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Salmon curry with mustard and poppy seeds (shorshe posto salmon)
This salmon curry recipe is based on a traditional Bengali fish curry cooked with Hilsa or Ilish fish. We found Salmon is a great alternative to Hilsa, the most popular and fatty fish in East India. We love this fish for three reasons. It is local, hence fresh and easily available, it is rich in omega-3 fatty acid and most importantly it literally has fewer fish bones. Unlike Hilsa, which is infamous for its hundreds of bones in its flesh, salmon is easy to handle. Thus it is a great choice when it comes to introducing fish to your kids.
Although complex in taste, this salmon curry dish is rather easy to make with few simple ingredients. I fine-tuned this recipe with the help of my mum-in-law who is an expert cook. It is great with boiled rice and will look good on any party menu with an Indian theme.
Ingredients and Tips for Salmon curry with Mustard & Poppy Seeds
Salmon is rich in Omega-3 fatty acid which helps reduce inflammation, lower blood pressure and decrease risk factors for diseases. This versatile fish can be cooked in many different ways, tastes heavenly and is easy to cook. Add this gorgeous fish to your Balanced Nutrition diet.
In this recipe, I have used the middle part of a filet of Scottish salmon which was . I made about 6 pieces of 2inches in width. Before you cut the pieces, make sure you scale the fish with either the blunt end of a knife or a thin spoon.
Pat dry the pieces well before seasoning, this will help you fry the pieces without spluttering oil. Another tip is to salt the fish just before you would start cooking, this helps retain moisture inside the fish.
Mustard seed paste
For this salmon curry recipe, I’ve used an equal mix of yellow and black mustard for the paste. Mustard has a very pungent, sharp flavour and mixing both varieties makes the sauce slightly mild. The mustard paste can turn out quite bitter when ground in a mixer-grinder/blender. To prevent this from happening, soak the mustard seeds in water for at least 1-2hours. To make the paste, grind the soaked mustard seeds along with the roughly chopped chillies and 1/4 teaspoon of salt.
Poppy seed paste
In a typical Bengali home, we would generally make pastes using ‘sheel-nora‘, a flat stone grinder instead of a mortar pestle or a food processor. It needs bit of grit and muscle power, along with skill but the end result is a good, smooth paste! But in modern day homes, we generally make do with a wet grinder, or spice grinder. I use my magicbullet and it does its job beautifully well, hasn’t let me down!
If you use a nutribullet, magic bullet or any other spice grinder to make poppy seed paste follow these tips to get a smooth result. Firstly, dry grind the poppy seeds using 30-second bursts. Once it becomes a coarse dry paste, add water and grind for a good minute or two. Instead of grinding the green chillies with mustard seeds, you may add salt and the chillies with the poppy seeds and then grind.
Curried Salmon with Mustard and Poppy Seeds
- Saute pan
- 6 Salmon filets scaled
- ½ tbsp Yellow mustard
- ½ tbsp Black mustard
- 2 Bird's eye green chillies
- 1½ tbsp Greek style, fat free natural yoghurt
- 1 tsp turmeric powder
- salt to taste
- 1 tbsp mustard oil or any other cooking oil
- Soak the mustard seeds in water for at least 1 hour before grinding them into a paste.
- Make a paste of poppy seeds with the green chillies and ¼ tsp salt. First dry grind the seeds with chillies and salt. Then add about 4tbsp of water and grind again. This should give a smooth paste.
- Descale, wash and pat dry both sides of the salmon pieces. Season with salt and a bit of turmeric on both the flesh and skin side.
- Heat oil in a saute pan on medium-high. Add the fish, skin side down and fry for 1minute. Then carefully flip and fry the flesh side for another minute and not a second more.
- Next, add the poppy seed and mustard seed pastes. Add about a tbsp water if the paste is too thick, the salmon should be just about covered with the sauce. Bring it to a boil. Lower the heat, cover and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Beat the yoghurt and add a tbsp of water.
- Remove the pan from the heat and let it cool for about 30seconds. Now add the beaten yoghurt, stir carefully. Return the pan to heat.
- Simmer on a low flame for about 3-4 minutes, uncovered.
- Check for the seasoning and consistency of the sauce. It should not be too thick like a paste or too runny.
- Remove from heat, serve with steaming boiled rice.
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