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Tandoori Fish Cooked on a BBQ

Tandoori fish cooked on the BBQ using whole, on-the-bone trout or sea bass is the perfect way to take your barbecue game to the next level.

Cooking this wonderful fish takes around 10-12 minutes after it has been marinated and if you have no BBQ, no worries, I have alternative cooking suggestions for the oven and a grill.

Overhead whole tandoori trout fish that has been cooked on a BBQ.

Whole Tandoori Fish

Indian food is definitely one of my favourites and I love tandoori, so here is my whole Tandoori Fish.

Like my BBQ Tandoori Chicken recipe, this recipe uses a barbecue in lieu of a tandoor oven.

The great thing about cooking on a BBQ is the extreme temperatures you can reach. A tandoor oven can often reach 500°C, double most conventional ovens.

Whilst a barbecue cannot quite reach those temperatures they do bridge the gap.

This is the reason that my BBQ Chicken Pizza cooked on the BBQ works so well.

The fish in this recipe is not just a texture, as a result, the spices are scaled back, see what I did there, to allow the flavour of the fish to shine through.

If whole fish is a bit of a stretch for those that you are feeding, check out my masala fish, tandoori cod, Amritsari fish fry and salmon tikka recipes.

Whole tandoori trout fish that has been cooked on a BBQ.

Frequently Asked Questions

What sort of fish can I use?

I have used some rainbow trout for this tandoori-inspired recipe but it works just as well with a host of fish.

It would be great with whole zander, sea bream or sea bass. I use bass fillets in my sea bass curry and sea bream in my fish escovitch both take spice beautifully!

Do I have to cook the fish with the head on?

If the thought of a whole fish fills you with horror then do not despair, If the head bothers you then you can cook this with fish with the head and tail removed.

Can I use boneless fillets of fish?

If it is the bones that bother you then you can use chunks of boneless fish instead.

Generally speaking, the difference between tikka and tandoori is that the first is boneless and the second is cooked with the bone in.

As a result, you can turn this tandoori fish recipe into fish tikka by using boneless fillets. You could use salmon or even the pollock that I use in my Keralan fish curry.

Do I have to cook this on a BBQ?

The high temperatures of a BBQ are the best way to emulate a tandoor oven in my opinion. But this dish can be cooked indoors too.

If you want to make the fish, turn your oven to fan mode and heat it as hot as it will go. Then bake the fish, on a cooling rack for 15-20 minutes.

A slightly better way is to cook it under a hot grill (broiler), again turn up the heat as high as it will go. Then place the fish in a cage and cook it rotating every minute or two until it is perfectly coked.

I use this technique for my tandoori lamb chops.

Tandoori trout being cooked on a bbq.

Serving Suggestions

Like my previous grilled trout recipe I like to keep the sides for this dish super simple.

This is all about relaxed cooking in the sun so I usually stick to a more loosely cut version of my kachumber salad or even my mung bean salad and maybe some raita.

However, if you wanted a larger meal then pairing this with Bombay potatoes, masala chips or aloo methi would be genius!

We are talking about a British Indian fish and chips, which suits me right down to the ground.

It would also work really well with a chutney, this tomato and onion chutney would be perfect.

Close-up tandoori trout fish that has been cooked on a BBQ.

Equipment Used

I only name-check brands of equipment if I think that they make a material difference to a recipe. But if you have any questions feel free to ask them in the comments section below the recipe.

  • BBQ, you could use either an oven or grill (broiler). See the FAQ section for more detail.
  • Fish cage or 1-2 large spatulas.
  • Chopping board.
  • Kitchen knife.
  • Mini blender.
  • Mixing bowl and something to marinate the fish in.
  • Weighing scales and or measuring cups and spoons.
Whole tandoori fish (trout) that has been cooked on a BBQ served with a salad.
Yield: 2 Servings

Whole BBQ Tandoori Fish Recipe

Prep Time: 12 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Marinade Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 24 minutes

Cooking tandoori fish on the BBQ is the perfect substitute for a tandoor oven. This recipe shoves dodgy sausages and burgers to one side, adds whole trout or sea bass and brings a touch of Indian spice to your summer BBQ!


  • 2 Trout or Sea Bass, Cleaned but head and tail on
  • 1 Lemon

For the Tandoori Marinade:

  • 35g (Thumb Sized Piece) Ginger
  • 3 Cloves Garlic
  • 1 Tsp Coarse Sea Salt
  • ¼ Tsp Ground Cumin
  • ½ Tbsp Kashmiri Chili Powder
  • 1 Tsp Garam Masala
  • ½ Tbsp Flour
  • 15g (⅓-½ Packed Cup) Fresh Coriander
  • 2 Tbsp Cooking Oil
  • 1 Tsp Turmeric
  • 50g (¼ Cup) Yoghurt


  1. Add all of the ingredients for the tandoori marinade (except the yoghurt) to a blender and add the zest of a whole lemon and the juice of half a lemon.
  2. Blitz to a fine paste.
  3. Cook this paste over a medium heat for 3-4 minutes and transfer to a bowl.
  4. When cooled add the yoghurt and place in a bowl large enough to hold the fish.
  5. Make 3 or 4 deep slashes in the flash of the fish and rub in the marinade, including in the cavity and allow to sit for at least 1 hour and up to 4 hours.
  6. When your coals are hot, brush the grill plates with oil and add the fish in a fish cage over the direct heat.
  7. Cook for 5 minutes before flipping and cooking for another 5 minutes.


Cooking times will vary depending on the size of your fish.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 440Total Fat: 20gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 16gCholesterol: 47mgSodium: 1938mgCarbohydrates: 45gFiber: 19gSugar: 11gProtein: 28g

Did you make this recipe?

If you made this recipe, I'd love to see what you did and what I can do better, share a picture with me on Instagram and tag me @krumplibrian and tell me how it went!


Friday 6th of July 2018

Great flavours Brian. I made this yesterday and we all loved it.

Brian Jones

Sunday 8th of July 2018

So glad you enjoyed it Helen :D

Shashi at SavorySpin

Thursday 28th of June 2018

Haha - you sure make "this cooking malarky " look simple! I don't think I've ever cooked a whole tandoori fish - and now I am hungry even though I had breakfast less than five minutes ago!

Brian Jones

Friday 29th of June 2018

lol, I have done many more difficult things than cook, so speaking from perspective speaking it is simple ;) Making people feel hungry at inappropriate times is a very good thing :D


Thursday 28th of June 2018

This looks absolutely amazing Brian! I've never had fish tandoori before. The flavors sound so yummy!

Brian Jones

Friday 29th of June 2018

You really must, it is so good!


Thursday 28th of June 2018

You did an absolutely gorgeous job on this fish! I would love to have this sitting in front of me. It sounds full of flavor and I love how you grilled it.

Brian Jones

Friday 29th of June 2018

Thank you.


Thursday 28th of June 2018

This looks delicious, so far we have only made salmon on the grill but your directions are great and I think we will try this soon.

Brian Jones

Friday 29th of June 2018


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