Another gem of an Indian fish dish, that I first encountered way back in the early 90s in a small yet informative book with the accurate but less than imaginative title of “Indian Cooking”.
One of the first things I learned from this cookbook was that the food cooked day-in day-out in the average Indian household was as different from the fare served up in the average Indian restaurant as was the delicacies on offer at Thomas Keller’s renowned “The French Laundry“ when compared to the food on the typical peasant’s table in Provence on a wet Wednesday evening in February.
It was from reading and cooking the recipes found in this book that I began to get to know the “real” versions of the dishes I had eaten in restaurants. I also discovered many dishes completely new to me, seafood dishes in particular.
Seafood being particularly perishable, it tends to be something most restaurants shy away from, apart from the ubiquitous prawn curries, but here I was being shown page after page of delicious looking fish dishes.
It was all here – fish cakes, pickled fish, seafood kebabs, fish steaks braised in curry sauces, whole fish marinated and then grilled, and then dishes such as this one, where a nice piece of fish is simply baked in the oven.
Here we’re using salmon cutlets “on the bone” so to speak, with the skin left on, which when combined with a mild but tasty curry paste topping, ensures they come out of the oven firm but still succulent.
So, next time you’re in the mood for a curry, do yourself a big favour, and put a little fishy on your little dishy…
Indian Baked Salmon
- 3 salmon cutlets, total weight about 690g
- 1 onion, roughly chopped
- 5 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
- 1 Jalapeno chilli, roughly chopped
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp Garam Masala
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- ½ a cup of desiccated coconut
- juice of 1 lemon
- salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- coconut oil
- Pre-heat the oven to 200 C.
- Take the fish out of the fridge to bring it up to room temperature.
- Place the onion, garlic, and Jalapeno chilli in a blender, and process until very finely minced. Set aside.
- Place the turmeric, garam masala, salt and black pepper, and ground ginger in a small bowl. Add just enough water to produce a thin mixture. Stir well, and set aside.
- Heat 4 tbsp of coconut oil in a large non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Add the finely minced vegetables, and stir fry for about 5 minutes.
- Add the water and spice mixture, the lemon juice, and the desiccated coconut to the pan. Stir well. Cook until the contents of the pan have reduced down to a smooth paste, about 10 minutes or so.
- Lightly oil a large, deep ovenproof dish with coconut oil. Place the salmon cutlets in the dish, and spoon over the finished curry paste.
- Place the dish in the middle of the oven, and bake for 25 minutes, or until the fish has lost its translucent colour, and is white inside when cut open.
- Serve, together with a side of cauliflower rice.