Spicy Mackerel Fillets

These spicy mackerel fillets are sure to delight everyone in the home — everyone who loves a bif of spice that is! (OK, a lot of spice.)

Topped with a sauce of ginger garlic paste (so yummy) and chilli, it’s such a delicious, spicy treat of protein. It’s an South Indian style fish, and if it’s a bit too spicy for you, you can half the turmeric and red chili powder amount.

And oh — this was made in an air fryer. My husband has been telling me to get one for ages, but I’ve resisted, and, well… now there’s an air fryer recipe on the blog. I’m still not convinced but time will tell… it is incredibly easy to use.

Nutrient-wise, mackerel is an excellent source of protein, vitamins B2, B3, B6, and B12, and vitamin D; turmeric — one of my faves, as you might remember — is a great all-rounder, offering anti-inflammatory and antioxidants. Said to help even ailment from artiritis to preventing heart disease and cancer, I reckon I need to add more turmeric to my cooking!

My husband and I love this dish, first made by my mother and passed on this recipe to me, originally from Kannamma Cooks. I hope your family will love it as much as we do — serve with veggies and rice, and it’s the perfect weekday dinner dish.

Spicy Mackerel Fillets


  • 1.5 teaspoon thick ginger garlic paste
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 2 tablespoon red chilli powder
  • 1 teaspoon red chilli flakes
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 sprigs curry leaves, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon plain vinegar
  • 3 tablespoon olive oil


1. Make small, superficial gashes to the fish so it can absorb the spicy sauce well.

2. Add the ginger garlic paste, turmeric powder, chilli powder, chilli flakes, salt and curry leaves in a small mixing bowl and mix thoroughly together. Then add the olive oil to make it a thicker paste.

3. Marinade the fish with the sauce, then place in fridge for 1 hour.

4. After the hour is up, place fish in air fryer and fry on 200 degrees celcius for about 15 minutes. The time will depend on the size of the fish, so do adjust and check as needed.

5. Serve with veggies and/or rice. Enjoy!

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P.S. More spicy recipes: Spicy Thai Basil Chicken RiceVegan Curry Quinoa and Danish Curry Meatballs & Rice.