Salmon with mustard seed and coriander

This simple dish is perfect for parties. You can use mackerel fillets or tuna instead of salmon.

Serves6 Origin India
Preparation 5mins (1 to 3 hr to marinate) Heat rating (Medium)
Cooking 15-20mins Ease (Easy)
Vegetarian No


1/3 tsp + 1/2 tsp Cayenne Chilli powder
1 tsp Ground Coriander
1 tsp Ground Cumin, organic
1/2 tsp Fennel seeds
3 tsp Brown mustard seeds
1/3 tsp + 1/4 tsp Ground Turmeric
900g skinless salmon fillet (ideally cut from the thicker end of the fillet)
1/3 tsp salt

For the sauce
6oz/180g tomatoes, coarsely grated (messy, but possible the skins will be left in your hand)
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
6 bay leaves or curry leaves
fresh coriander


Cut the salmon into matchbox-sized pieces.
Mix the cayenne and turmeric with ¹/3 tsp salt and rub the mixture into both sides of the fish. Put in a plastic bag or a covered dish and refrigerate for at least one, and up to six, hours.
Now make the sauce. In a clean coffee grinder or mini food processor, grind 2½ tsp of the mustard seeds. (You could also do this with a pestle and mortar and lots of elbow grease, or even use mustard powder.) Put the ground mustard in a bowl with the coriander, cumin, turmeric, curry powder, cayenne, tomatoes, ¾ tsp salt and 4floz/110ml water. Mix well.
Heat the oil in a wide, shallow pan (a deepish frying pan or sauté pan is ideal) over a medium-high heat. Add the remaining mustard seeds and as soon as they begin to pop add the fennel seeds. Stir and pour in the spice mixture and another 8floz/225ml water.
Add the curry leaves, if you have them, or bay leaves. Bring to a simmer and cook gently for 10 minutes. (At this point the sauce can be cooled and refrigerated for several hours.)
To cook the fish, reheat the sauce (in the wide, shallow pan again) and lay the fish in it. It's important the fish cooks in a single layer, so if you are doubling the quantities, use two pans.
Simmer for five minutes, then carefully turn the fish and cook for another 4-5 minutes until just about done. Scatter with coriander and serve with rice or naan.

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