Tender pieces of fish are marinated in a flavorful yogurt based marinade blended with some basic spices, ginger and garlic.
On days when the sun is shining bright, bringing the promise that spring is almost here, I love to indulge in cooking my favorite recipes. I have some fish that needs to be cooked today, so thought of putting together one of the family favorites – tandoori fish tikka. This is an excellent dish to serve as an appetizer in parties or a main dish on a dinner table with some salad wrapped up in a warm pita bread or fresh tortillas.
The term tandoori relates to dishes that cooked in a cylindrical clay oven that is fired using charcoal or wood. Tandoors generate intense heat and are used to cook vegetables, meat, and breads like the popular naan. The tandoors were a traditional aspect of Punjabi cooking about 60-70 years back. This method is still very popularly used in restaurants today where they turn out perfectly scorched naan breads and meat dishes. Ovens in modern kitchens have now replaced these traditional tandoors.
This marinade can be used for fish, chicken and even paneer. I use Kashmiri red chili powder to give the marinade a bright red color. This chili is not hot but gives great color to dishes. It’s a must have in my spice pantry. You can increase the heat by adding red chili flakes or finely chopped green chilies to the marinade. You can also plan to make a batch of this marinade and refrigerate for upto a week. It comes handy when you want to dish up a quick tandoori chicken or fish tikka :)
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Fish filets – any white fish or salmon, cut into medium sized pieces
1-cup thick yogurt
4 cloves of garlic
½ inch piece of ginger
12-15 fresh coriander leaves
½ cup fresh lemon juice
2 tbsp oil
2 tbsp chickpea flour
2 tsp garam masala
2 tsp coriander powder
2 tsp Kashmiri red chili powder or cayenne pepper
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp carom seeds
Salt to taste
First lets get the marinade done. Grind the garlic, ginger and coriander leaves in a grinder, along with some lemon juice.
Add the grinded mixture to the yogurt along with the rest of the spices, 1 tbsp of oil and remaining lemon juice.
Heat a pan and add the chickpea flour and dry roast it until it is light brown in color. Add the roasted chickpea flour to the marinade bowl. Add salt. Mix all the ingredients well.
Dip individual pieces of fish into the marinade such that the marinade coats the fish completely. Lay the fish piece in a flat dish. Repeat for the rest of the fish pieces. Cover the dish with foil or cling wrap and refrigerate for an hour atleast.
Pre-heat the oven to 200˚C. Spread out the marinated fish in a baking dish. Cook for 10-15 minutes on the top rack turning the fish pieces once. Baste with butter or oil once or twice during cooking.
Serve hot with chutney of your choice and some fresh homemade breads.