Fish tikka masala recipe with step by step photos. This simple, delicious and easy to make dish is one of the less known of the Indian seafood dishes. It is very rarely prepared in Indian homes & is mostly eaten in the restaurants. In this post I am sharing a recipe that will give you the same restaurant style fish tikka masala. It can be eaten with basmati rice, jeera rice, roti or naan.
What is fish tikka masala?
Fish tikka masala is an Indian dish made by simmering grilled fish in a spicy masala. It is a variation of the most popular chicken tikka masala.
How is it made?
It is made by first marinating the fish in a yogurt marinade and then grilled to perfection. In restaurants the fish is grilled in clay ovens. However you can grill them on the pan. I have included the instructions in the recipe card below.
Next a spicy masala is made by cooking onions, tomatoes & ground spices. This grilled fish is then added to this masala.
How to make fish tikka masala
1. Heat oil in a pot. Then add cumin & cardamoms. I also used bay leaf and a small piece of cinnamon. All the spices are optional.
2. Then add onions and sprinkle salt. Fry them until golden.
3. Then add ginger garlic paste. Saute well for 1 minute.
4. Add tomatoes and turmeric.
5. Saute until the tomatoes turn soft and mushy. Then add red chilli powder.
6. Saute this for 2 mins. Cool this and blend with 3/4 cup water to a smooth mixture. If you have a hand blender, you can directly use it here.
7. Pour the purred mixture back to the pot and pour 1/2 to 3/4 cup water. Stir and add garam masala. I added kasuri methi too here. But doing it at the end keeps more flavors.
8. Cook this until the gravy turns thick. Add more salt if needed. While the masala gets cooked proceed preparing the fish.
9. Rinse fish and cube it. Ensure there is no excess moisture. I used salmon here. You can use any large variety fish.
10. Mix together the ingredients mentioned under marinade – Yogurt, chilli powder, turmeric, garam masala, salt and lemon juice. Taste the marinade first. Then smear the marinade to the fish. I also used a few bell pepper cubes and half of a onion. Set aside for 5 to 6 mins.
11. You can grill them on the pan or in oven.
To grill on the pan, pour 1 tbsp oil to a non-stick pan and heat it. Place the fish cubes on it and fry until the fish is cooked through. Flip each piece & grill until the fish is cooked through and the marinade dries well.
To grill in oven: Preheat the oven to 370 F or 190 C for atleast 15 mins. Then place a wired rack over a baking tray. Thread the fish to skewers. I arranged alternately onion-bell peppers-fish. Grill for 12 to 13 mins. Then move the tray to the top rack and broil for 3 to 4 mins.
12. Pour the cream.
13. Before adding fish to the tikka masala gravy, ensure fish is cooked through well and the marinade has dried up completely. If there is any oil left in the grill pan, just pour that to the gravy along with the fish.
14. Rest the fish tikka masala for 30 mins before serving. Please handle the pieces gently as they are delicate after resting in the gravy.
Garnish with coriander leaves.
Choice of fish: You can use any fish that has lesser bones or is boneless. Usually large fish fillets go well here. Salmon, batang are some of the fishes I have tried with.
Marinade: Avoid marinating fish for too long as it can make the fish mushy.
Gravy or sauce can be made ahead and refrigerated. Just grill the fish when needed and add to the reheated curry.
Ingredients (1 cup = 240ml )
- 1½ tablespoons Oil as needed
- ½ teaspoon cumin (optional)
- 2 green cardamoms (optional)
- 1 cup onions chopped or cubed (1 large)
- 1 teaspoon ginger garlic paste
- ½ cup tomatoes , chopped (2 medium)
- ⅛ teaspoon turmeric
- ½ to ¾ teaspoon red chili powder
- ½ to ¾ teaspoon garam masala
- 1 teaspoon coriander powder (optional)
- ¼ to ½ teaspoon salt to taste
- ½ teaspoon dried fenugreek leaves (kasuri methi) (optional)
- ¼ cup cream or (cashew milk made by blending 12 cashews)
- Heat oil in a deep pan, then add the cumin and cardamoms.
- When the spices sizzle, add the onions and very little salt.
- Saute until they turn translucent. Then saute ginger garlic for a minute.
- Add ginger garlic paste and fry for a min.
- Then add in the tomatoes & turmeric. Saute till the tomatoes turn fully mushy.
- Add red chili powder and saute for 2 minutes till the raw smell goes away.
- Blend this with ¾ cup water to a smooth mixture. If using a blender, then cool this completely & then blend.
- Pour this back to the same pan. Then pour ½ to ¾ cup water and add garam masala.
- Cook this until the gravy thickens and you see some traces of oil over it.
- Stir in the cream and kasuri methi. Taste it and adjust salt if needed.
Making fish tikka masala
- Meanwhile, mix together all the ingredients mentioned for fish. Smear this over the fish and rest for 5 to 6 mins.
- Heat a nonstick pan with 1 tablespoon oil and place the fish over the pan. Fry the fish on both sides until golden and the marinade is cooked well. Alternately you can also thread the fish on to skewers and grill them in a preheated oven at 370 F or 190 C for 12 mins. Move to the top rack and grill or broil for another 3 to 4 mins.
- Ensure the fish is cooked through and slightly charred to get the right flavors.
- Transfer the fish along with any juices or oil left in the pan to the tikka masala gravy.
- Let the fish rest in the gravy for at least 30 mins before you serve. Sprinkle coriander leaves. Serve gently as the fish turns delicate after resting.
- Serve salmon tikka masala with roti, chapathi or butter naan
NUTRITION INFO (estimation only)
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.
© Swasthi’s Recipes
Fish tikka masala was originally published in 2013 January. Republished in Dec 2019 with detailed step by step pictures.