The other day, my 3 year old son asked for fish curry for breakfast. I wish I could take credit for this but it totally happened organically, from having a father who LOVES fish curry - loves making it, loves eating it for dinner, snacks and yes, breakfast. But this doesn't mean that it can't be a ritual that you adopt in your own family - not imposed by health restrictions but just because it's super yummy and happens to also be incredibly healthy. When the days get shorter and colder, we immediately start to crave comfort food. I've seen lots of photos over social media these days showing what people remember as comfort from their childhood: creamy pastas, greasy spoon breakfasts, casseroles laden with cheese or gravy or bacon or all of the above - this is all delicious but why not make a salmon curry memory to add to the list?
Why Salmon Curry is the Best Comfort Food
Salmon is high in protein, omega 3 fatty acids (the good fats that we need more of) and is an excellent source of vitamin D, which we typically get from the sun so need more of in the winter. Now combine this with a rich sauce made from anti-inflammatory onions, fresh garlic, ginger, and highly powerful antioxidant spices like turmeric, cayenne, garam masala (which is a mix of power spices including cloves, cardamom cinnamon, coriander, cumin), add a little coconut milk for creaminess and you'll be waking up to dreams of a fish curry breakfast too!
You Don't Have to Break the Bank
The best part is, this can be a really cost effective way of eating more salmon, since you'll be chopping this into pieces anyway so you don't need perfect looking fillets. Go to your local fish monger and ask for the tails or any left over pieces. We go to the market late Saturday before they close for the weekend to get the scrap sale box, make a big batch on Sunday and eat leftovers on Monday. Fish Curry tastes even better the next day, as the spices release their flavours. That being said, it also makes a great weeknight meal, since fish cooks fairly quickly so you can get this from chopping block to table in about 40 minutes.
Below is the full recipe and you can buy the spices here - all organic, non-irradiated wonderfulness! Enjoy!
Salmon Curry Comfort
1 thumb of tamarind (from tamarind block)*
3 tablespoons ghee or coconut oil
2 thinly sliced red onions
8 garlic cloves, minced or grated
thumb-size piece of ginger, grated
4 green chillies, thinly sliced (remove the seeds if you want to tone down the spice)
Spices: 1/2 teaspoon cumin, 1/2 teaspoon coriander, 1/4 teaspoon garam masala, 1 teaspoon ground turmeric, 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tomato, finely chopped
1 can of coconut milk
2 lbs of wild salmon, chopped into 2 inch pieces
*if you’re not able to find tamarind, you can mix a 1/4 cup of lime juice with 1/4 cup of maple syrup to get that tangy, slightly sour taste
- put the tamarind in a bowl, pour over 1/2 cup of boiling water and let stand for 30 min
- heat oil over low heat in a saute pan; throw in sliced onion and fry until golden brown
- once onions are browned, add the ginger, garlic, and green chilies and fry for a few minutes, then add all the spices and fry for another minute to release the flavours
- add the tomato and fry everything for about 10 min; during this time, mash the tamarind & water into a paste for next step
- add the tamarind paste and bring to the boil, then carefully add the salmon and once it is boiling again, turn down the heat, put the lid on and simmer for 10 minutes
- flip the fish (careful it can easily flake) and simmer for 5 more minutes with the lid off
- add the coconut milk and stir until lightly mixed; season with salt to taste
Serve with basmati rice and a side salad, or just some fresh chopped veggies - cucumber is great to refresh the palate.