Salmon in Coconut Milk Curry

Indian Salmon known locally as Rawas is a delicious fish and one of my personal favourites. As with most fish the cooking time on this recipe is very short, which makes it an easy to whip up curry, even at short notice.

The recipe calls for easily available ingredients, which you may in all probability have in your pantry, and the end result is a simple, light curry. All you may have to do is probably trot down to the market for fish. That is in case your fishmonger doesn’t deliver to your doorstep.

I’ve used 6 medium size salmon steaks – which makes about 3 average size servings, marinading the steaks in the juice of 1/2  a large lime, with a 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and a 1/2 teaspoon each of turmeric powder, paprika and yellow mustard seeds (you can use English Mustard if you like – but half the quantity of the seeds).

Coating the fish with the spices and letting the flavours absorb into the fish, before frying the steaks for about a minute and a half on each side in hot oil, to give it a nice sear. Please do not over-fry the fish… because the purpose is merely to impart a lovely golden colour to the fish without overcooking it.

Drain the fish on paper towels to remove any excess oil and set aside.

For the curry, I used half a medium red onion – sliced, one medium tomato, chopped fine and two green chillies (with the seeds), along with 2 cloves of garlic and a half inch piece of ginger, sliced fine.

Heat about a tablespoon of vegetable oil in a heavy bottomed pan. I used sunflower oil, but you can use any other neutral flavoured oil. [The heavy bottomed pan allows even distribution of heat, which in turn lets the the fish cook evenly, and prevents the coconut milk from burning or curdling.] Sauté the onion along with ginger and garlic, till it takes on a light golden hue, drop in the curry leaves and give it a quick stir before adding in the chopped tomatoes and a teaspoon of salt. Cover and cook for a couple of minutes on a very low flame.

In a mortar blend 1 teaspoon of yellow mustard seeds, a teaspoonful of cumin powder, a pinch of turmeric and kashmiri chilli powder with 1 – 2 teaspoons of oil. Add the spicy blend to the tomatoes and cook for 10 minutes, before adding in a 1/4 cup of water, simmer for an additional 10 minutes and then bring up to a boil. Add 3/4 cup of thin coconut milk at this point and reduce back to a simmer, lowering the fish steaks into the coconut curry. Add the green chillies and cook for 5 – 7 minutes.

Finish with a quarter cup of coconut cream and 2 tablespoons chopped coriander.

A few slices of raw mango would make an excellent addition to the curry, but I didn’t have any… and it really didn’t seem to matter in the end.

I served the curry with white rice and crisp aubergine (eggplant/brinjal) fritters.

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