Indian spice-crusted fish

Indian spice-crusted fish

Ben's BBQ Bible
Billy Law

This spice crust is fantastic. It’s a sidestep away from your usual breadcrumb and nut combination, using dal (dried white and yellow split peas). On occasion I have used crushed chickpeas, and then it becomes more like a falafel crust. You can use the mixture with chicken breasts, but I think it’s the perfect complement to a white flsh fillet like bar cod. I just loved the texture and flavours of the dal. It’s best to use home-dried curry leaves rather than bought ones for this dish, mainly for colour.

Serve with spiced yoghurt and spiced red bean salad, or with a nice sweet tomato relish to balance the spiciness of the fish.


Quantity Ingredient
4 thick white fish fillets, such as bar cod
vegetable oil
lime wedges


Quantity Ingredient
2 pinches salt
2 teaspoons chilli powder
1 lime, juiced
1 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoons garlic paste
2 teaspoon ginger paste


Quantity Ingredient
180g white split peas
1 teaspoon yellow split peas
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
1/2 teaspoon chilli
20 freshly dried curry leaves
2 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves


  1. Place all the marinade ingredients in a food processor and purée. Rub the fish fillets with the marinade.
  2. Toast the crust ingredients, except the curry leaves and coriander, in a frying pan until the split peas turn golden and the spices release their aromas. Leave to cool, then pound in a mortar until you have a fine crumb. Crumble in the curry leaves and chopped coriander.
  3. Roll the fish in the crust mixture.
  4. Prepare your barbecue for direct grilling over a medium–high heat.
  5. Add vegetable oil and cook the sh for 4–5 minutes on one side, then turn and cook for 3–4 minutes on the other.
  6. Serve with lime wedges.
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