These tender, flaky fish skewers are spiced with the fragrance of Ajwain Seeds, savouriness of Asafoetida, the slight hum of Paprika Hot, and grilled to perfection!
Marinating the fish ahead of grilling not only penetrates it with loads of flavor, but the spices and acid in the marinade helps to tenderize the meat before hitting the searing hot grill. On the same turn, by steeping the salad in the dressing ahead of serving, the acid and salt remove the acrid burn from the red onion, and the cucumber slightly softens and pickles.
I like to serve these with a dollop of Greek yoghurt and maybe some rice or potatoes on the side, but you can easily have these on their own with the salad.
To learn more about using Ajwain Seeds, check out our blog here.
Spices used in this recipe
Asafoetida powder is made from the white and milky resin from a species of giant Fennel. It has a unique smell and acidic flavor that disappear while cooking to leave a smooth and pleasant flavor similar to onion and garlic.
It is often used as a substitute for garlic and onions and a wonderful substitute for people with sensitivities to such ingredients. It is a key ingredient in vegetarian Middle Eastern and Indian cuisine.$3.45
Paprika Hungarian Hot
Paprika hot, made from peppers, is mostly used in Hungarian cooking. It is the preferred paprika in dishes such as goulash. It has a brown-reddish colour much lighter than sweet paprika and is moderately hot. Due to its vibrant colour and full-bodied flavour it is used in many European and Indian dishes.$3.45
Ajwain Seed or Carom seed
Ajwain seeds are also known as carom seeds or bishop’s weed and they’re a spice that’s been around for a long time. Ajwain seeds were pressed into ajwain oil, and were originally used in the Indian herbal medicine practice, Ayurveda. They were often used as a remedy for a lot of household illnesses, as well as for post-partum nursing mothers. Ajwain, or carom, was then co-opted into everyday cooking in order to enhance the nutritional and digestive benefits of dishes
The dried fruit is ridged and a dark green/khaki colour, which looks very similar to cumin (which is why it’s also referred to, sometimes, as Ethiopian cumin). Originally grown in West Asia, cultivation soon spread across the continent, mainly to India, and it’s now cultivated in most of the sub-continent, as well as parts of the Middle-East (Iran) and East Africa.$3.45
Cut your fish into 3cm chunks, pat dry, and set aside while you prepare your marinade. In a bowl, combine your spices, garlic, 2tsp of dijon mustard, 1tbsp apple cider vinegar, yoghurt, and a good glug of olive oil. Add your fish pieces in, toss to coat, and place covered in the fridge to marinate for at least 30 mins.
While in the fish marinates, place your skewers in water to soak to avoid them burning when cooking.
For the dressing – put your remaining mustard, apple cider vinegar, sugar, a pinch of salt and pepper, and a good glug of olive oil, and whisk to combine and emulsify.
Add your cucumber and onion into a bowl along with your dressing and toss to coat. Set aside.
Remove your fish from the fridge and thread the pieces onto your skewers. Place a pan, griddle, or BBQ on med-high heat. When hot, add a drizzle of olive oil in and cook your skewers in batches for about 2-3 mins on each side. They’re cooked when they’re opaque and flaky inside.
Transfer to a plate, squeeze lemon all over, and set aside to rest.
Before serving, toss your mint leaves through your cucumber salad, serve alongside your fish skewers, and a dollop of yoghurt, and enjoy!