Tandoori Fish Tikka

Tandoori Fish Tikka

By Swasthi on April 18, 2023, Comments, Jump to Recipe

Make restaurant quality Tandoori Fish Tikka at home with my easy & fast recipe. You can make this tender, flaky & slightly char grilled Fish Tikka on a griddle or in the oven or air fryer. It’s bursting with Indian flavors, tastes delicious and is sure to win any seafood lovers heart. Tandoori Fish Tikka served with Mint Chutney or Cilantro Chutney makes a great party appetizer. For a hearty meal, serve it with steamed rice, Turmeric Rice, Lemon rice, rice pilaf, Kachumber & Raita. On occasions it also goes into our wraps and sandwiches.

Tandoori Fish Tikka

About Tandoori Fish Tikka

Fish Tikka is a popular tandoor grilled seafood item from the Indian restaurant menus. Tikka means piece of grilled meat, here boneless fish pieces are coated with a thick tandoori marinade & grilled in a tandoor, a clay oven.

A traditional tandoor is capable of heating up to 480 C or 900 F. While grilling, the meat drippings fall on the hot wood coal which produces smoke and imparts a smoky flavor to the foods.

Since we are not equipped with tandoor at home, Fish Tikka is made on a griddle or in an oven or air fryer. To mimic the same restaurant smoky flavors you can optionally smoke the fish tikka following my instructions below.

With this same recipe you can also make a Tandoori Fish instead of tikka, without having to cut the fillets to cubes. This reduces the work and is even faster.

This is a 10 year old recipe that has been updated with higher spice levels for more robust flavors. To make it kids’ friendly simply remove the excess marinade from the fish and veggies before you thread them on to skewers.

Fish tikka in oven
Marinated Tandoori Fish Tikka Skewers

Ingredients & Substitutes

Here are the ingredients you will need for this recipe:

Fish: If making tikkas, use only boneless fish like salmon, tilapia, cod, Mahi-mahi, swordfish & sole. If you are not accessible to those, then you may use any firm fish and use the fillet as is without cutting them to pieces. This way it is easier to debone the fish after cooking/grilling. I use salmon here and make it often with Spanish Mackerel (batang) too.

Yogurt: For any tandoori recipes, hung curd also known as strained yogurt is used. The equivalent is Greek yogurt. Regular yogurt with whey simply oozes out plenty of moisture while grilling & all your marinade comes over to the pan. So make sure you use Greek yogurt or make your own following this Hung Curd Recipe.

Ground spices: Garam masala, red chilli powder, black pepper and turmeric are used. Optionally you may use ground cumin and coriander too if you want.

Herbs: Kasuri methi is dried fenugreek leaves and they impart an unbeatable flavor to the tandoori grilled foods. If you do not have it, simply use fresh coriander leaves or any favorite herb of yours.

Ginger garlic paste is used for flavor. I usually stock up the ginger garlic paste in the refrigerator or simply grate from fresh & crush in a mortar pestle. You can also use ground dried garlic and dried ginger. Start with smaller quantities.

More seafood recipes
Tandoori Salmon
Lemon Pepper Fish
Andhra Fish Fry
Baked Fish
Amritsari Tawa Fish
Fish Tikka Masala

How to make Fish Tikka (Stepwise Photos)

Preparation

1. If using wooden skewers, soak them in water for 30 mins or simply use metal skewers. To a large mixing bowl add the following ingredients to prepare the marinade:

  • 1 to 1½ teaspoons Kashmiri red chili powder (or smoked paprika)
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric (optional)
  • 1 to 1½ teaspoon garam masala
  • ½ teaspoon cumin powder (optional, use for more flavor)
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder (optional)
  • 1½ teaspoon ginger garlic paste ( or ½ tsp garlic powder + ¼ tsp ginger powder)
  • 4 tablespoons hung curd (Greek Yogurt, read notes)
  • 1½ tablespoon Lemon juice
  • ½ to 1 tablespoon dried fenugreek leaves (crushed kasuri methi, optional)
  • ⅓ to ½ teaspoon salt (adjust to taste)
prepare marinade for tandoori fish

2. Pour 1 tablespoon olive oil & mix all the ingredients. Taste test and adjust the salt, lemon juice and spice levels.

pour oil for tandoori fish

3. You may skip the veggies but if using them, dice 1 bell pepper and 1 large onion to 1½ inch pieces. Separate the layers from the onions. I use half green bell pepper and half red bell pepper. You can also use deseeded firm tomatoes or cherry tomatoes in place of red bell peppers. Keep these aside.

4. If possible, get the skin peeled by the fishmonger else you can do it yourself. Start pulling out the skin from one end using a knife. Hold it with your fingers and pull off to remove it completely. But if you are a beginner, don’t struggle, just leave it. It can be removed after cooking.

deskin the fish to make tikka

5. Dice them to 1½ inch pieces, the same size as the veggies.

diced salmon to make tikka

6. Pat dry the fish with kitchen tissues/paper.

pat dry fish to make fish tikka

Marination

7. Coat each piece with the marinade generously and rest for a minimum of 15 mins to a maximum of 1 hour. Leaving it for too long in the acidic marinade can make your fish mushy.

marinated tandoori fish tikka

8. Position your oven rack in the middle/Centre of the oven & preheat the oven to 375 F or 190 C for at least 15 mins. To air fry follow the instructions in the recipe card below.

When you are ready to bake the tikkas, place the fish pieces to one side of the bowl. Add the diced veggies and coat them with the rest of the marinade. Avoid resting the veggies in the marinade as they release juices and ruin the consistency of the marinade. So add them only when you are ready to cook.

veggies in the marinade

Bake the Fish Tikka

9. Thread onion, bell pepper & fish/salmon onto the skewer spacing ¼ inch apart. Repeat the same order again on each skewer. I could thread on to 5 skewers. Place the Fish tikka skewers on the prepared tray. If you are making this for kids/ simply remove the excess marinade from the fish and veggies and thread them.

prepared tandoori fish tikka skewers on a tray

10. Bake them for 8 to 9 minutes. Later using tongs turn them to the other side. Bake for another 4 to 5 minutes or until cooked through. If you want to slightly char the tikkas, move the tray to the top rack and broil for 2 mins. Adjust the timings depending on your oven as each is different.

Serve Tandoori Fish Tikka with Mint Chutney or Cilantro Chutney. They also go well with Turmeric rice or lemon rice, Raita and kachumber.

Tandoori fish tikka recipe

Pan-fry Tandoori Fish without Oven

I have always felt cooking the entire fillet is easier (rather than the cubed pieces) while cooking on a pan / griddle. So you will marinate the fish and cook it directly.

For this heat a non-stick pan with 1 tablespoon oil on a medium heat. Spread the oil all over the pan. Place the fish fillet directly over the pan and let cook for 3 to 4 mins on each side, depending on the thickness. Make sure your pan is really hot enough but not smoking hot else the marinade gets stuck.

Halfway, turn it to the other side and cook completely, until the fish flakes easily when poked with a fork. Remember cooking longer, dries up the fish from inside.

Tandoori fish tikka in oven

Related Recipes

Recipe Card

fish tikka in oven

Tandoori Fish Tikka Recipe

Make delicious restaurant style Tandoori fish tikka at home with this fast recipe. Serve it as a appetizer with mint chutney or coriander chutney. It also goes well with lemon rice or turmeric rice, kachumber & raita.
Print Recipe Pin Recipe
Jump to Comments

For best results follow the step-by-step photos above the recipe card

Prep Time2 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Total Time17 minutes
Servings3
AuthorSwasthi

Ingredients (US cup = 240ml )

  • ½ kg (1.1 lbs.) boneless fish fillets (salmon/ Spanish mackerel/ mahi-mahi/ cod/ tilapia, skin removed if possible)
  • 4 tablespoons hung curd (Greek Yogurt, read notes)
  • 1 to 1½ teaspoons Kashmiri red chili powder (or smoked paprika)
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • teaspoon ginger garlic paste ( or ½ tsp garlic powder + ¼ tsp ginger powder)
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric (optional)
  • tablespoon Lemon juice
  • 1 to 1½ teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon cumin powder (optional)
  • ½ to 1 tablespoon dried fenugreek leaves (crushed kasuri methi, optional)
  • ⅓ to ½ teaspoon salt (adjust to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon oil (olive oil/ avocado oil/mustard oil or any)

Vegetables (optional)

  • ½ green or yellow bell pepper diced
  • ½ red bell pepper or 1 tomato deseeded diced
  • 1 onion large, diced & layers seperated

Instructions

Preparation

  • Please make sure your yogurt is not runny. It should be thick with no whey in it like Greek yogurt. (Check the pics in the post)
  • Add all the marinade ingredients to a mixing bowl. Oil, Yogurt, salt, turmeric, red chili powder, garam masala, cumin powder, coriander powder, black pepper, lemon juice, lemon juice & kasuri methi.
  • Mix well and taste test the marinade. You can adjust the spice and salt levels at this stage. The marinade should be thick and smooth. Keep this aside.
  • If using bell peppers and onions, dice them to 1½ inch sizes and keep aside.
  • Pat dry the fish with kitchen tissues/paper and dice equally to 1½ inch pieces each, the same size as that of vegetables.
  • Add the fish pieces to the marinade and coat them well. Let the fish rest in the marinade for a minimum of 15 mins to a maximum of 1 hour. Leaving it for too long in the marinade can make your fish mushy.
  • Keep the veggies aside and add them to the marinade only before cooking the tikkas else they release juices and ruin the marinade.

In the Oven

  • Soak your wooden skewers in water for 30 mins to prevent burning or simply use metal skewers. Line your baking tray with a parchment paper and grease it again or spray lightly.
  • Position your oven rack in the middle/Centre of the oven. Preheat the oven to 375 F or 190 C for at least 15 mins.
  • When you are ready to cook the tikkas, place the fish pieces to one side of the bowl. Add the diced veggies and marinate them with the rest of the marinade.
  • Thread onion, bell pepper & fish/salmon onto the skewer spacing ¼ inch apart. Repeat the same order again on each skewer. I could thread on to 5 skewers.
  • Place the Fish tikka skewers on the prepared tray.
  • Bake them for 8 to 9 minutes. Later using tongs turn them to the other side. Bake for another 4 to 5 minutes or until cooked through. If you want to slightly char the tikkas, move the tray to the top rack and broil for 2 mins. Adjust the timings depending on your oven as each is different.
  • The internal temperature of cooked salmon should reach 145 F in the thickest part. When it is fully cooked, fish flakes easily.
  • Squeeze lemon juice if required. Serve Tandoori fish tikka with Mint Chutney or Cilantro Chutney. Turmeric rice, kachumber & raita also go well.

In the Air Fryer

  • Line the air fryer drip pan/basket with aluminum foil for easy clean-up. If your air fryer requires preheating do it for 2 mins at 390 F or 200 C.
  • Air fry the fish tikka skewers for 5 mins, if required brush them with little marinade. Turn the skewers to the other side and repeat brushing lightly.
  • Air fry again for 3 to 5 mins (until the internal temperature reaches 145F), depending on the thickness and size of fish. Adjust the timings depending on your air fryer as each air fryer is different.
  • Fish easily flakes when you poke a fork into it. This is an indication that it has cooked through well.
  • Squeeze some lemon juice over the fish tikkas and serve with mint chutney, coriander chutney. It also goes well with Turmeric rice or lemon rice and a vegetable salad like this kachumber.

Notes

  1. Please note that every oven is different and the cook time may vary depending on the size and kind of your oven. So it is essential to adjust the cook time as required.
  2. Upon testing & retesting we found this kind of fish tikka on the skewers are best baked than broiled as the marinade cooks up uniformly without burning. This also keeps the fish/ salmon tender and moist from inside.
  3. If your yogurt is runny you may add 1 to 1.5 tablespoons of deep roasted gram flour/ besan to the marinade. Brush your tikkas generously with lemon juice or butter before serving as the flour dries up the masala.

Alternative quantities provided in the recipe card are for 1x only, original recipe.

For best results follow my detailed step-by-step photo instructions and tips above the recipe card.

NUTRITION INFO (estimation only)

Nutrition Facts
Tandoori Fish Tikka Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 183 Calories from Fat 90
% Daily Value*
Fat 10g15%
Saturated Fat 2g13%
Trans Fat 0.02g
Polyunsaturated Fat 3g
Monounsaturated Fat 5g
Cholesterol 38mg13%
Sodium 324mg14%
Potassium 526mg15%
Carbohydrates 9g3%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 5g6%
Protein 15g30%
Vitamin A 1603IU32%
Vitamin C 57mg69%
Calcium 60mg6%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Tried this recipe?Mention @SwasthisRecipes or tag #swasthisrecipes!

© Swasthi’s Recipes

Tandoori Fish Tikka Recipe first published in January 2013. Updated in April 2023.

Tandoori Fish Tikka

About Swasthi

I’m Swasthi Shreekanth, the recipe developer, food photographer & food writer behind Swasthi’s Recipes. My aim is to help you cook great Indian food with my time-tested recipes. After 2 decades of experience in practical Indian cooking I started this blog to help people cook better & more often at home. Whether you are a novice or an experienced cook I am sure Swasthi’s Recipes will assist you to enhance your cooking skills. More about me

Follow Swasthi’s Recipes

Comments

Recipe Rating




25 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

5 stars
Tasted delish with mint chutney. Thank you

5 stars
I made this tandoori fish for a small family party & everyone raves about it. I used pomfret and made the marinade from this recipe. Baked it in the oven with great results. So aromatic, delicious and easy to make. Thank you very much.

5 stars
Tried it, came out very well. Used tandoori masala too

Hello!
Tried something for the first time in an oven (apart from cake, which too I always baked in microwaves and once in an oven). To my surprise, it turned out just perfect. Just one small question, though the fish was done, the marinade was still a bit raw/wet on some pieces. In the second round of remaining fish though, it got better. What could be the reason?
Awaiting a reply and thanks too for the to-the-point instructions for novices like me 🙂

Okay. Guess I did not preheat it well then. Was avoiding basting with butter as a family member has been asked to go v low on oil because of health reasons. This is why I am taking to grilling now!
Will try again and write back next Sunday. Thanks!

Thanks the recipe. Your website is of great help for a bachelor like me.
I have a oven whose max temperature is 200C. You said to preheat at 240C- what happens if I preheat at 200C?

My husband makes such tikkas in the oven and they turn out super!! Love you version and presentation

Cant ask more, fish tikkas tempts me a lot and feel like inviting myself to your place.

So Yummy and so tasty

Great job

Perfectly made,tempting appetizer with fish

excellent!…A variation from regular chicken tikkas! hmm…lemme try!

delectable n delicious 🙂 perfect tikka..

wow looks soooooooo good, i love tandoori and always wanted to do it with fish… after this post i think i will 🙂 love the platter Swasthi

Omg! Super irresistible fish tikka Swasthi. Delicious and nicely presented.

Yummy tikka…mouth watering…

Very nice appetizer! This is nice for parties. I agree it is not necessary to put coloring as there is no added value.

Delicious and flavorful tikka…looks so yum..

Love fish and loving this tikka.. Nice one