Tandoori Salmon

Last week I tried Indian food for the first time – and it was delicious!! I like trying new cuisines because you discover new, flavorful recipes that you can adjust to your comfort level, your OHI, and your desired healthy-ness. 🙂

The original recipe I started from was really difficult to read, because instead of separating all the ingredients for each component, it listed everything together at the top. It’s too much math for me. It makes my head hurt – I would not recommend it! 😉

So since I changed a few things, and I want to make it easier for you to follow (and myself for next time!!) I’m going to outline it more clearly below.

OVERVIEWI started marinating in the morning, somewhere around 9:30AM, and let it sit in the fridge until one hour before cooking time (3:30), at which point I took it out and ‘massaged’ the yogurt marinade into the fish. I put it back in the fridge for 1 hour and then removed to cook in the oven – at which point I finished the accompanying sides, as well as the raita (kind of like an Indian version of a tzatziki). Cooking time is 20-25 minutes.
Equipment: You will need a food processor (although you could probably substitute a blender here), a large sheet pan, tin foil, and a medium sized bowl for the raita.
1 1/2 – 2 lb Salmon, skin off
Marinade #1:
1/2 thumb ginger (a portion about half the size of your thumb), peeled & roughly chopped
3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
3/4 Tblspn Paprika
1 1/2 Tblspn Olive oil
1 tsp cinnamon
3/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2 Tblspn kosher salt
1 Tblspn white vinegar
Marinade #2:
1 cup plain yogurt
1 1/2 jalapenos, seeded and minced
1/2 tsp dried bay leaf
2 thin slices of fresh ginger, peeled and minced
1 1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Dash salt
1 cup plain yogurt
1 small cucumber, quartered and sliced
1 TBLspn minced parsley or cilantro
1 tsp garam masala
Dash black pepper
Dash salt
Sprinkle of paprika

Start with salmon, skin off. Cover a sheet pan with tin foil and set aside. Put the salmon on your raw meats cutting board, skin-side up (I know, I said you need skin off. So what I mean is, the side the skin USED to be on should be up. So from here on out when I say “skin side”, know I mean “the side the skin was removed from”).

Peel and roughly chop about 1/2 thumb of ginger and 3 large garlic cloves. Add to food processor. Add 1/4c water and turn on. Then add, while still on, 3/4 Tblspn Paprika, 1 TBLspn white vinegar (I used white wine vinegar), 3/4 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 Tblspn Kosher salt, and 1 1/4 Tblspn Olive oil. Turn off; scrape down the side of the processor and turn on again to be sure it is well mixed. 

Spread this mixture over the skin-side of the salmon. Then transfer it to the sheet pan, skin-side down, and spread the rest over the top of the salmon. Cover with plastic wrap and put in fridge for at least one hour or as long as overnight.
*TIP: If you have the full salmon fillet, you probably have a thinner side and a thicker side. Distribute the marinade accordingly. I put too much marinade on the thin side so that it was almost inedible. We had to scrape some off!

Apparently this is the only picture I got of the salmon (except an ugly one of my messy plate). This is what it looks like after the first marinade, before the fridge!

Apparently this is the only picture I got of the salmon (except an ugly one of my messy plate). This is what it looks like after the first marinade, before the fridge!

About 2 hours before you want to eat, start the yogurt marinade. It will probably take 20 minutes or so. (If you have time in the morning, you can probably also make this AND the raita all at once, since they use a lot of the same ingredients. Just be sure to put in the fridge until serving time since they contain yogurt.) Combine all the ingredients and stir well. Take the salmon out of the fridge and massage this into the salmon. You will end up mixing the previous marinade with this one. That’s fine. I don’t like to get a whole lot of messy, but this takes a little bit of mess 😉 Again be careful that the thinner side of your fillet has a thinner layer of marinade on it. Place salmon back in fridge for 1 hour.

Next make the raita by combining the ingredients except for cucumber and paprika in a medium bowl. Add the cucumber last and stir. Sprinkle the paprika over top for flavor and color.

30 minutes before dinner time, preheat the oven to 500º and remove the salmon from the fridge. Cook for 20-25 minutes.

I served the salmon with Indian BBQ cauliflower which I steamed instead of roasted, because I forgot to get fresh – I only had frozen. I reduced to 1 cup ketchup and used honey instead of sugar. Next time I will reduce to 1 TBLspn honey, because while it was really good, it was also really sweet. We also had brown rice mixed with melted coconut oil.

This salmon was so delicious. It eased me into Indian cuisine. Next time I will probably add more spices (like the cloves and cardamom the original recipe called for). I will also probably try tandoori CHICKEN, now that I know what tandoori means 😉 Again, the great thing about trying new cuisine is learning new ways to cook things, new ways to impart flavor, and new spice combinations. Who would’ve thought cinnamon would go with salmon?! Indian flavors are really warm and I can’t wait to cook with them again!!

Sorry it's so messy. I couldn't wait to try it and forgot to get a pretty picture. Just know that it was TASTY!

Sorry it’s so messy. I couldn’t wait to try it and forgot to get a pretty picture. Just know that it was TASTY!

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