Food & Wine

Salmon kebabs highlight smoke, spice and fresh herbs

Photo By: Photo courtesy of Gitika Baveja
Photo Photo Courtesy Of Gitika BavejaBring variety to your grill with sandwiches, salmon and smoking during late-summer cookouts.

Don’t let summer pass without grilling. Barbecuing salmon is a great way to prepare heart-healthy fish while still enjoying the smoky taste of grilled food.

You can make Salmon Kebabs with or without the skin, but I prefer to remove the skin. To add flavor to the salmon, add a quick blend of plain yogurt; garlic; ginger; a few green, aromatic herbs; lemon juice; and spices. The subtle combination of the herbs and spices tastes great on a firm fish such as salmon but also works on white fish like cod and sea bass.

Serve Salmon Kebabs as a quick appetizer with cocktails or as an accompaniment to a meal. Consume them with cilantro chutney wrapped in warm naan bread or as a finger food.

The key to preparing moist kebabs is to monitor and rotate them every few minutes to prevent sticking. Grilling salmon is a bit tricky – you can also place the fish on skewers or in nonstick foil as an alternative to placing directly on the grill.

Gitika Baveja is author of “Indian Flavors to Savor: The Easy Home-Cooked Way.” For more information visit

Salmon Kebabs

• 1 medium-sized salmon fillet, skinned (cut into 1-inch cubes)



• 2 tablespoons plain low-fat yogurt (without any liquid)

• 1/2 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated

• 1/2 teaspoon garlic, minced

• 1-2 tablespoons olive oil

• 1/2 teaspoon coriander powder

• 1/2 teaspoon garam masala powder

• 1/2 teaspoon dry mango powder

• 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds (optional)

• Pinch of crushed red or black pepper

• Salt to taste

• 2-4 fresh curry leaves

• 1-2 tablespoon cilantro, chopped

• 1/2 teaspoons dry fenugreek leaves (available in box at Indian grocery store)

• 2-3 fresh mint leaves (optional)



• 1 teaspoon chaat masala

• 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice


Process all marinade ingredients in blender. Pour mixture on fish, tossing to coat, and marinate in refrigerator 1-2 hours, turning occasionally.

Preheat grill. Just before placing fish, oil grates or use nonstick foil. Grill fish over high heat 2-3 minutes, turning once. Lower heat or move fish to medium heat and grill another 5-6 minutes until done. Test fish before serving.

Sprinkle kebabs with chaat masala and squeeze of fresh lemon juice.

Vegetarian option: Marinate paneer (Indian cheese), cut in cubes and grill in similar way. Paneer cooks quickly, so make sure it doesn’t burn.

Serves 2.

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