Easy 20-minute Tandoori Salmon Recipe

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Tandoori Salmon – Spicy and tangy bite-size pieces of the salmon are grilled to perfection to make this delicious dish that takes less than 30 minutes to make. This salmon tikka cooks on the pan or in a pressure cooker using Mealthy CrispLid to achieve that just out of the tandoor flavor.

Full plate of Tandoori Salmon cooked to perfection and served on a black plate with cooked rice and garnished with lime and cilantro.
Tandoori Salmon

Tandoori Salmon, also referred to as Salmon Tikka, is an Indian dish with bite-sized chunks of salmon marinated in a spicy marinade and then cooked to perfection on a tandoor (more on it later). Tikka refers to small pieces of meat marinated in spices, which is why people often call Tandoori Salmon, Salmon Tikka.

In this salmon tikka recipe, a Mealthy CrispLid cooks fresh wild-caught salmon to achieve the same juicy flavors as a tandoor in less time, like in my Tandoori Chicken recipe. Don’t worry stove-top instructions are included as well.

What is Tandoor Cooking?

A tandoor is a clay oven used in many Southern, Central, and Western Asian recipes with a wood charcoal fire burning at the base of the oven. The heat of the fire reflects on the clay walls of the tandoor creating a consistent temperature for cooking foods. Once the clay oven heats to the desired temperature, chefs place meats or vegetables on metal skewers and lower them carefully into the tandoor to roast until completed.

How to make Tandoori Salmon

There are two ways you can make this dish, using a pan over the stovetop or using Mealthy CrispLid. As far as the main ingredient goes, I prefer wild-caught salmon for the reasons mentioned below. 

Is wild-caught salmon better than farm-raised?

Wild-caught salmon takes this dish from good to great. There are many different reasons to choose wild-caught salmon over farm-raised salmon.

Contaminants

For starters, salmon caught in the wild are less likely to have contaminants. Farm-raised salmon live in close corridors with one another which produces more diseases and parasites. 

Better nutritional profile

Wild-caught salmon contain a higher ratio of anti-inflammatory Omega-3 fatty acids to inflammatory Omega-6 fats because of their natural diet.

Color

The salmon’s diet of shrimp and krill contains carotenoids which give the salmon its distinctive coloring. Farm-raised salmon do not eat these carotenoids making them grey in color. To get a pinker salmon, farmers include a synthetic version of the compound in carotenoids to the fish food to dye their salmon pink.

For less contaminated, healthier, and naturally colored salmon, stick to wild-caught.

Cooked Tandoori Salmon in a non-sitck pan.
Remove the salmon from the heat.

Instructions to make Tandoori salmon 

There are 3 main steps – cleaning, marinating, and cooking. 

How to clean salmon

Delicately rinse the fish and gently pat dry with a paper towel. Be careful not to cause too much splatter as it might contaminate other foods or dishes in your kitchen. 

How to marinate salmon

  1. Rinse the salmon with water and pat dry with a paper towel.
  2. Chop the salmon into 2-inch pieces
  3. In a mixing bowl, stir together olive oil, minced garlic, grated ginger, lime juice, red chili powder, garam masala, smoked paprika, and salt.
  4. Add the salmon pieces into the marinade coating each piece front and back.

Pan-grilled Tandoori salmon 

  1. In a non-stick pan on the stovetop, heat one tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat.
  2. When the oil reaches the desired temperature, place the salmon pieces in the pan. Be careful not to crowd the pan.
  3. Allow the salmon to cook on one side for 4 minutes. Flip the salmon after 4 minutes and cook on the other side for 4 minutes. When the salmon tikka is finished cooking, remove from the pan and set aside. Add more oil to the pan (if needed) and repeat this process until all pieces of salmon are cooked.
  4. Serve this delicious Tandoori Salmon with lemon wedges and a side of Basmati rice

Cooking Tandoori Salmon using Mealthy CrispLid

  1. When you are ready to cook the salmon, place the trivet in the steel insert of the Mealthy MultiPot.
  2. Completely coat the air frying basket with oil before placing it over the trivet. 
  3. Place the salmon fillets in the air frying basket in a single layer, make sure not to overcrowd them- you will have to cook the salmon in two batches.
  4. Check that the pressure cooker is unplugged. Then, place the CrispLid on the inner pot using the built-in handle. Next, plug the CrispLid to an electric outlet and lower the handle.
  5. Set the temperature to 400°F (200°C ) and allow the salmon pieces to cook for 8 minutes. Once the cooking cycle is complete, lift the lid and set it on the silicone trivet provided.
  6. Transfer the cooked salmon pieces to a clean plate and repeat the process with the next batch of salmon fillets.
  7. Serve this delicious Tandoori Salmon with lemon wedges and a side of Basmati rice. 

Salmon Tikka Cooking Notes

  1. For a deep red color, substitute the medium-hot chili powder with a tablespoon of mild Kashmiri chili powder.
  2. You can use skinned salmon for this recipe but skinless salmon is preferred because it is easier to chop them.
  3. Adding smoked paprika helps give that Tandoor-cooked taste to it. Feel free to skip it if you don’t have it.
  4. Using other fish varieties – While I use salmon in this recipe, you can also try out different fishes to make fish tikka. Tilapia, halibut, swordfish, and Mahi Mahi work well with this recipe. If you use tilapia the cooking time for the Mealthy CrispLid reduces to 4 minutes. 

Stovetop vs. Mealthy CrispLid Salmon Tikka

Either way of preparing your Indian Style Salmon Tikka ends with similarly delicious results. Depending on the size of the non-stick pan you use, you might be able to cook all of the salmon pieces in one batch using the stovetop.

The Mealthy CripLid however, provides a hands-free cooking experience, as you do not need to flip the salmon halfway through the process. Additionally, using the Mealthy CrispLid uses less oil, saving you 50 calories per serving.  That’s why it is my preferred way to make Tandoori chicken tikka as well.

If you are looking for additional ways to cook salmon here are a few of my tried and tested recipes:

Honey Garlic Salmon This 15-minute grilled honey garlic salmon is perfect for days when you crave a fancy meal but don’t want to pay for it or spend hours making it.

Baked Salmon Make this moist and flavorful Baked Salmon using only 4 basic ingredients AND in less than 15 minutes!

A balck plate with tandoori salmon on the right side and rice on the left side with a brown handled fork.
Tandoori Salmon Tikka


Got a new Instant Pot? Check out the links below to make the most of your pressure cooker -  
Full plate of Tandoori Salmon cooked to perfection and served on a black plate with cooked rice and garnished with lime and cilantro.

Tandoori Salmon

4.63 from 8 votes
Spicy and tangy bite-size pieces of salmon are grilled to perfection to make this delicious dish that takes less than 30 minutes to make. 
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 16 minutes
Total Time: 21 minutes
Servings: 4
Diet : Gluten-free
Course : Accompaniment
Method: Baking, CrispLid
Cuisine : Indian

Ingredients
  

  • 1.5 lbs wild-caught salmon, skinless

For the Marinade

  • 2 tablespoons oil, olive/mustard
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced, 2 tablespoons garlic paste
  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon red chili powder, medium-hot [see note]
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt

For coating the mesh tray (if using CrispLid)

  • ½ teaspoon olive oil

For frying the salmon (if using a pan)

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Serving suggestions

  • Lemon wedges

Instructions
 

  • Rinse the salmon and pat it dry with a paper towel.
  • Chop the salmon into 2-inch pieces.
  • Combine all the ingredients under the marinade section in a mixing bowl.
  • Add the salmon pieces to the marinade and coat them one at a time so that each piece is evenly marinated.

Stovetop – pan frying

  • Add a tablespoon of oil in a pan kept over medium heat on a stovetop.
  • When the oil heats up, carefully place the salmon in the pan. Don't overcrowd the pan.
  • Let it cook on each side for about 4 minutes. Set it aside.
  • Add more oil if needed for the next batch and repeat the process of cooking each side for 4 minutes.

Cooking using Mealthy CrispLid

  • Place the trivet in the steel insert of Mealthy MultiPot.
  • Completely coat the air frying basket with oil before placing it over the trivet.
  • Place the salmon fillets on the air frying basket in a single layer making sure not to overcrowd them – you’ll have to do it in two batches.
  • Make sure the pressure cooker is unplugged. Place the CrispLid on top of the inner pot using the built-in handle. Plug the CrispLid to an electric outlet and lower the handle.
  • Set the temperature to 400°F (200°C ) and allow the salmon pieces to cook for 8 minutes. Once the cooking cycle is complete, lift the lid and set it on the silicone trivet provided.
  • Transfer the salmon pieces to a plate and repeat the process with the next batch of salmon fillets.
  • Serve immediately with a side of lemon wedges.

Notes

  • For a deep red color, substitute the medium-hot chili powder with a tablespoon of mild Kashmiri chili powder.
  • You can use skinned salmon for this recipe but skinless salmon is preferred because it is easier to chop them.
  • Adding smoked paprika helps give that Tandoor-cooked taste to it. Feel free to skip it if you don’t have it.
  • Using other fish varieties – While I use salmon in this recipe, you can also try out different fishes to make fish tikka. Tilapia, halibut, swordfish, and Mahi Mahi work well with this recipe. If you use tilapia the cooking time for the Mealthy CrispLid reduces to 4 minutes. 

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Disclosure: This recipe contains affiliate links to products we love and recommend. As an affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Nutrition

Calories: 378kcalCarbohydrates: 2gProtein: 34gFat: 26gSaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 94mgSodium: 665mgPotassium: 855mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 339IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 26mgIron: 2mg

Disclaimer: Approximate Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and can vary depending on the exact ingredients/brands used. If you have health issues, please work with a registered dietician or nutritionist.

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Keyword : Salmon Tikka, spicy, Tangy

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