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Tandoori Style BBQ Sea Bream/Snapper

As the weather is warming up, it's the perfect time to consider BBQ inspired dishes.


  • 2 whole sea bream, cleaned, gutted and fins removed by fishmonger

  • 2 tbs. butter to baste, melted

  • Good pinch of Chaat masala (optional)

  • Lemon wedges and fresh coriander to serve

  • Marinade

  • 4 cloves garlic, grated into a fine paste (around 2tsp)

  • 1 tsp. fresh ginger paste

  • 2 tsp. lemon juice

  • 2 tsp. Kashmiri red chili powder or paprika for colour and chilli powder to taste

  • 2/3 tsp. cumin powder

  • 1 tbs. vegetable oil

  • 1 tbs. Gram flour

  • 7 tbs. thick Greek yoghurt

  • Good pinch of carom seeds

  • salt to taste and 1/4th tsp. freshly ground black pepper


  • 1.

    Using a sharp knife, score the bream / snapper four times on each side through the skin, about ½cm into the flesh. Marinate the fish in a squeeze of lemon juice and a little salt, (inside and out) for 10-15 minutes.

  • 2.

    Dry roast the gram flour in a pan until golden, this takes just minutes, stirring often. Leave to cool.

  • 3.

    Stir together the yoghurt, black pepper, cumin, chilli powder/paprika, carom seeds, ginger and garlic pastes, lemon juice, oil and gram flour. Add salt to taste, it should taste a little salty and a bit spicy, it will be absorbed by the fish.

  • 4.

    Smear the marinade thickly over both sides of the fish and into the slits. Leave to marinate for 20-30 minutes at room temperature.

  • 5.

    Pre-heat the BBQ 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. Oil the grill rack and the fish rack.

  • 6.

    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 to the actual grills. The fish is done when golden on both sides and to check if it is done on the inside, you can use a thermometer which should read 60C when poked into the thickest part of the fish.

  • 7.

    Baste with the melted butter once per side as it cooks and once as it comes off the heat. Sprinkle with chaat masala if you are using and serve with wedges of lemon.

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