Salmon has always been a favorite in my house and although it is not commonly eaten in India, it pairs really well with Indian spices & flavors. Salmon is very healthy, nutritious and usually easy to prepare. Salmon in particular, is also an extremely good source of beneficial fatty acids known as Omega 3s - which benefit both cardiovascular and neurological health.
This recipe is actually my mother’s but with her permission of course, I have tweaked it just a little. The key to this recipe is the freshly ground fennel powder, it adds a wonderful flavor and heavenly aroma to the dish. This recipe is just perfect for entertaining as well. If you are not a big fan of salmon, feel free to use your favorite fish instead.
BROILED SALMON, Indian Style
6 salmon fillets (skinless, about 5-6 ounces each and 1” thick)
1” piece ginger, peeled and finely grated
1 cup of good quality yogurt
½ tsp turmeric (haldi)
½ tsp ground cumin powder
½ tsp ground coriander powder
½ tsp ground fennel powder
¼ tsp red chili powder, to taste
salt & pepper, to taste
1 tbsp oil, vegetable or canola
freshly chopped dill for garnish
fresh lemon or lime wedges for garnish
Preheat your oven’s broiler and adjust the oven racks while they are cool, placing one just 4-5 inches under the heating element.
In a small dry skillet on medium heat, add 4 tbsp of fennel seeds. Keep the pan shaking so they will toast evenly and not burn. This takes only a few minutes and is worth the extra little effort. After the seeds start to slightly brown and become fragrant, remove them quickly from the pan. Let them cool slightly and then grind them into a fine powder using a spice grinder or clean coffee grinder. You can store the fennel powder in a clean dry airtight spice bottle in your pantry for a few months. I recommend using it quickly otherwise it will lose both its lovely fragrance and taste.
In a small mixing bowl, combine the yogurt along with the oil. Add the ginger and all of the spices (turmeric, ground cumin powder, ground coriander powder, ground fennel powder, red chili powder, salt & pepper). Stir the yogurt mixture well to combine all of the ingredients.
Spray a broiler pan or an oven proof baking sheet liberally with the cooking spray. Arrange the salmon in a single layer on the pan, leaving enough space between the pieces. Generously spread the spiced yogurt mixture on top of the salmon pieces, making sure all the pieces are evenly coated. Broil the salmon for 12-15 minutes or until fully cooked (opaque) but still moist and flaky. Do not overcook. Alternatively, you could also just bake the fish on 400 deg F for about 12-15 minutes as well. Check for doneness, garnish with freshly chopped dill and the lemon (or lime) wedges. Serve with a delicious salad and a fragrant Basmati rice or pulao.