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masgouf and rice
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4.91 from 11 votes

Masgouf / Iraqi Grilled Fish

Iraq's International Dish, Masgouf; carp, grilled over an open fire, with a spicy tomato-based sauce. 
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time50 mins
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: Assyrian, Middle Eastern
Servings: 2 people
Calories: 440kcal


  • 1 lb. white fish fillets
  • 2 tsp. salt divided
  • 2 tsp. curry divided
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 3 T. vegetable oil
  • 2 medium tomatoes
  • 1 ½ cups chopped parsley
  • ½ 6 0z. can tomato paste
  • 2 T. vinegar
  • 2 T. lemon juice
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ tsp. cayenne pepper optional


  • Wash fish fillets and pat dry. Rub them with one teaspoon salt and one teaspoon curry.
  • Place the fish on a grill-safe pan or tray that's been covered with foil. Cover, to keep the fish from drying out and refrigerate until ready to cook.
  • Sauce: Chop half of the onion, along with the cloves of garlic, and sauté in vegetable oil until translucent.
  • Chop one of the tomatoes and add to the same pan, along with the parsley, tomato paste, vinegar, lemon juice, water, remaining salt, and curry.
  • Add cayenne pepper, if using. Stir until all the ingredients come together to form a nice, rich sauce. Simmer for approximately five minutes and set aside to cool.
  • Slice the remaining onion and tomato. Remove the fish from the refrigerator and smother with the tomato sauce.
  • Arrange the sliced tomatoes and onions on top of the sauce. I grilled the fish in a grill basket to achieve that classic smokey masgouf flavor, but you can also bake it in the oven.
  • Heat your barbecue grill, and once hot, add the fish. Cook for approximately 10 minutes. Flip halfway through.
  • Served with white rice, topped with the tangy tomato sauce.


Calories: 440kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 43g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 0mg | Sodium: 2388mg | Fiber: 7g