Monday, February 6, 2017

Cooking Fish

স্যামোন দোপিঁয়াজা 

Salmon Dopiyaza

Salmon dopiaza servd with veggie biriyani.
I obviously went a little overboard with the onion placement,
I'm sorry you can't really see the fish!

A lot of fish that featured in my childhood was cooked delicately, as lightly spiced stews. I wasn't a big fan of these then, but I do want to know how to cook them now. Unfortunately, my experiments to retrace these recipes haven't yielded any postable results yet. Until they do, the below is an easy recipe for salmon that I often refer back to. It's cooked a little bit like meat, because salmon is both rich and tough enough to survive the process. There are a few other fish we normally cook like this at home - eel being the first that comes to mind, though that would be more cumin-heavy. The onion base works great as sauce with texture, and I could eat it by itself, something I rarely say about fish based sauces! 


  • 400.00g filleted salmon
  • 3.00 medium onions
  • 1.50 teaspoons of garlic paste
  • 1.50 teaspoons of ginger paste
  • 1.00 teaspoon of powdered turmeric
  • 1.00 teaspoon of powdered coriander
  • A pinch of cumin
  • Powdered chilli, to taste
  • Salt, to taste
  • Half a red pepper
  • Fresh chilli, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste


  • Finely chop the onions
  • Put a pan onto the stove on medium heat, and add a generous amount of vegetable oil
  • Once the oil has heated, add the onions and fry till they soften - around 6 to 7 minutes
  • Add the turmeric and mix in, and let onions cook for a further minute
  • Add the garlic and ginger pastes, along with a dash of water if the onions have begun to go dry
  • As the mixture is cooking, add the coriander, cumin, chilli and salt. Stir thoroughly to mix, and cook for 5 minutes
  • As the spice base is cooking, prep the salmon. Hold the fillets under warm running water, and rub the skin to descale the fish. This is important, as you don't want to end up with loose scales mixed into your curry

Salmon laid out on the onion base

  • Cut the fish up into smaller pieces if desired, and add to the pot. Lay the fish carefully on top of the spice base, making sure none of the fish is in direct contact with the pot 
  • Cook uncovered for 10 minutes, adding a dash of water near the 6 minute mark if the liquid in the pot has dried up, especially if you're aiming for a lot of curry sauce
  • Make sure to never put a lid on the dish - this will cook the fish too quickly and may cause it to break up. Instead of stirring the onions, give the entire pot a gentle shake now and again to avoid breaking up the salmon
  • Once the 10 minutes are up, flip the fillets over (I find it easier to do this using silicone tongs). Continue cooking for a further 10 minutes
  • Slice the red pepper and fresh chilli, then add to the pot along with freshly ground pepper
  • Mix in gently, taking care not to break up the fish. Cook for another 4 minutes, then take the dish off the hob
  • Serve hot with plain rice or polao

Additional Information
This dish tastes a little bit like a British curry house dish - probably because curry house dishes depend on similar spices and onions as a base. The red pepper here is definitely optional, I only add it when I want a little more veg in my diet. 

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