Before I go any further, the winner for the Gourmet giveaway is Jude form Apple Pie, Patis and Pate. Congratulations Jude and I hope you enjoy the free annual subscription to one of fave magazine!
Here is a break from all the sweet treats . The salmon is simmered gently on low heat in coconut milk and aromatics. Do not boil the coconut milk as the heat would cause it to separate and the fish could overcook and break. This elegant and aromatic dish is perfect for entertaining this festive season.
The rule with all fish is to get it as fresh as possible. It is far preferable to buy fish that has been frozen and recently thawed at the market than to buy fresh fish that has been sitting for a few days. If you are able to see the whole fish, look for clear eyes and clean red or pink gills. If you are able to smell the fish, it should smell like the sea, not fishy.
The colour of the salmon will partly vary by species. Farmed salmon is usually artificially colored: it would be very pale otherwise (the safety of the most common coloring agent has been questioned: it is allowed in the US, but not in some other countries). Wild salmon is a healthier choice than farmed salmon due to to PCBs and other contaminants that are found in farmed salmon.
Being one of the fattier fish, salmon is sturdy, and holds up to a great variety of cooking styles, including grilling, baking, poaching, broiling, or pan-frying. The important thing is not to let it dry out. Salmon works with a wide variety of flavors. Whereas more delicate fish becomes overwhelmed with strong flavors, salmon takes to lots of different sauces, rubs, and marinades.
Bombay Style Salmon Curry
2 garlic cloves
2 small green chillies
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp hot chili powder
4 whole cloves
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tb tamarind paste mixed with 1 tb water
2 tb vegetable oil
2 medium sized salmon steaks, cut in half
1 cup coconut milk
chopped cilantro for garnish
salt to taste
2 medium sized shallots, thinly sliced
I used a mortar and pestle to pound together garlic and green chillies. You could also mince both ingredients very finely. Wash and pat dry fish steaks. Make a paste with chili powder, cinnamon powder, turmeric powder, 1/2 tsp salt, tamarind paste and cloves. Spread this paste over fish and marinate for at least 1 hr in the fridge.
Heat 2 tb oil on medium heat in a pan large enough to hold fish in a single layer. I used a heavy bottomed saute pan for this. Saute the sliced shallots till golden and add the marinated fish on top of the sauteed shallots. Pour coconut milk over the fish and lower heat to low. The idea here is to simmer the coconut milk very gently and not to bring to a boil. Boiling the coconut milk could cause the milk to separate and the fish to break. Cover and let it simmer gently for 10 to 12 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings. The sauce will be thick. This dish elegant dish is best served with rice. Scatter chopped cilantro before serving.
Serving tip - Making this curry 4 to 5 hours ahead will allow the flavours to develop as with most curries. Heat it on low and slow ( bring it back to a gentle simmer) before serving.