Barbecued Tandoori-Style Sea Bream

Recipe taken from I Love India (£16.59, Quadrille) by Anjum Anand, Spice Tailor Photography: Martin Poole.

Take a break from meat and try this spicy fish dish for your next barbecue

  • Preparation:15 minutes, plus marinating time
  • Servings:4 people
  • Category:,
  • Cook Time:15 minutes
  • Course:
  • Occasion:

    For the fish:

  • 2 whole sea bream, or snapper, cleaned, gutted, scaled and fins removed by the fishmonger
  • A few squeezes of lemon juice, plus lemon wedges, to serve, or lime wedges
  • Sea salt
  • A little vegetable oil
  • 1–2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted, to baste
  • A little paprika (optional)
  • A few good pinches of chaat masala
  • Coriander, to serve
  • For the marinade:

  • 4 large garlic cloves
  • 10g roughly chopped root ginger (peeled weight)
  • 3 tsp lemon juice
  • 1–2 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder, or a mix of paprika for colour and chilli powder for heat
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tbsps vegetable oil
  • 150g plain yogurt
  • ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ tsp carom seeds
  • 1 rounded tbsp chickpea flour
  • Special kit:

  • A hinged fish rack
  • Using a sharp knife, score each fish 4 times on each side through the skin, about 5mm into the flesh. Squeeze over some lemon juice and sprinkle a little salt inside and out, then set aside for 10–15 minutes.
  • Blend together all the ingredients for the marinade except the carom seeds and chickpea flour. I often add a little extra paprika for a good red colour. Taste and adjust the seasoning; at this stage it should taste a bit too salty and spicy, and that’s fine. Add the carom seeds and chickpea flour. Smear the marinade thickly over both sides of each fish and into the slits. Leave to marinate for 45–60 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, preheat the barbecue to a medium-high flame. I like to use a hinged fish rack in which I put the fish, but be careful that it doesn’t flatten it too much. (You can also use 2 metal skewers per fish instead.) Oil the grill rack and the fish rack.
  • Place the fish on the heat and cook for 6–8 minutes on the first side, or until the underside is a lovely golden colour with some areas of charring. If the coals are too hot, rake them away slightly. Turn the fish and cook the underside in the same way. If using skewers, the fish might stick a little, so be careful before turning. The fish is done when golden on both sides; to check if it is done on the inside, you can use a thermometer which should read 60°C when poked into the thickest part of the fish.
  • Baste both sides with the melted butter as it cooks and chars, adding paprika to the butter for a good colour, if you want. Sprinkle with chaat masala and serve with lemon or lime wedges and coriander.
Try 3 Issues for only £6!