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Masala Mackerel in the Roccbox


  • Fresh mackerel – whole or butterfly filleted


  • ½ tsp coriander seeds

  • ½ tsp fennel seeds

  • 1 tsp cumin seeds

  • 2 tsp garam masala

  • 1 roasted red pepper, from a jar or roast one to charred and soft

  • 2 garlic cloves peeled

  • thumb sized piece of ginger, peeled and roughly chopped

  • 1 small onion/large long shallot, peeled and roughly chopped

  • 1 tbsp tomato puree

Onion Pickle

  • 1 red onion, peeled, halved then thinly sliced

  • juice of ½ a lime

  • ½ tsp sugar


Light the Roccbox, I used gas and set the flames to the lowest setting which on my unit equates to a steady 250ºc.

Place the ingredients for the onion pickle into a bowl and massage together, cover and leave for at least half an hour.

For the masala paste, place the seeds into a dry frying pan over a medium heat, heat for a couple of minutes until fragrant then tip into a small food processor. I have a grinder/chopper device therefore, I ground these first and transferred them to the chopper jug before adding the other elements. Add the remaining masala ingredients, season and blend until it becomes a finely chopped paste. This may need a splash of water to combine.

If you have whole mackerel slash these on both sides and wipe the masala paste on the outside pushing it into the slashes. If you have butterflied fillets, then wipe a little paste on the inside and on both skin sides. Cover and chill for an hour or longer.


Place the mackerel in a suitable tray and place in the Roccbox for 5-6 minutes. I placed the tray closer to the opening with the tails facing outwards therefore, the thickest part of the fish was towards the flame. You will note the fish will cook from both the top and the bottom in a reasonably even way. You may need to turn if the mackerel are whole and cook for a further 3-4 minutes. The fish will be cooked when you can see the fillets turn opaque and they have reached 63ºc if you wish to probe them.

The skin side will take a bit of char and the edges should go crispy all adding to the taste.

I served these on fresh flatbreads also cooked on the Roccbox using the basic recipe from the Mana from Devon book after cranking the temperature up to 300c on a full flame. I added the onions which should be sharp and sweet, some natural yoghurt, chopped parsley and a squeeze of lime.

However, this would work lovely with chopped fresh mint and coriander or even these herbs infused into the yoghurt along with some lime and served with rice.

A simple, quick and fresh recipe which I hope you enjoy!

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