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How to Make Tandoori Grilled Calamari with Fresh Mango Chutney

Tandoori Grilled Calamari over a grill with flat breads Kris Kirkham
August 2022
Reading time 3 Minutes

Put your seafood on the barbie

This is most definitely beach grub! When I light up a grill by the sea, I like to cook seafood and lots of it. This grilled calamari recipe is really easy to whip up and can be enjoyed right off the skewer. I suggest getting a few plates, though, as the mango chutney with its savoury, sweet, spicy and sour flavours is the perfect accompaniment. Soaking the squid in milk overnight makes it really tender. Make this charred squid, pop open some wine and enjoy.
Preparation Time
15 minutes, plus marinating time
Cooking Time
12 minutes
  • 1kg baby squid, cleaned and soaked in milk overnight
  • 125ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 spring onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp garlic and ginger paste (see right)
  • 1 tbsp tandoori masala (see right)
  • 1 tsp dried red chilli flakes
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped coriander
  • 5 lemons, thinly sliced
  • 30 fresh lime leaves (or bay leaves)
  • Salt and freshly ground black
  • pepper, to taste
  • 1 mango, finely diced
  • 1 red pepper, finely chopped
  • 1⁄2 red onion, finely diced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 green bird’s eye chillies, finely chopped (more or less to taste)
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped coriander
  • Juice of 1 lime

Rinse the milk off the squid and slice the bodies in half widthways. Put the bodies and tentacles into a mixing bowl and add the oil, spring onions, garlic and ginger paste, tandoori masala, chilli flakes, coriander and salt and pepper to taste. Mix well to coat. Cover and leave to marinate in the fridge for 30–60 minutes.

Now prepare the fresh mango chutney. Put all the ingredients into a bowl, season and stir well to combine. Taste and adjust by adding more chillies, salt or pepper.

When ready to cook, prepare a direct heat fire. When the coals are white-hot and it is uncomfortable to hold your hand at cooking height for more than two seconds, you’re ready to cook. Thread the squid, lemon slices and lime leaves onto skewers, alternating so that each piece of squid gets a bit of lemon and lime flavour. Reserve any leftover marinade. Grill the skewers over a high heat for six minutes on one side, then rotate to cook the other side until the squid is completely cooked through and nicely charred. This should take a further five to six minutes. Be sure to baste with the reserved marinade from time to time. Serve hot with the fresh mango chutney.


Many of the recipes in this book call for garlic and ginger paste. The amount you blend is completely down to your requirements.


Simply blend equal amounts of peeled garlic cloves and ginger with a drop of water in a blender or spice grinder to make a paste. This will keep, covered in the fridge, for three days but can also be frozen; freeze in ice-cube trays to give you handy tablespoon-sized portions.



There are a lot of commercial tandoori masalas out there but this homemade version will get you superior results. You can make a delicious tandoori marinade for meat, seafood and vegetables by simply whisking this tandoori masala with Greek yoghurt to taste. You could also whisk it with a little lemon juice and rapeseed (canola) oil for a dairy-free marinade. Mildly spiced and sour tandoori masala is also great stirred into some curries. Go ahead and experiment; if it sounds like it would be good stirred into a sauce, it probably will be.


3 tbsp coriander seeds
3 tbsp cumin seeds
1 tbsp black mustard seeds
5cm cinnamon stick or cassia bark
Small piece of mace
3 dried Indian bay leaves
1 tbsp ground ginger
2 tbsp garlic powder
2 tbsp dried onion powder
2 tbsp amchoor (dried mango powder)
1 tbsp (or more) red food colouring powder (optional)


Roast the whole spices in a dry frying pan over a medium-high heat until warm to the touch and fragrant, moving them around the pan as they roast and being careful not to burn them. If they begin to smoke, take them off the heat. Tip onto a plate to cool.

Grind to a fine powder in a spice grinder or pestle and mortar and tip into a bowl. Stir in the ground ginger, garlic powder, onion powder and amchoor (dried mango powder). Stir in the red food colouring powder, if using. Store in an air-tight container in a cool, dry place and use within two months.

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