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Grilled Octopus

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Like tandoori seafood? You’ll love this spicy grilled octopus!

I love grilled octopus. Whether it be cooked in an oven, on a barbecue or in a tandoor oven, it’s always a real treat.

This spicy tandoori style grilled octopus is one of my favourite recipes for it.

Depending on where you live, you might find octopus difficult to come by. A good fishmonger will be able to get it for you. 

Buy it fresh or frozen. I always freeze and then defrost fresh octopus as it helps ensure the meat is super tender. 

Tandoori octopus

Delicious cooked in a tandoor or on a barbecue.

I’m going to tell you how it’s done. 

If you purchase frozen octopus, simply let it defrost in the fridge. If fresh, you need to freeze it and the defrost it. 

This step is essential to achieving the most amazing grilled octopus. 

Another must is boiling. Once your octopus has defrosted, you need to boil and then simmer it in water for 90 minutes. 

Depending on the recipe you are following, different spices and herbs can be added to the water for addition flavour. 

In this case we are going to be using tandoori spices and salt. 

Working ahead…

With that long boil that needs to be done, it might be more convenient to work ahead.

You can boil the octopus and then store it in the fridge, covered tightly with cling film for up to 24 hours. 

The spice level is important.

I really like spicy tandoori octopus. 

This isn’t for everyone though. If you are not keen on really spice tandoori seafood, feel free to tone it down some. 

I use quite a lot of Kashmiri chilli powder but you could use less or even substitute paprika. The red colouring of both options looks and good as it tastes. 

What if I don’t have a tandoor?

No worries! You can cook the octopus on skewers over a barbecue or even place it in a 200c (400f) oven for about 20 minutes or until it is cooked to your liking. 


You might think octopus are difficult to clean. They are actually easier than most fish.

Cutting off the octopus head

Locate the eyes and slice off the head. Just take the eyes and slice below them.

Locating the beak

Locate the beak on the underside of the octopus.

Curring out the beak

Using a small knife, slice around the beak and remove it.

Pounding the octopus

In is important to pound the octopus with a meat mallet to break down the fibres and make it more tender.

Bringing seasoned water to a boil

Season the water and bring to a boil.

Dropping the octopus into the water.

Drop the octopus into the water.

Cooked octopus

Simmer the octopus in the water for 1 1/2 hours. Then transfer to a cutting board.

Cutting the octopus

Cut the octopus into large bite sized pieces.

Mix the marinade ingredients together and then add the octopus pieces. Marinate for 30 minutes.

Mix the marinade ingredients together and then add the octopus pieces. Marinate for 30 minutes.

tandoori octopus cooking in tandoor oven

Your tandoori octopus can be cooked in a tandoor, on a bbq or under the grill in the oven.

tandoori octopus

Dig in!



Yield: 4

Barbecued Octopus Curry Masala

Tandoori grilled octopus


  • 450g (1 Lbs.) or more – octopus – cleaned with eyes and beak removed – a good fishmonger can do this for you.
  • 1 tbsp Kashmiri chilli powder
  • 1 tbsp ground turmeric
  • 2 tbsp garlic and ginger paste
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • 1 Indian bay leaf
  • 1 tbsp tandoori masala
  • 4 generous tbsp Greek yoghurt
  • 2 tbsp mustard oil
  • 2 tbsp garlic and ginger paste
  • 1 tbsp Kashmiri chilli powder
  • 1 tbsp tandoori masala
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 teaspoon – finely chopped green chilli peppers
  • Juice of one lemon


  1. Mix the marinade ingredients together in a large bowl. Set aside.
  2. Bring a large stockpot of water to a boil in a suitable sized pan and add the cooking liquid ingredients
  3. Place the octopus in the water and simmer over medium heat for 1 and a half hours.
  4. After 1 and a half hours, trasfer the octopus to a cutting board and cut into bite sized tikka.
  5. Place the octopus tikka in the marinade and marinate for 30 minutes.
  6. If cooking on a barbecue, prepare it for direct heat cooking. If cooking in the oven under the grill, turn the grill on to high heat.
  7. Skewer the octopus tikka and place over the coals or under your grill. Be sure to turn often so that the meat cooks and chars evenly.
  8. Grill until the octopus is nicely browned and charred in some places.
  9. Season if you like with more salt to taste and serve with lemon wedges or a good raita.

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 I hope you enjoy this restaurant style tandoori grilled octopus recipe. If you do give it a try, please leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you. 

David Law

Friday 14th of September 2012

You are my favourite cook but this recipe just looks wrong!!! Never seen a BBQ Octopus before.....Never want to see one again!!!!!!

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