If you’re looking to jazz up the usual fish curry, this Indian salmon fish curry recipe is a must-try! This tangy and spicy curry pairs well with rice and raita. You can even enjoy it with roti or chapatti.
Delicious, simple to make, and loaded with healthy fats, I’m confident this salmon curry recipe will soon be a staple in your household!
Here are some things you’ll need for this South Indian salmon curry:
What fish is best for Indian curry?
Usually, fish such as mackerel or tilapia are used for making curry. Salmon has a unique taste (rich and somewhat oily) compared to these other fish, and one might doubt whether it’ll work well in a traditional Indian curry.
Cast your doubts aside, because fish curry with salmon is great! South Indian fish curry is a wonderful mix of tangy and spicy, and salmon poached in this curry is incredibly flavorful.
Can I use frozen salmon for salmon fish curry?
Yes, you can! In fact, I used frozen salmon steaks for this recipe and it turned out great. For best results, thaw the frozen salmon in your refrigerator overnight. This requires a little planning ahead, but it’s well worth the effort!
Is fish curry with salmon healthy?
Salmon is rich in protein and omega-3 fatty acids, making it a healthy protein option for your curry. This salmon curry recipe without coconut milk is a healthy and delicious treat for your family.
This curry also pairs salmon and okra (a popular pairing for South Indian fish curry), so you’ve got yourself a balanced dish with protein, vegetables, and a whole lot of YUM!
Ingredients for salmon fish curry
For this recipe that serves 2 – 3 people, I use 4 salmon steaks. Alternatively, you can use salmon fillets, if you prefer.
Frozen salmon works fine for this recipe. Just thaw it in the refrigerator overnight before using it.
As is the case with most curries, I use a mix of whole and ground spices.
For tempering (frying spices in hot oil to release their flavor), I use 4 whole spices, namely:
The ground spices I use, on the other hand, include:
- Turmeric. This is a must for fish dishes!
- Kashmiri chili powder. In addition to heat, Kashmiri chili powder also gives a vibrant red color to the curry. You can substitute this with regular chili powder.
- Curry powder. I use fish curry powder for this recipe. It provides a different flavor profile and aroma to the curry as compared to meat curry powder.
Curry leaves are essential in South Indian cooking, especially for fish curry! You can find them at your local Indian grocery store. I use 2 sprigs of curry leaves for this recipe.
Just pluck the curry leaves from the stem, give them a nice wash, and dry them with a paper towel before adding them to hot oil. Throwing in wet curry leaves can cause the oil to splatter and hurt you!
Okra (also known as lady’s fingers) is a vegetable that’s often added to South Indian fish curries. They soften and soak up all that yummy curry, so when you bite into them, YUM! To prevent the okra from becoming slimy, pat them dry with paper towels before cutting.
If you’re not a fan of okra, you can add eggplant into your fish curry instead. If you prefer, you can omit the vegetables as well.
This is the key ingredient that gives South Indian fish curries their tangy flavor. You can’t make fish curry without tamarind!
For this recipe, I use a lime-sized ball of tamarind pulp. I put the tamarind into a bowl, add 2 cups of water, and give it a good mix. Then, strain out the seeds and use the remaining tamarind water in your fish curry. This will be the curry’s main souring agent.
For me, tomatoes are always a must in curries. They soften as you cook the curry, and you end up with these velvety tomatoes that basically melt in your mouth. They’re absolutely divine!
Curries without cilantro are like mornings without coffee! Having grown up in an Indian household, I’m a firm believer that everything is better with this magical, green herb!
How to make salmon curry Indian style
Since fish is a quick-cooking protein, you can whip up this curry in about 30 minutes!
Here’s how to make this easy salmon curry recipe:
1. Start by preparing the tamarind water.
Put a lime-sized ball of tamarind pulp in a bowl and add 2 cups of water. Mix well before straining out the seeds. Set the tamarind water aside to use later.
2. Temper the spices.
Heat vegetable oil in a pot, before adding mustard seeds, urad dhal (skinned black lentils), cumin seeds, and fennel seeds. Fry the spices until the mustard seeds begin to pop.
3. Brown your onions.
Time for your aromatics! Add the onions, chili, garlic, ginger, and curry leaves. Sauté until your onions brown. This step can take a while, but here’s a quick tip to save you some time: Add some salt to the onions to draw out the moisture and help them brown faster.
4. Add the tomatoes and ground spices.
The next step is to add your tomatoes and ½ tsp salt. Once your tomatoes soften, add the turmeric, chili powder, curry powder, and ½ cup of water. Mix well and cook for 3 – 4 minutes.
5. Add the okra.
If you’re using okra, this is the time to add it to your curry. Alternatively, you can use eggplant here, if you prefer. They are both commonly used vegetables in South Indian fish curries. Cook for 2 – 3 minutes.
6. Pour in the tamarind water.
Add the tamarind water and on high heat, bring to a boil. Once the water starts boiling, lower the heat to medium-low and let the mixture simmer for 5 minutes.
7. Gently add the salmon.
Add the salmon pieces and 1 tsp salt. Gently mix the curry before covering the pot, leaving the lid slightly ajar to allow the steam to escape and the curry to thicken.
8. Cook the curry for 10 minutes.
As the curry is cooking, be careful not to mix it vigorously. This can cause the salmon to break apart. To avoid this, instead of using a spoon to mix the curry, I lift the pot off the stove and give the curry a gentle swirl instead. This helps to keep the fish beautiful and intact.
9. Finally, taste the salmon fish curry and garnish with chopped coriander.
Taste the curry and add more salt, if needed. Garnish with chopped cilantro and you’re done!
What to serve with salmon fish curry?
My favorite way of serving this Indian salmon curry recipe is with rice and raita on the side.
The cool, fresh raita complements the spicy, tangy curry well.
If you want a crispy side dish to go along with your curry, this air fryer bhindi will not disappoint.
How to store leftovers
Curries always taste better the next day, so I hope you have leftovers!
Store your leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days.
When you want to consume the leftovers, transfer the curry to a pot and reheat on low on the stovetop. Avoid heating at a high temperature or using the microwave as this could make the salmon dry and chewy.
Other Indian salmon fish recipes you can try
Frequently Asked Questions
How to cook salmon fish Indian style?
You can make salmon fish curry, salmon fish biryani, or marinate your salmon with spices such as turmeric and chili powder and pan fry on the stovetop.
What should I season salmon with?
Salmon goes well with a variety of herbs and spices. For simple yet flavorful salmon, you can season with turmeric, chili powder, salt, pepper, and of course, lemon juice because citrus and fish are a match made in heaven!
How long does salmon take to cook?
Salmon takes around 10 minutes to cook, depending on how thick the salmon pieces are. To check whether your salmon is cooked, use a fork to gently press down on it. If the meat begins to flake easily, this means the salmon is done!
How to reduce tamarind taste in fish curry?
If you’ve added too much tamarind to your curry and it tastes too sour, try adding a little sugar to it. The sweetness helps to tone down the sourness of the curry.
Can you reheat salmon?
Yes, you can. But keep in mind that reheating can sometimes make your salmon dry and overcooked, so it’s best to reheat it slowly, at a low temperature.
Salmon Fish Curry
- 4 pieces of salmon (either fillets or steak cuts)
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- ½ tsp mustard seeds
- ½ tsp urad dhal (skinned black lentils)
- ½ tsp cumin seeds
- ½ tsp fennel seeds
- 1 red onion, diced
- 6 garlic cloves, peeled and whole
- 1-inch ginger piece, minced
- 2 red chilies, chopped
- 2 sprigs of curry leaves
- 1 large tomato, chopped
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 2 tsp Kashmiri chili powder
- 3 tsp fish curry powder
- 8 – 10 okra
- 1 lime-sized ball of tamarind pulp
- 2½ cup water
- 1½ tsp salt
- 2 tbsp chopped cilantro
- Wash the salmon pieces and pat dry with a paper towel.
- Next, do the same with the okra. Once dry, cut each okra into 2 pieces and set aside.
- Put the tamarind pulp in a bowl and add 2 cups of water. Mix well before straining out the seeds. Set the tamarind water aside touse later.
- Heat oil in a non-stick pot on medium high before adding mustard seeds, urad dhal, cumin seeds, and fennel seeds. Fry until the mustard seeds begin to pop.
- Next, add the chopped onions, garlic, ginger, chilies, and curry leaves. Sauté until onions brown, around 8 to 10 minutes.
- On medium-low heat, add tomatoes and ½ tsp salt. Once the tomatoes soften, add the turmeric, chili powder, curry powder and ½ cup of water. Mix well and cook for 3 – 4 minutes.
- Then, add the okra and mix well. Cook for 2 – 3 minutes.
- Then, add the tamarind water and on high heat, bring to a boil. Once the water starts boiling, lower the heat to medium-low and letthe mixture simmer for 5 minutes.
- Add the salmon pieces and 1 tsp salt. Gently mix the curry before covering the pot, leaving the lid slightly ajar to allow the steam to escape and the curry to thicken. Cook for 10 minutes.
- Finally, taste and add more salt if needed before garnishing with chopped cilantro. Serve hot with rice and raita on the side.
When you think of salmon, fish curry may not be the first thing that comes to mind, but this recipe will change that!
This Indian fish curry with okra recipe retains the goodness of a traditional South Indian fish curry, that distinct spicy and tangy flavor, while featuring a non-traditional fish in a surprisingly delightful way.
As with all curries, this salmon fish curry tastes better the next day, so make a big batch and enjoy this delicious curry over a few days!