Tandoori Fish Tikka

Fish cooked in a tandoori marinade with chilli, cumin & coriander

Tandoori-Fish-Tikka (1) One of the most common dishes at seafood restaurants across Mumbai will always include Tandoori Pomfret. Pomfret was the preferred choice fish when I grew in the city. A flat fish, delicate and flaky which takes to the marinade and charred smokey tandoor flavours  really well.

Buying pomfret was always a luxury (for us at least!) not just was it expensive but the prized centre piece at dinner parties when used in curries and pan fried with masala. And knowing my mother nothing was ever done by halves so a fish curry would have two full sized pomfrets cut into steaks with some pieces left for frying up to go with fish curry rice. I savoured it, every bite eaten of the curry rice with a portion of masala fried fish was what made that trip to the fish markets followed by cleaning and cooking the fish so worth it.

It took me a long time to adjust and understand local fish in the UK to match what I was used to eating and cooking in India. Thanks to my curious mind and fantastic local fish mongers it’s been easy to adapt but more than that opened my eyes to an array of seafood that is available in abundance in our seas in the west alongside whats seasonal and how it can be used in Indian cooking. I honestly don’t think people eat enough fish/ prawns or seafood. It’s so quick to cook and in my opinion perfect in Indian dishes/ curries soaking in all the gorgeous flavours from the spices. I have written about so many fish and prawn curries here which are lightly, aromatic and ideal for summer months alongside kebabs and tikkas. The marinade below is similar to the used for Tandoori pomfrets. I have used monkfish which is a firm white fish which is moist and ideal as it holds its shape when used in Indian gravy dishes as well as tikkas.

Tandoori-Fish-Tikka (2)


  1. Add the monkfish to a mixing bowl along with the lemon juice and salt. Mix well and set aside.


  2. In a blender add the garlic and ginger along with a splash of water to make a thick smooth paste.

  3. Soak the wooden skewers in warm water until you make the marinade.

  4. In a separate bowl add the blended garlic and ginger paste along with the rest of the marinade ingredients. Mix well and add the monkfish cubes to the marinade. Leave to marinate for 15-20minutes.

  5. Preheat the grill  to a medium to high setting. Skewer the fish onto the wooden skewers. Pat the extra marinade over the pieces and place under the grill. Grill for 10-12 mins or until just done. Baste with butter half way through cooking.

  6. Serve the Tandoori fish tikka over roti with a sprinkle of lemon juice or chaat masala & serve with mint chutney.

  • http://www.cookingsutra.com ratna

    Looks delicious! Will that work with Salmon? Thanks

    • RV

      I tried with Salmon and it came out delicious. My picky kids just loved it. I will definitely make it again

      • Maunika Gowardhan

        So lovely to hear this especially when kids enjoy the recipe:)

  • http://fiverfeeds.co.uk Fiver Feeds

    There are really a lot of great dishes from Indian cuisine but this is one of my favorite!

  • http://21gunsalute.co.in/ Sujoy Roy

    I sincerely admire your dedication to whip up a delicious meal. The pictures are so irresistible, I wonder how the food would taste like…

  • Sarb

    You suggest leaving to marinade for 15-20min, is that long enough? I was thinking overnight? Thanks Sarb

    • Maunika Gowardhan

      You can marinate overnight although fish/ prawns dont really need a long marination or cooking time.

  • Jean

    Hi, how do make mint chutney please? I must say I have made some of your delicious recipes

    • Maunika Gowardhan

      Thank you! For a simple chutney recipe- Blend together mint, coriander, green chilli, salt & lemon juice. I also have a lovely recipe for mint chutney in my cook book.

  • Arpita DG

    My husband and I tried out a tandoori fish using your recipe and it turned out just perfect. Thank you for sharing this!

    • Maunika Gowardhan

      So lovely to hear this glad you enjoyed it!

      • Arpita DG

        In fact we loved it so much… we have made it many times over!

  • Sneha Srinivas

    Hi Maunika,
    I would love to try your Tandoori Fish Tikka recipe, please can you help me with the oven temperature and duration I need to use? The recipe says under the grill. Temp and duration for cooking the fish would be really helpful..thank you

  • Pallavi Khandekar

    Thanks Maunika. I’ve just moved here from India and am missing pomfret, mackrel, kingfish, bombay duck. I was wondering which fish to start experimenting with. This is definitely going to help me. Any other fish you would suggest for Indian masala fry, curries?

    • Maunika Gowardhan

      Most white fish from a local fishmonger is great. A lot of my recipes will include the variety of fish I have used and mainly are cod, sea bream, bass or even monkfish. Most of them are great in curries and to fry as well.

      • Pallavi Khandekar

        Many thanks Maunika. You are a life saver 😀

  • Subrata Basu

    Is rohu fish OK?

    • Maunika Gowardhan

      We don’t get Rohu in the UK so its not something we’ve used in this recipe I’m afraid!

  • Elisabetta Mura

    Hi Mounika. Is it OK to use the oven grill?

    • Amina

      If so that temperature and what would the duration be

  • Amina

    Hi, could I cook in the oven, if so how long for and what temperatures would I use.

  • Arlene Westgate

    Hi it seems very mild. Can you make it spicer? I like hot dishes 😄


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