This is, hands-down, the best salmon I have ever made.

How I have managed to make so much mediocre salmon in the past is a question for another day. The only questions today are: (1) do you like salmon? and (2) do you like Indian food? Unless you answer “no” to either of those, you must make this.

Salmon in Bengali mustard sauce
From At Home with Madhur Jaffrey: Simple, Delectable Dishes from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka via Bon Appetit

To rub on the fish:
3/4 pound skinless salmon fillet
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

You also need:
1 tablespoon ground mustard
1/4-1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons mustard oil (use extra virgin olive oil as a substitute)
1/4 teaspoon whole brown mustard seeds
1/4 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
1/4 teaspoon whole fennel seeds
2 fresh hot green and/or red chilies (bird’s-eye is best), slit slightly [I used jalapenos]

Cut the fish into pieces that are about 2″ x 1″ and rub them evenly with the salt, turmeric, and cayenne. Cover and set aside in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to 10 hours.

Put the mustard powder, cayenne, turmeric, and salt in a small bowl. Add 1 tablespoon water and mix thoroughly. Add another 7 tablespoons water and mix. Set aside.

Pour the oil into a medium frying pan and set over medium-high heat. When hot, put in the mustard seeds. As soon as they start to pop, a matter of seconds, add the cumin and fennel seeds. Stir once and quickly pour in the mustard paste. Add the green chilies, stir, and bring to a gentle simmer. Place the fish pieces in the sauce in a single layer. Simmer gently for about 5 minutes, or until the fish is just cooked through, spooning the sauce over the fish all the time. [The recipe doesn’t call for it, but I’m pretty sure the fish should be covered while cooking.]

Serves 2-3.

 

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