Masala Mackerel


Add some spice to your seafood with this Indian inspired dish.


1. Light the Wood Fired Oven and prepare for a temperature of 250℃


2. Place the ingredients for the onion pickle into a bowl and massage together, cover and leave for at least half an hour.


3. For the masala paste, place the seeds into a dry frying pan over a medium heat, heat for a couple of minutes until fragrant then tip into a small food processor. I have a grinder/chopper device therefore, I ground these first and transferred them to the chopper jug before adding the other elements. Add the remaining masala ingredients, season and blend until it becomes a finely chopped paste. This may need a splash of water to combine.


4. If you have whole mackerel slash these on both sides and wipe the masala paste on the outside pushing it into the slashes. If you have butterflied fillets, then wipe a little paste on the inside and on both skin sides. Cover and chill for an hour or longer.

5. Place the mackerel in a suitable tray and into the oven for 5-6 minutes. I placed the tray closer to the opening with the tails facing outwards therefore, the thickest part of the fish was towards the flame. You will note the fish will cook from both the top and the bottom in a reasonably even way. You may need to turn if the mackerel are whole and cook for a further 3-4 minutes. The fish will be cooked when you can see the fillets turn opaque and they have reached 63c if you wish to use a temperature probe to check them.


6. The skin side will take a bit of char and the edges should go crispy all adding to the taste.


7. Serve in flatbreads with the onions which should be sharp and sweet, some natural yoghurt, chopped parsley and a squeeze of lime. However, this would also work well with chopped fresh mint and coriander or even these herbs infused into the yoghurt along with some lime and served with rice.



  • Author: BBQ Bill
  • Prep time:
  • Cook time:
  • Total time:
  • Serves: 4


  • Fresh Mackerel (can be whole or butterfly filleted)
  • For the masala:
  • 0.5 tsp coriander seeds
  • 0.5 tsp fennel seeds
  • 2 tsp garam masala
  • 1 roasted red pepper, jarred is fine or roast one till charred and soft
  • 2 garlic cloves peeled
  • Thumb sized piece of ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 small onion or large long shallot, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • For the onion pickle:
  • 1 red onion, peeled, halved and thinly sliced
  • Juice of 0.5 lime
  • 0.5 tsp sugar
  • Potatoes and green vegetables