Sunday, 26 February 2012

Tandoori-style salmon

I'm not really sure why I've never made this before. I like salmon, I like salmon with lots of Indian spices, but somehow it has never occurred to me to try and make a tandoori-style version. Until last week! I've learnt my lesson after my previous ready made paste disappointment, and made my own marinade, which was actually perfectly straightforward. I marinated the fish for a couple of hours, and then cooked it under a hot grill. It wasn't exactly the heat levels of a tandoor, but I did end up with a few nice charred bits with the rest of the fish staying succulent.

Recipe (enough for 2 as a main meal):

4 salmon fillets with skin left on
2 spring onions
1 inch-ish, thumb-sized piece of ginger
3 fat cloves of garlic
2 small green chillis
4 tablespoons of full fat Greek yoghurt
Juice of half a large lemon
4 tsp garam masala
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground corriander
1.5 tsp tumeric
1 tsp paprika (or Kashmiri red chilli powder if you can find it)
0.5 tsp salt
A couple of grinds of black pepper
A few tsps of sunflower oil

Blitz up (or pound) the spring onion, ginger, garlic, and chilli into a paste and tip into a bowl with all the other ingredients except the oil. Mix it all well and pour over the salmon so that all its surfaces are covered. Leave to marinade in the fridge for around 4-5 hours, so basically if I want to have this for dinner I'd try to get it in the marinade by lunchtime. Take the salmon out of the fridge around 30mins before you want to actually cook it, so that it comes up to room temperature. Then heat up your grill, put the salmon fillets on a tray. Spread any remaining marinade in a thin layer over the fish, and lightly brush each fillet with a little oil and sprinkle a bit of extra salt over too. Cook the salmon for around 7-8mins on each side depending on how hot you can get your grill and how thick the pieces are. The fish should have a few dark charred bits, but be just cooked through in the centre.
And that's it really. I serve this with some plain rice, green vegetables, and maybe a raita of some sort. The acidity of the lemon and yoghurt contrasts with the richness of the salmon, and this is such a robust fish it's great with loads of spices. And if you can get all the preparation done in advance this really can be a super-simple and speedy dinner.

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