We’re simmering salmon and spices in coconut milk!
This Kerala salmon curry is my mother-in-law’s recipe and it’s one of my favorites! It’s made with Indian spices, curry leaves and coconut milk.
Roby and I eat some form of seafood at least once a week. Some favorites: shrimp curry, sardine thoran, fish cutlets or this salmon curry. While this salmon curry isn’t quite as quick or easy but it is fantastic. I typically make this on weekends or if I’m not too tired after work then I’ll make it on a weeknight.
what is kodampuli?
One ingredient in this recipe might be new to you – it’s a dried fruit called kodampuli and you can find it in most Indian grocery stores. I know the name sounds different, but think of it like any other dried fruit – a funny looking medjool date, you know?
Don’t be afraid of kodumpuli’s strong smell. While it’s very aromatic, it’s flavor is much more subtle. It produces a slight but noticeable tanginess to fish curry, giving it an awesome, complex and unique flavor profile.
Kodampuli (or kudampuli) is a sour, smoked and dried Indian fruit – it’s similar to tamarind and is used as a souring agent in Keralite fish curries. It’s also known as fish tamarind or gambooge – and is also often and wrongly confused with kokum (another sour fruit used in Indian dishes). You can most likely find kodampuli at your local Indian grocery store (just ask the owner if they have it). Kokum works too if that’s all they have.
After you buy kodampuli, you’ll want to store it in an air-tight glass container. Why? Because it has a strong smell, remember?
To prepare it for cooking, rinse the dried fruit and then soak it in water for half an hour before adding it to your curry.
Try this curry – I hope you enjoy it. Personally, I think this fish dish tastes better the next day once the flavors have all had some time to marry. It’s a huge hit with my hubby.
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
- ½ teaspoon fenugreek seeds
- 1 red onion thinly sliced
- 2 Serrano peppers slit but still intact
- 10-12 curry leaves
- 1- inch knob fresh ginger minced
- 6-7 garlic cloves minced
- 2 tablespoons coriander powder
- ½ teaspoon Kashmiri chili powder
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 cup water
- 2 pieces of Kodampuli soaked in water
- 1 pound wild-caught sockeye salmon skin removed, cut into a few pieces (you can cut this into smaller pieces once the fish is cooked)
- 1 13.5 ounce can coconut milk, full fat
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Heat oil on medium heat and splutter mustard and fenugreek seeds.
- Add onions, serrano peppers, curry leaves and pinch of salt.
- When the onions turn golden, add ginger and garlic. Stir-fry for a couple minutes and then add the spices. Mix everything together, add the water and the kodampuli.
- Bring everything to a low boil and then add the salmon. After a couple minutes, gently flip the fish. After another two minutes, add the coconut milk.
- Season well with salt and pepper and let the fish simmer in the coconut milk for about 5 minutes until the curry has thickened a bit.
- Once the curry is done, you can cut the fish into smaller pieces with your spatula, if you’d like.
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