The salmon pairs beautifully with aromatic spices, which cut through the richness of the flesh. It can be cooked the day before serving. The salad is all about the topping. A fantastic combination of aromatic seeds, spices and curry leaves that transforms the yoghurt and chickpeas into a bowl of deliciousness.
4 x 150 gram pieces salmon, pin-boned and skin off (I used Regal Fresh Salmon)
½ teaspoon each ground pepper, allspice, coriander, cumin, turmeric and nutmeg
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 lemon, cut into wedges
Chickpea and Beetroot Raita Salad
2 x 400-gram tins chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1½ cups thick plain yoghurt
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 teaspoons sea salt
1 small beetroot, peeled
1 small carrot, peeled
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 teaspoons each yellow mustard seeds and cumin seeds
½ teaspoon ground turmeric
¾ teaspoon hing*
½ teaspoon chilli powder, or more to taste
2 stems curry leaves (about 20 leaves)
Half each salmon piece and sprinkle over the spice mix. Season generously with salt.
Heat the oil in a sauté pan over a medium-high heat and cook the salmon until golden and cooked to your liking. Transfer to a plate and when cool, cover and chill.
To serve: Arrange the salmon on a platter with lemon wedges and spoon over the chickpea salad to serve.
We served the salmon on fresh lemon leaves.
Salad: Combine the chickpeas, yoghurt, garlic and salt then place in a wide shallow serving dish. Grate the beetroot and carrot on the finest holes of a box grater and scatter over the yoghurt. Give it a couple of stirs to just marble together but don’t over-mix.
Topping: Heat the oil in a medium sauté pan over a low heat and add everything except the curry leaves. Cook until the seeds start to pop and the oil is fragrant then add the curry leaves. Stir until crisp and dark green. Pour over the salad and serve. Serves 6
Cook's note: *Hing, or asafoetida, is a gum from a variety of giant fennel. It naturally has a nasty smell and taste, but becomes pleasantly onion-like when briefly fried in hot oil.