This spicy Indian Mackerel is a delight to serve and eat!
In the sea of the coast of North East England there are millions of mackerel. I have gone out deep sea fishing on numerous occasions. Usually mackerel is all I catch and not just a few! I go home with about fifty which I clean and freeze for delicious meals like this.
Mackerel is an oily fish so it is very good for you. In this recipe I fillet the mackerel to get rid of all the tiny bones. This makes the meal much more enjoyable for some though I am equally as happy cooking and eating them whole.
If you ever find yourself on a boat catching wild mackerel by the way, there is nothing better than freshly caught raw mackerel pieces dipped in fresh wasabi or Indian spicy pea relish chased down by an ice cold beer or two.
The sauce from this recipe stems from Rajasthan where it is usually served as an accompaniment for game and other strong meats such as goat and mutton. I think the strong flavour of mackerel holds its own with this sauce as I hope you agree.
INGREDIENTS for spicy Indian mackerel
For the fish
1 Tablespoon black peppercorns
1 2 inch piece of cinnamon
1 Tablespoon fennel seeds
1 Teaspoon white cumin seeds
1 teaspoon mild red chilli powder
2 mackerel filleted and picked of all their bones
3 Tablespoon vegetable oil
Juice of on lemon
Salt and pepper to taste
For the turmeric yoghurt sauce
250ml (1 cup) plain yoghurt
1 Tablespoon gram flour
250ml (1 cup) water
a pinch of turmeric
a pinch of flaky sea salt
2 Tablespoons ghee or clarified butter
1/2 teaspoon red chilli flakes
1 teaspoon white cumin seeds
1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
10 curry leaves
Juice of one lemon
I usually start by making the sauce. Whisk the yoghurt, gram flower (White plain flour can be substituted if necessary), water, turmeric and salt.
Pass the mixture through a sieve to get rid of the lumps or just whisk it all really fast and hard.
Pour the mixture into a pan over medium heat and bring to a boil whisking continuously.
Reduce the heat to medium and let it simmer. The sauce will begin to thicken. You should stir it occasionally and take it off the heat when it is thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon. Skim of any impurities that may or may not be floating on top.
Now heat the ghee in a small pan and throw in the mustard seeds. When they begin to pop, add the red chilli flakes, cumin seeds and curry leaves.
Pour the hot ghee mixtures over the yoghurt mixture and add the lemon juice. Set aside.
To finish – spicy Indian mackerel
In a pestle and mortar or spice grinder, grind the whole spices to a fine powder. Add the oil, lemon juice, red chilli powder and salt and then rub the mixture all over the mackerel fillets.
Place the spicy Indian mackerel under a hot grill for about eight minutes until it is cooked through.
Spicy Indian Mackerel goes well with rice and a vegetable side dish such as spinach porial or stir fried cabbage and coconut.