This probably doesn’t qualify as comfort food – or even a lockdown dinner, as it’s perfect for dinner parties – but tandoori salmon is incredibly easy to make and has a defenite wow factor.
Salmon and tandoori spices go together very well and even if you don’t have a large clay tandoor to cook them in, you can do a passable version in your domestic stove.
The key is the tandoori paste. Buy a good quality one – NOT a cook-in sauce, by the way – and mix with a thick set natural yoghurt and you are halfway there.
Sharwood do a medium-hot paste while Pataks do a mild one (but why bother?). Charmaine Solomon’s Goan Cuisine Tandoori paste (available from Harris Farm Markets) is superb.
All you need after that is one decent sized salmon fillet per person and you are ready to go. I prefer skin-on as it gives a base for the cooking process and the skin will come away easily for those who don’t like it.
Thoroughly mix a couple of tablespoons of paste with the equivalent amount of natural yogurt (more or less depending on how many fillets you intend to marinade – this is based on four).
Really generously coat the fleshy side of the fish and set it aside in a dish for at least one hour but not much more than two.
When you’re ready, stick the fillets in a preheated oven at 180 for about 15 minutes. Some people like to finish them off under a grill, to crisp up and even singe the edges for a more authentic Tandoori look and a bit of smoky flavour. It’s a matter of personal taste. I’d rather not risk the fish drying out.
Serve with rice, poppadums and maybe steamed broccoli and you are in heaven. The reason this is a perfect dinner party dish is that you can put it in the oven when you are sitting down for your starters and it will be ready when you are.
By the way, by far the best way to cook rice if you don’t have a rice cooker is using the absorption method.
Put a minimal coating of coconut oil or olive oil on the bottom of a pan then add two parts water with one of washed rice an a tiny amount of salt. Bring to the boil, cover and turn the heat right down.
Don’t even lift the lid till the time is up, but then give a quick stir with a fork to loosen the rice and separate the grains.
All that faffing around with strainers and cold water increases your chances of spoiling the rice and making it gluggy.
As for poppadums, give them a light squirt of olive or coconut oil spray and stick them in the microwave for 50 secs to a minute and they will puff up beautifully.
Enjoy – and let me know how you go if you try it on email@example.com.
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