    Amisha Dasgupta
    December 5, 2017 at 4:11 am

    wow! nice fish..luv ur tandoor

    • Reply
      Monica
      December 5, 2017 at 5:38 am

      Thanks Amisha 🙂

  • Reply
    anika shenoy
    February 22, 2018 at 8:18 pm

    easy n yummy..my fav fish tandoori. mustard oil must be making a big difference in taste

  • Reply
    shreya agarwal
    May 6, 2018 at 10:39 am

    wow..meri favorite fish..

    • Reply
      Monica
      May 9, 2018 at 6:46 pm

      Thank you

  • Reply
    gayatri
    May 13, 2018 at 4:16 pm

    that tandoori fish looks killer! i dont have tandoor. like yours ..can i bake it in gas tandoor?

    • Reply
      Monica
      May 16, 2018 at 9:54 am

      Thanks Gayatri.
      Yes, you can bake this fish on gas tandoor.

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