Everyone enjoys a curry, don’t they? Like most Brits I tend to leave the hard work to the professionals and rely on my local takeaway to deliver the goods if I’m in need of a bit of a spice fix. The trouble with ordering in, for me at least, is the temptation that multiplies as you scan down the menu. Before you know it you’ve got half a dozen poppadoms, a naan and a sag aloo coming along with your curry when you weren’t feeling all that hungry in the first place.
You might be able to get away with that approach at the weekend when you have a few friends round, but it’s a slippery slope when you fall into the habit mid-week. Cue this recipe for Tikka Salmon with Jewelled Rice, which comes with all of the flavours you want without any of the guilt. Plus it’s straightforward enough to make that you won’t be chained to the stove waiting for it to cook.
In many ways this reminds me of a meal I had years ago in an Indian restaurant in the Jardin du Luxembourg area of Paris. Up until that point my only experiences of tikka had involved chicken – either on its own as a starter or in the classic Chicken Tikka Masala. I admit that at the time the idea of fish Tikka was a little disturbing (remember my previous comments on fish?), but curiosity won the day and I ordered it anyway. It was sublime – perfectly soft, tender Salmon with a lightly spiced coating – and I was an instant convert.
I can’t say that this quite stands up to the distant memory of that meal but it still makes for a delicious plate of food. As well as the flavours it also has a lot more immediate visual appeal than a takeaway. You just want to get stuck in as soon as you see the dark, golden spices on the outside of the tender pink fish combined with the multicoloured bejewelled rice.
Tikka Salmon with Jewelled Rice
For the Tikka Paste
- 1 tsp Ground Cumin
- 1 tsp Ground Coriander
- ½ tsp Paprika
- ½ tsp Ground Ginger
- ½ tsp Garam Masala
- ¼ tsp Chilli Powder
- ¼ tsp Garlic Powder
- 1 pinch Ground Turmeric
- 1 pinch Sea Salt
- ½ tsp Lemon Juice
- 1 tbsp Vegetable Oil
For the Salmon
- 50 g Natural Yoghurt
- 2 Salmon Fillets
For the Rice
- 2 tbsp Vegetable Oil
- 1 Onion peeled and roughly chopped
- 1 Red Pepper deseeded and roughly chopped
- ½ tsp Ground Turmeric
- 150 g Basmati Rice rinsed but not cooked
- 400 ml Good Quality Vegetable Stock
- 2 tbsp Pomegranate Molasses
- 50 g Pomegranate Seeds
- Handful Fresh Coriander coarsely chopped
Make the Tikka Paste
- The first step is the easiest part and should be done an hour or so before you’re planning to cook the rest of the dish. Put all of the dry spices together into a bowl and mix well. Then add in the lemon juice and vegetable oil, before stirring together to make a thick paste.
Marinate the Salmon
- Combine the tikka paste with the yogurt and mix until well combined.
- Put the salmon into a shallow bowl and cover with the marinade – making sure that the fillets are completely coated.
- Cover and put into the fridge for 30-60 minutes, to allow the flavours to permeate into the salmon.
Bring it all together
- Remove the salmon from the fridge and bring to room temperature.
- Heat 1 tsbp vegetable oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Sauté for a 5-10 minutes until the onion is starting to soften and go translucent. Add in the red pepper and cook for a further minute or two.
- Sprinkle over the turmeric and stir until everything is well coated, then add in the basmati rice, vegetable stock and pomegranate molasses before mixing again. Cover and bring to a simmer then cook for 5 minutes.
- After 5 minutes the rice should have absorbed most of the stock. Stri well, then lay the salmon fillets on top of the rice and re-cover the pan. Turn the heat down to low and allow the salmon to cook through in the steam above the rice. This should take around 15 minutes – do try to leave the lid on and trust me that the rice shouldn’t stick to the pan.
- When cooked serve remove from the heat. Remove the salmon fillets carefully and put to one side. Stir the pomegranate seeds and coriander through the cooked rice, then serve topped with the salmon fillets.