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Nisha Katona's Tamarind Salmon Curry recipe from new book, 30 Minute Mowgli

This tangy curry will wake up your tastebuds

Published: November 16, 2021

This recipe is extracted from 30 Minute Mowgli by Nisha Katona, £25, Nourish Books, out now

Tamarind Salmon Curry

This is my nod to the wonderment of South-Indian fish curries. To make it accessible, I brought the chilli right down in this dish, but I did want to quickly recreate that uniquely tamarind tangy wake-up call that you can only get from a golden Goan beach shack fish-curry breakfast. Yum.


150ml vegetable oil
2 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 dried red chilli
1 onion, halved and thinly sliced
2 cubes frozen crushed garlic or 6 garlic cloves, crushed
2 cubes frozen crushed ginger or 2 thumb-sized pieces fresh root ginger, peeled and grated
600g skinless salmon fillet, cut into bite-sized pieces
1⁄2 tsp ground turmeric
400g canned chopped tomatoes
1⁄4 tsp chilli powder
2 tsp tamarind concentrate
3 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp salt
small bunch fresh coriander, leaves and stalks chopped, to garnish
cooked rice, flatbreads or rice, to serve

1 Heat 100ml of the oil in a large pan over a high heat, then add the mustard and cumin seeds and fry, stirring, until they start to pop and turn grey. Reduce the heat to medium, then add the dried chilli, onion, garlic and ginger and cook, stirring occasionally, for 8 minutes, until the onions are soft and translucent.

2 Meanwhile,put the salmon in a bowl with the ground turmeric and use your hands to coat the fish. Heat the remaining oil in a separate pan over a medium heat, then add the salmon and fry for 1–2 minutes on each side to seal. Remove from the heat and set aside.

3 Add the chopped tomatoes to the pan with the onions and stir to combine. Bring the mixture to a boil then reduce to a simmer and leave to cook, stirring occasionally, for 6 minutes, until thick and reduced. Add the chilli powder, tamarind concentrate, sugar, salt and 400ml of water and stir to combine. Bring to a simmer, then leave to cook for 6–8 minutes, until the salmon is tender. Scatter over the coriander and serve hot with your choice of rice or flatbreads alongside.

Recipe for Beetroot and Blue Murder Borscht from Ghillie Basan's new book, A Taste of the Highlands
Nisha Katona

Gaby Soutar is a lifestyle editor at The Scotsman. She has been reviewing restaurants for The Scotsman Magazine since 2007 and edits the weekly food pages.

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