I made this recipe with my dad last summer as a way to use up some left over summer vegetables that had been sitting in our fridge. He made the saffron-basmati rice pilaf, and I made the curry. The pilaf is somewhat drowned out in this photo by the salmon curry since it turned out more watery than I had anticipated. I am often hesitant to add too much coconut milk or excess fat when cooking at home, so I used half coconut milk and half water for the broth. If you are looking for a richer curry, similar to one you would find at a restaurant, use only full fat coconut milk for the base. I find, however, that the half and half substitution does not affect taste and makes this recipe more suitable for a regular, non-cheat meal.
I used the same spice rub on the salmon and onions. In the curry pictured, I also fried curry leaves, mustard seeds, and cumin seeds in ghee before adding the onions. This is called a “tadka” and is commonly added at the end of a dish and sometimes (as I did here) used at the beginning to flavor the oils used in the rest of the dish. I’ve made this curry both with and without the tadka, and it doesn’t make a big enough taste difference to justify buying all of the ingredients needed, assuming most non-indian cooks don’t have curry leaves, mustard seeds, or jeera (cumin seeds) on hand.
I find it is often hard to get salmon, or any fish, perfectly cooked (set, but not dry). This curry provides a fool proof method of cooking fish, because it is seared first, then finished off in the curry broth, which prevents the fish from drying out as it would in the oven while simultaneously infusing it with flavor.
TOP TIP: If your tomato paste is always drying out/going bad before you have the chance to use it, freeze small scoops of tomato paste between sheets of Press n’ Seal and cut out the disks as you need them! Pictured ridiculously here:
Hope you enjoy!
Salmon Curry Recipe
- Salmon, cubed, skin removed
- Garam Masala
- Chili Powder
- Red Bell Pepper
- Cherry Tomatoes
- Tomato Paste
- Coconut Milk
- Salt and Pepper
Mix equal parts turmeric and garam masala. Add chili powder based on heat preference and the spiciness of your individual powder (each is vastly different, I add very little since my chili powder is very hot).
Rub salmon with chili powder and salt. Sear each side in a cast iron skillet/ griddle, do not cook through. Remove salmon from skillet. Add 1 Tbs. ghee or butter, sliced onions, sliced red bell pepper, garlic, and ginger. Once onion is translucent, add ~1-2 Tbs of spice mix and salt, depending on amount of onion used. Cook for 2 minutes, then add 1 -2 Tbs tomato paste and cherry tomatoes. Cook for another two minutes. Add coconut milk (or 1/2 coconut milk and 1/2 water if desired). Simmer on medium for 10-15 minutes. Place salmon pieces so that they are almost completely submerged in the broth and simmer until salmon is fully cooked, another 5-10 minutes.
Serve over rice with chopped, fresh parsley if desired.