Grilled Stuffed Mackerel

Anjum's New Indian Grilled Stuffed Fish, Grilled Spanish Mackerel,

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Starting today, I am doing a 2 week blogging marathon, 3 days a week. I am participating in the marathon after almost a year and am excited to be part of it again. The themes I chose to do for the marathon are cooking with color for this week and cooking from a cook book using two ingredients from a given list. I misread the rules for the second theme. Reading the theme heading, I assumed I have to cook from a cookbook and ignored the second part of the rule for that theme. I assumed the second rule as another theme. So I decided to grill stuffed fish from Anjum’s New Indian cookbook, which I was meaning to blog for quite sometime. Last week when I realized I misread the theme, I could not use this recipe for next week as the ingredients for this recipe are not in the given list of ingredients. However, I did not want to let go this recipe and here I am.

Anjum's New Indian Grilled Stuffed Fish, Grilled Spanish Mackerel,

For this week I am doing the theme “cooking with color”. In this theme, “the color” is the color of the ingredient not the final color of the dish. For day one, I am cooking with color gray. My star ingredient today is fish which is gray in color. I made this recipe a few times when I got the book and we all liked the recipe. It is high time I share the recipe here.

Anjum's New Indian Grilled Stuffed Fish, Grilled Spanish Mackerel,

Stuffing for this fish is prepared with Goan curry paste and I tweaked this recipe a little to suite my taste. I pretty much followed the rest of the recipe as given except for the Goan paste.

Anjum's New Indian Grilled Stuffed Fish, Grilled Spanish Mackerel,

Anjum's New Indian Grilled Stuffed Fish, Grilled Spanish Mackerel,

Source: Adapted from Anjum Anand’s New Indian
Total Time: 35 – 40 minutes
Preparation Time: 20 – 25 minutes
Grilling Time: 15 minutes
Serves: 2

Goan Curry Paste

  • 1 ½ tbsp. Red Chilies paste (Recipe called for deseeded Red Chilies)
  • 1 tsp. Cumin
  • 1 ½ tsp. Coriander Seeds
  • 3 Cloves
  • 1 ½ “Cinnamon Stick
  • 6-9 Black Peppercorns
  • ¾ Turmeric Powder
  • 8 small to medium sized Garlic Cloves
  • ½ “Ginger chopped or 1 tsp. chopped Ginger
  • ¾ tsp. Salt
  • 2 tbsp. White Wine Vinegar (I used Rice wine vinegar)

Grind all the ingredients to make a paste. This yields about 5 tablespoons of paste and this recipe requires only 2 tbsp of paste.

Stuffed Fish

  • 1.2 – 1.4 lbs. Whole Mackerel head removed and deboned (I used Spanish mackerel)
  • 1 – 1 ½ tbsp. Lime Juice or Juice of a ½ small Lime
  • 1 tsp. Ginger Garlic paste
  • ¾ tsp. Salt
  • 1 tsp. Oil


  • 1 tbsp. Oil
  • ½ medium sized Onion sliced
  • 4-6 Curry Leaves
  • 2 tbsp. Goan Curry Paste
  • 1 small – medium sized Tomato chopped or ½ cup chopped Tomato
  • ¼ tsp. Salt


  • Wash the fish and pat dry inside the fish with a paper towel. I usually skip the pat drying part. Make deep slashes on  both sides of the fish.
  • Mix lime juice, ginger garlic paste and salt. Apply all over the fish and also in the slits. Leave it aside and let it marinate for ½ hour.  Can refrigerate it but I usually leave it on the countertop itself.
  • For the Stuffing; take oil in a pan and sauté onion until golden brown.
  • Add the curry leave and Goan paste and cook on medium heat for 3-4 minutes until oil starts to separate. If the paste is burning, add a little water and keep stirring.
  • Add tomatoes, salt cook for 6-8 minutes until tomatoes are mushy and the masala thickens. Let the masala cool.
  • Once the masala is cool, rub it on the fish; inside, outside and in the slits. Stuff the remaining masala inside the fish or the cavity of the fish. Let it marinate for another 20 minutes. If marinating it put it back in the fridge. I usually cook it right away without marinating.
  • Turn on the grill. I set my broiler to high.
  • Line a baking sheet with an aluminum foil and place the fish on it. Grill it for 6-7 minutes, turn it around and grill for another 6-7 minutes are until the fish is brown on the outside and fully cooked.  Be careful when flipping the fish as it tends to break very easily.
  • Serve it hot with rice.


  • I get my fish cleaned at the grocery store. Most of the stores that have a big fresh seafood section clean and cut the fish as requested. I buy my fish from Citerella, a food specialty store in the city.  Whole Foods also carries whole fish and they too clean the fish and debone it, if requested. There are the two places where I buy whole fish from.
  • I used red chili paste for the Goan paste. This red chili paste is nothing but a paste bad with red ripe chilies. My mom usually grinds red chilies to paste once a year, when those chilies are in season during winters. Green chilies can be substituted for the red chilies or red chili paste. I once tried green chilies and it tasted fine but I liked the red chili paste better than the green chilies.

Recipes I posted this day in 2012: Pasta Salad
Recipes I posted this month in 2008, in 2009, in 2011 and in 2012.
Blogging Marathon: To know more about the various themes and participating bloggers for this marathon, checkout the blogging marathon page on Srivalli’s blog

11 thoughts on “Grilled Stuffed Mackerel

  1. Welcome back Usha after a long time. Actualy I was wondering why you are not posting from long time and here you are.that masala paste sounds so flavorfull nicely grilled…

  2. Welcome back Usha after a long time. Actualy I was wondering why you are not posting from long time and here you are.that masala paste sounds so flavorfull nicely grilled…

  3. Welcome back Usha, glad to run BM again with u after a long. Grilled mackerel is just super tempting,we are planning to make some bbq during summer, am planning to make some grilled mackerels soon,will definitely try yours.

  4. That cooked mackerel looks so lovely.. When i am making a fried fish I buy fish slices.. Then marinate them and fry.. This stuffing process is new to me.. And cooking the stuffing is absolutely new to me.. I have to try this once and it will be a nice change to the regular fish fry recipe

  5. It’s good to have you back Usha. I liked the final pic with it’s composition..very well shot..and sorry you were confused but still managed to use the post..

    1. Nisha, the gray tray was just a coincidence, I did not use it to match the color theme. It does go with the theme color gray, doesn’t it? I realized it only after reading your comment.

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