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Tony’s Punjabi Spiced Salmon

by Cyrus Todiwala, Tony Singh from The Incredible Spice Men

From The Incredible Spice Men, this Punjabi spiced salmon makes for a tender, flavour-packed fish dish. The salmon recipe blends together ginger, turmeric and garam masala.

From the book

Cyrus Todiwala, Tony Singh


This is my absolute favourite. If someone was to ask me what my signature dish was, this is it, stolen – sorry, ‘borrowed’ – from my mum. When we were growing up we didn’t have much money, so she would send us down to the fishmonger to ask for the leftover salmon bones and heads. She’d work her magic and make them absolutely delicious – even now when I make this dish at home, I still use some salmon bones alongside the fillet. This is the best spiced salmon dish you’ll ever try.

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4 x 150g (5oz) salmon fillets, skin on
1 tbsp rapeseed oil or vegetable oil
1 tsp carom seeds or ½ tsp fenugreek seeds
For the marinade:
200g (7oz) leeks, finely diced
250g (9oz) tinned chopped tomatoes
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
4 fresh mild green chillies, seeds removed, finely chopped
7cm (2¾in) piece fresh root ginger, finely grated
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp garam masala
For the rice:
280g (10oz) basmati rice, washed well
30g (1oz) finely chopped fresh tarragon
30g (1oz) finely chopped fresh chives
30g (1oz) finely chopped fresh coriander

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Mix all of the marinade ingredients together. Add the salmon, toss to coat in the marinade, cover and chill for 1 hour or overnight.

When ready to prepare the meal, cook the rice in a large pan of boiling water for 8-10 minutes until tender but holding its shape. When cooked, drain then gently fold in the chopped herbs and season with salt to taste. Set aside and keep warm.

To cook the fish, heat the rapeseed oil or vegetable oil in a pan over a medium-high heat, add the carom or fenugreek seeds and swirl for 30 seconds, then add the salmon, skin-side down, and spoon its marinade around it. Cook for 3-4 minutes each side, or until just cooked through (or cooked to your liking). To serve, spoon some rice on warm serving plates. Top with the fish and spoon around the sauce from the salmon. Serve with some roasted cherry tomatoes.

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