Delicately cooked Salmon in creamy silky tomato coconut milk sauce, this Indian Salmon curry is one of my family's favorite ways to eat Salmon. It goes excellent over hot white rice or with roti or naan, especially basmati or jasmine rice which are our go to for this dish but any rice goes well with it.
Coming from Southern India, and from a family who ate fish very rarely, I never had Salmon until we moved to pacific northwest many years back. Living in one of the best places to get all kinds of good quality fish and with my husband's love for fish dishes, we started exploring sea food more and more.
I should confess that it took me a while to actually start liking salmon !! I know what you are gonna say :-), but I initially tried cooking it in the same way as we cook other fish in southern India and with the distinctive taste of salmon that didn't work for us. However, with the excellent nutrient profile of Salmon which is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, protein, vitamin D and many other nutrients, we determined to include it in our regular diet and find our favorite way to eat it.
Whenever my husband eats something outside the home that he really likes, he gets all excited and gets me all excited too to try and make it at home right away. If you are a foodie too, you know what am I talking about😊. This is one of those recipes that I started making when he came home one day and started talking about the fish curry he had from a friend's lunch box. All he told me was it tasted like tomato and coconut !! Since I was already trying to find a good Salmon recipe I decided to try making it with tomato based gravy with coconut milk and it was an instant hit !!
Frequently asked questions :
How should I choose the Salmon?
Salmon has a mild yet very distinctive, subtle and refreshing taste when compared to other fish. It's taste mainly depends on 3 things:
- What kind of salmon are we using?( among all Pacific and Atlantic salmon)
- Where do they inhabit?( wild or farmed)
- How are we cooking it?
Unlike many other foods, when it comes to Salmon, the fattiest is the tastiest and healthiest.Wild salmon contains more minerals than farmed Salmon. Wild king salmon is also considered to be the fattiest of all these and hence the tastiest. But it is also expensive. Sockeye salmon closely follows in the fat content and taste and is also more budget friendly option compared to king salmon.
I love to buy fresh Salmon whenever I can, but it does not keep well. So always try to buy fresh Salmon the day you want to cook it or at most the day before. Most frequently available one for us is previously frozen sockeye salmon.
How do I know Salmon is done?
After 5-7 minutes of cooking, check for doneness, by taking a sharp knife or fork to peek into the thickest part. If the meat is beginning to flake easily and the color is changed from translucent (red or raw) to opaque (pink), it is done. If you like, you can use an instant read thermometer to check the fish for doneness. The USDA recommends a minimum internal temperature of 145°F, which should be measured at the thickest part of the fillet.
How do I reduce the spice in this Indian Salmon curry?
Initially add only half the given amounts of red chilli powder, coriander powder and cumin powder and check the taste and add more later if needed.
How can I make this sauce more chunky?
Instead of pureeing all tomatoes, either use half puree and half diced tomato or all diced tomato based on your taste. I like half diced and half puree the best.
What kind of coconut milk?
For best results, use full fat coconut milk either fresh or canned. Don't use the ones that comes in cartons. They are best used for smoothies, desserts etc.
What Can I serve this with?
This goes excellent with Rice or naan especially Jasmine or basmati but really it goes well with any kind of rice. If you are watching your carbs, then you can also serve this with your preferred salad.
Storage and Reheat Instructions?
It can be stored in the refrigerator for 4 to 5 days in an air tight container. When you are ready to eat, just reheat in a microwave for 1 to 2 mins or on stove top on medium heat.
Mistakes I made initially while trying
I tried this recipe with low fat coconut milk and full fat coconut milk both thinking it won't make much difference but the best taste comes out only with the full fat coconut milk.
Can you show me step by step pictures of each stage?
Sure, Here are the pictures below showing each stage of this recipe. Hope this helps !!
Okay then, enough talk !! let's go and make this delicious Indian style Salmon curry right away. Here is the recipe below with all the information you need to make this curry.
Tomato coconut salmon curry Indian style
- 1 to 1.4 lbs salmon fillets
- 1 ½ tbsp coconut oil or any other oil
- 1 big finely chopped onion
- 3 Tomatoes diced or pureed as per taste
- 1 13.5 fl oz can of Coconut Milk full cream
- Cilantro for garnish Coriander leaves
- 1 tsp Sugar Optional if tomatoes are too sour
- 2 tsp Ginger garlic paste
- ¼ tsp Turmeric powder
- 1 tsp Indian Red chilli powder
- 2 tsp Coriander powder Dhaniya powder
- 1 tsp Ground Cumin Jeera powder
- Salt to taste
- 1 to 2 tbsp kasoori methi dried fenugreek leaves, adjust as per taste
- Heat coconut oil in the pan on medium heat.
- When the oil is hot enough add finely chopped onions and saute them until golden brown. Add little salt, just enough for the onions and ¼ tsp turmeric as soon as you add onions. Salt brings the water out of onions and help them cook faster.
- When the onions turn golden brown add 2 tsp ginger garlic paste, 2 tsp coriander powder, 1 tsp cumin powder, and 1 tsp red chilli powder to the onions and mix well. Let the spice powders cook well without burning them.
- Now on medium high add chopped tomato pieces or tomato puree, little more salt for tomatoes and mix well. Let the tomatoes cook covered until they are soft and mushy and oil separating to the sides of the pan. Keep stirring in between to avoid burning.Add little water if necessary. Add 1 tsp of sugar if the tomatoes are too sour to balance the flavours.
- Now reduce the heat to medium and add the can of full cream coconut milk, crushed kasoori methi leaves (crush them between your palms to make fine powder) and mix well. Let it cook for 4 to 5 mins, and add more salt and chili powder if needed. Sauce should be completely cooked and seasoned as you want before adding salmon.
- Now add the Salmon fillets carefully into the gravy on medium low heat, making sure they are not on top of each other, thus giving them enough space to cook. Cover them with sauce on top.
- After 5 to 8 mins, check with a sharp knife or fork at the thickest part of the fillet. If it is flaky and turned to opaque pink, it is done. If u want you can check for the minimum internal temperature of 145°F(USDA recommendation), which should be measured at the thickest part of the fillet.
- Now add chopped cilantro to garnish and serve hot with Rice.
- If you want a chunkier sauce use diced tomatoes or use pureed tomatoes for a smooth sauce.
- Use full-fat fresh or canned coconut milk for best results. Don't use coconut milk in cartons.
- To make it less spicy, initially add half of the given red chili powder, coriander powder, and cumin powder, and add more later before adding salmon if required.
- Add 1 tbsp of Kasoori methi leaves first and taste and add a little more if required.
- Cook only on low to medium heat after adding salmon. No need to cover.