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Diaspora Tandoori Fish with Burst Cherry Tomatoes

Tandoori Fish with Burst Cherry Tomatoes

A one-hour marinade made from yogurt and Diaspora Co.’s Tandoori Masala spice blend transforms fish fillets from simple to delicious in no time. The quick cook with cherry tomatoes, lemon juice and a little olive oil makes this dish great for weeknight cooking.

We’re big fans of global cuisines and the diverse array of spices and spice blends that make them so special. But we’re also keen on quality and try to be conscious of the ethics surrounding our purchasing power. That’s what originally drew us to the Oakland, California-based, queer- and woman of color-owned spice company Diaspora Co.

Creating a better spice trade is at the center of their mission. By working directly with farmers in India, they can more fairly and equitably source unique spices. Plus, the direct connection means that the spices they’re working with are fresh. (For context, traditional dried spices might take two to seven years to reach your pantry. At Diaspora Co, the process takes under six months.) You can find their spices and blends in specialty shops around the United States — check out their store locator — and in their online store.

Diaspora’s Tandoori Masala spice blend combines 15 of their single origin spices to create something spicy, sour, sweet, earthy and umami all at once. With everything from cumin and cardamom to Kashmiri saffron, the blend is as interesting as it is delicious. And since it was designed with tandoor (clay oven) cooking in mind, it also works exceptionally well in Ooni’s pizza ovens.

Diaspora Co. recipe developer Asha Loupy came up with this simple and flavorful fish recipe that highlights the flavors of the tandoori masala without overcomplicating it: Just marinate, cook and enjoy. After it comes out of the oven, cilantro and pickled red onions work well as an easy but delicious garnish. Serve it alongside naan or on its own for a light dinner that doesn’t sacrifice on flavor. 

Notes: Two fish fillets fit nicely in our cast iron skillet pan, but if you’re cooking for a crowd use the dual-sided grizzler pan. If you don’t have access to Diaspora’s products, try using any similar blend you can find. To make your own basic mix, try an equal amount of garam masala and red Kashmiri chili powder or cayenne pepper with a dash of garlic powder.

TIME
30 minutes active; one and a half hours total

YIELD
2 fillets

Equipment
Ooni pizza oven
Ooni Infrared Thermometer
Ooni Cast Iron Skillet Pan
Ooni Pizza Oven Gloves

Ingredients
For the fish and marinade
¼ cup (61 grams) plain, full-fat Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon (12 milliliters) neutral oil, such as canola or rapeseed
1½ tablespoons (9 grams) Diaspora Co. Tandoori Masala spice mix
¼ teaspoon (1 gram) salt
two 6-ounce center cut, skinless salmon fillets (or substitute a flaky white fish like cod or halibut)

For the tomatoes and assembly
1½ cups (225 grams) whole cherry tomatoes
4 cloves garlic, peeled and whole
3 tablespoons (36 milliliters) extra-virgin olive oil, divided
½ teaspoon (2 grams) salt
¼ cup (7 grams) cilantro, roughly chopped
1 lemon, quartered in wedges, for serving
pickled red onions, to garnish (optional)

Method
For the marinade, combine the yogurt, oil, tandoori masala and salt in a medium bowl. Whisk until smooth.

Add the fish and coat each fillet fully in the yogurt/spice mixture. Cover and refrigerate for one hour or up to six. (Don’t go longer, or the enzymes in the yogurt will start to break down the fish).

Preheat your Ooni oven to 660°F (350°C). You can check the temperature inside your oven quickly and easily by taking a reading of the baking stone using an infrared thermometer.

Place your skillet pan in the oven for five minutes to preheat.

While the oven preheats, place the cherry tomatoes, garlic, two tablespoons olive oil and salt in a medium bowl and toss to coat the tomatoes in the oil. Set aside.

Carefully remove the skillet from the oven, drizzle with the remaining olive oil and place the fish in the pan. Return the skillet to the oven and cook until the salmon starts to char, about three minutes, rotating the pan halfway through to cook it evenly.

Retrieve the skillet and pour the reserved cherry tomatoes and garlic around the fillets. Turn off the oven and replace the skillet in the oven to finish cooking using residual heat, about two to four minutes, depending on the thickness of the fillets. They will be ready to serve when the fish flakes easily and the tomatoes start to burst.

Garnish with cilantro and serve directly out of the pan along with lemon wedges and pickled red onions, if using. Enjoy on its own or with naan.

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