The part and parcel of being born in a Bengali, Indian family is that from the first day you become capable of having solid food you get enrolled into a regime of fish dishes. Fish and rice recipes and the amount variations that exists in a bengali family is simply mind boggling. However, since moving to England a lot of varieties of fishes that exist back home doesn’t exist or you end up getting frozen versions of it which doesn’t even taste anything close to a fresh river fish.
So I started looking for a suitable local fish alternative that could hold the strong flavours and spices of a curry and doesn’t crumble while cooking. Lo and behold after experimenting with a number of fishes I decided upon Salmon.
Strangely enough even before we got married my husband never used to eat fish as he found it smelly, and this used to be a constant source of complaint from my Mother-in-Law. Therefore I needed cook the fish in way that it would retain the flavours but loose its strong smell. This is when I first came across this recipe during one of our India trips when my mother-in-law cooked it for us.
Now back to one of my favourite fish preparations Salmon in Yogurt Gravy (Doi Maach). A simple dish which varies from one bengali home to another. Traditionally Doi maach is prepared with fresh water fish like Carp or Rohu (rui maach), but I find Salmon is perfect taste wise and texture wise for this recipe. The fish fillets are poached in the yogurt gravy. But today in my version of Doi maach, the salmon is first shallow fried and then gently simmered in a mildly spiced yogurt gravy and cooked to perfection.
After minor changes to the recipe I decided to give the task of making my hubby eat the fish and boy he absolutely loved it . This obviously made me doubly happy as this means I being an avid fish lover can now share the joys of having fish with hubby.
- 5-6 pieces of Salmon
- 3/4 cup Plain yogurt, whisked with 3/4 a cup of water
- 1 Onion, finely chopped or made into a paste
- 3-4 Green chillies
- 1 1/2 teaspoon Ginger paste
- 1 teaspoon Garlic paste
- 1 teaspoon Turmeric powder
- 1 teaspoon Red chilli powder
- 2 bay leaves
- 3-4 green Cardamoms
- 1 inch sticks Cinnamon
- 4-5 Cloves
- 1 tablespoon Cashew nut paste (optional)
- 10-15 raisins (optional)
- 2-3 tablespoons vegetable oil /ghee
- 1/2 teaspoon Sugar
- Salt as per taste
- Marinate Salmon fish pieces with salt and 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric and set it aside for 15-20 minutes.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a thick pan and shallow fry the salmon, remove and set it aside.
- In the same pan add the remaining oil, when hot add the bay leaves and the coarsely pounded cardamom, cinnamon, cloves. When the start spluttering add the the finely chopped onion or the onion paste. Sauté till the onions are transparent. Toss in the green chillies and the raisins (if using) and mix well.
- Now add the ginger and garlic paste and sauté for another 2 mins until the raw small disappears. Add in the red chilli powder, turmeric powder and salt and cook on low-medium heat.
- Now turn the heat to low and gradually add the yogurt and the cashew nut paste. Continuously mix the ingredients as you add the yogurt.
- Then cover the pan and let the sauce cook on low heat for almost 15 minutes until you see the oil bubbling on the sides of the pan.
- Check the seasoning and add 1/2 teaspoon sugar and salt (if required) and mix.
- Now gently slide in the fried salmon in the gravy and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Remove from heat. Sprinkle with some chopped coriander.
- Served with Steamed rice.