Monday, December 31, 2012

Salmon in Mustard Gravy

This is an unusual way of cooking salmon that my partner and I discovered (to be honest, he did, I was in fact, sceptical about the whole salmon and mustard combination, but played along anyway) during our MSc course in the UK. We were scouring Sainsbury's for Indian cooking ingredients which also included mustard paste. We didn't find any. The closest we could get was a mustard paste with ale in it, something we weren't very thrilled about. Use of alcohol in cooking is minimal in Indian foods, and judging by our taste buds, we wanted to stay as close to the rules as possible. Yet, the recipe was a success. We still didn't know about wasabi (thanks to our friends Michael Lu for introducing it to us and Kei Kudo for leaving some with us) and we never noticed the Scottish bonnets either. With time we learned about these ingredients and incorporated them, and we stumbled upon a variety of mustard with red chilli flakes and vinegar in it. That was a hit!

We usually used farmed Scottish salmon but we tried with wild Alaskan variety too. The fatty nature of the farmed ones went well with this particular recipe in my opinion. However, after learning about the nutritious advantage of the wild ones, I would stick to them henceforth.

Of course it is a little difficult to acquire salmon in India, I noticed some at Metro Cash and Carry though it will burn a hole in your pocket. However, I couldn't find the mustard in vinegar anywhere in Kolkata. So my suggestion is to make some by grinding black mustard seeds with some crushed red chillies and soaking it in a little vinegar overnight. Please note that this may kill some of the pungency of the seeds, in fact, the mustard we acquired in the UK hardly had any pungency an Indian would appreciate, which is where the wasabi comes in, but you can use freshly crushed mustard seeds as well. It's really up to you. That's it. I hope you'll enjoy.

PS: We always used basmati rice in the UK but any long grain rice should suffice.


For two
  • Boneless salmon fillets – 2, scales removed (skin to be removed if preferred)
  • Mustard paste in vinegar (may also use the ones with ale in it) – 1-1½ teaspoons
  • Natural yoghurt – 2-2½ tablespoons, diluted with a equal amount of cold water
  • Wasabi – ¼ teaspoon (optional)
  • Yellow Scottish bonnet – ½ (optional)
  • Sunflower/Rapeseed oil – 3-4 tablespoons
  • Salt – to taste
  • Turmeric – to colour and a for mild earthy flavour

  1. Marinate the salmon fillets with salt and turmeric and let it stand.
  2. Mix a little salt to the yoghurt keeping in mind the saltiness you want in the gravy.
  3. Mix the mustard paste evenly into the yoghurt. This would be a good time to add the wasabi, if you’re using it.
  4. Heat the oil in a non-stick pan on a hob and lightly pan-fry the marinated salmon on both the sides for a few minutes until the surface takes a lightly fried golden yellow texture. Make sure you don’t overcook. The best test is that the surface just begins to stiffen.
  5. Pour the mustard-yoghurt mixture in it and cook on medium. You can add a little turmeric if the gravy looks too pale for you. Cook until the fish gets soft and soaks up a lot of moisture and the gravy begins to thicken.
  6. Add the Scottish bonnet and let the gravy thicken to your desired consistency.
  7. Serve hot with steaming plain long grain rice.


  1. I think I am gonna make this for my dad this weekend. he loves fish although my husband isnt a fish pro but let me try and convince him.Thanks a lot for reminding about this. My mom uses mustard although but the yogurt will be a twist....thanks :)

    I love cooking and Nail art...but somehow nail art takes precedence and cooking takes back seat.also I hate when cooking spoils your manis and stains your nails so... :(

    1. I am not a fish lover either :P I like sea fishes though. And thank God, salmon is one. And I really know what you mean about the stains on the nails :( I tend to avoid turmeric and prefer to manage most of my work without having to use my bare fingers. I stick to cutleries for most of the part. I love nail art a lot too :) Your blog is definitely going to get a lot of visit from me :)


Would you try it? :)


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