Mackerel Masala

Mackerel Masala

WHILST I am waiting for my new batch of preserved lemons to be ready to use in Moroccan dishes, which I will share over the next couple of weeks, it got my taste buds going just thinking about all the lovely spices I will be using!

We also enjoy Indian food here at Olive Tree Farm and this week’s recipe is a traditional Indian dish which works really well with the strong flavours of Mackerel. You can of course fillet the fish and remove all the bones, but I do it the traditional way by removing the heads after gutting them and then cutting each fish into thick steaks. The sauce is a lovely mix of spices and has a sweetness to it which works beautifully. Although the recipe calls for fresh skinned tomatoes, I didn’t have any to hand and used a 400g can of chopped tomatoes, which I drained off quickly before adding to the pan. It is simple dish to prepare and takes around 30 minutes from start to finish.


2 mackerel (one per person) cut into 2-2.5cm thick steaks

½ teaspoon ground turmeric

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 large onion finely chopped

4 tomatoes (skinned and chopped) I use tinned tomatoes

1 tablespoon tomato puree (ketchup works as well)

A couple of fresh sprigs of coriander for garnish

For the Masala paste

2 teaspoons ground coriander

½ teaspoon ground turmeric

1 teaspoon hot chilli powder

½ cinnamon stick

The seeds from 3 green cardamom pods

3 whole cloves

1 bay leaf

2cm piece of fresh ginger chopped

3 garlic cloves chopped

2 onions chopped (I used one red and one white)

2 tablespoons malt vinegar

2 tablespoons granulated sugar


After cutting the fish into steaks sprinkle with the turmeric rubbing it into the fish and set aside.

Take all the ingredients for the Masala paste, add to a food processor and whizz up. You end up with a lovely gold coloured paste. Set aside.

Add the olive oil to a frying pan along with the chopped onions and a little salt and black pepper and sauté gently for about 6-8 minutes. Add your Masala paste to your pan and mix through, leave it to gently simmer for a couple of minutes. Add your tomatoes and tomato puree, stir though and then place the mackerel on top. Cover the pan and simmer for around 4-5 minutes until the mackerel is cooked.

Serve immediately and sprinkle with torn fresh coriander leaves.

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