Time: 30-40 Minutes
Yield: 4 (plus extra sauce)
This richly flavored tomato curry sauce is delicious with salmon, and this recipe uses a whole fillet. Makhani curry (a North Indian dish) is classically made with butter and cream. Olive oil and coconut milk are used here but feel free to substitute butter and cream. If you have a few extra minutes you can toast spices and grind them for the garam masala, but a store-bought version will taste just fine. The recipe yields enough sauce for two meals (four servings each). The sauce keeps for 4 days in the fridge and 3 months in the freezer.
2 Tbsp OLIVE OIL (or butter)
2/3 Cup CILANTRO
3-inch piece FRESH GINGER
5 cloves GARLIC
1 Tbsp GARAM MASALA POWDER
1/8 tsp CAYENNE POWDER (to taste)
1 Tbsp BROWN SUGAR
1 tsp SALT
1 ½ cup TOMATO PUREE (or crushed)
1 cup COCONUT MILK (or heavy cream)
1 medium SALMON FILLET (1-1.5 pounds)
2 cups cooked RICE
1. BEGIN THE SAUCE
Mince the jalapeno and either mince or grate ginger and garlic on a microplane. Tip: Remove jalapeno seeds if you want to keep it milder.
Heat olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add jalapeno, ginger, and garlic; stir well, and cook for 1 minute until fragrant. Take care not to burn the garlic.
2. FINISH THE SAUCE
Add 1 Tbsp garam masala, ¹/8 tsp cayenne (to taste), 1 Tbsp brown sugar, 1 tsp salt, and 1 ½ cup tomato
puree then stir well. Bring to a simmer and cook uncovered for about 10 minutes until slightly thickened.
Whisk in 1 cup coconut milk and simmer for another 10 minutes, or until slightly thickened again. Add salt to taste. Add the juice from 1 lime.
3. COOK THE SALMON
Pat the fish dry, put on a plate, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. If necessary, cut fillet into portions to fit the pan.
Heat a large, heavy skillet with the olive oil over medium-high heat. Carefully add the salmon skin-side down and cover the fish in a thin layer of the curry sauce – it will take about ¹/3 cup (you don’t want it dripping down the sides).
Cook for 2 minutes uncovered. Cover and turn the heat down to medium-low and cook for another 5-7 minutes depending on the thickness of the fillet and how you like your salmon cooked. The fish will continue to cook once removed from the stove, so error on a shorter cooking time.
4. PLATE THE MEAL
Chop cilantro leaves and stems and thinly slice the scallions.
Serve with rice, more sauce, cilantro, and scallions.