Whole Fish Masala

Whole Fish Masala

Recipe by: Chris Grainger - @14_foot_fisher

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Prep Time: 15 minutes – (60-minute rest)
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Feeds: 2-4

Part of fish: Whole Fish


• 1 medium-sized whole snapper (500-700g in weight)

• 6 cloves of minced garlic

• 1-2 inch piece ginger minced

• 1/3 cup lime juice

• 2 tablespoons of chilli powder

• 1 tablespoon of cumin powder

• 1 tablespoon of garam masala powder

• Salt to season

• 3 tablespoons of finely crushed peanuts (can substitute with cashews or almonds)

• 1/2 cup plain yoghurt

• 4 tablespoons of oil

• A bunch of curry leaves (optional)


Wash, clean, scale and gut the fish for cooking whole (I also like to split the fish as you would for smoking).

How to marinate the fish

1) Place fish on a platter, with a sharp knife, make four deep, long slits over the body of the fish on both sides.

2) Over very low heat, gently toast the finely crushed peanut (substitute with cashews or almonds) until they release the aroma and turn brown. Grind them and set aside.

3) In a smaller bowl, combine garlic, ginger, lime, cumin, garam masala, yoghurt, salt to season, the peanut paste (cashews), oil and make the tandoori masala.

4) ) Once you have a thick tandoori marinade made, rub the marinade thoroughly over the prepared fish.

5) Refrigerate and let the fish marinate for 1 hour minimum (I like to marinate and vac pack in fridge overnight to really let the flavour soak into the flesh).

6) Remove fish from the refrigerator and let it reach room temperature (15-20 minutes).

How to cook the fish

1) Preheat oven or BBQ to 180 degrees C.

2) Place fish on a baking pan covered in foil, brush oil over the fish and cover with a few stems of curry leaves if you have them.

3) Cook the fish over 180 degree C fan setting (oven) or indirect heat (BBQ) for 20-30 minutes or until the skin of the fish turns crispy and golden.

4) Keep in mind if you are using a small oven you might have to turn the fish to make sure that both sides of the fish are cooked through. While turning, baste with oil for a crispier skin.

5) Serve with side of basmati rice and turkish bread or garlic naan.

October 2022 - Dallas Abel
New Zealand Fishing News Magazine.
Copyright: NZ Fishing Media Ltd.
Re-publishing elsewhere is prohibited

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