Flavour Fiesta: Tandoori Salmon with Spinach, Cucumber and Pickled Onions

I love to surround myself with strong and confident individuals who have found their passion, trust their instincts, and believe in themselves. I guess it just helps me stay positive and stay on track?

When I came across Divya and Flavour Fiesta, it was inspiration at first site. I knew I just had to reach out to her and share her story with whoever would listen. This lady truly feels comfortable with herself, believes in what she’s doing; and in turn, has encouraged me to live from my heart and continue to put trust in following my dreams (which included going to India!!).

If you haven’t checked it out already, Divya has created a quarterly magazine; that I featured on the blog in the Fall and Winter, where she takes us through her favorite seasonal recipes, health tips, and kitchen how-tos.

Okay, time to get to her pictures and tasty recipe to do the talking!

I was so excited when Leanne approached me to write a guest post for her blog! I came across Leanne’s blog last year when I was looking for recipes for guilt-free desserts and I’ve been absolutely hooked since then. She is my go-to resource for healthful tips and recipes, but what I look forward to the most are her inspirational posts. She is one truly inspiring woman and I’m glad to have “met” her through blogging.

When Leanne asked me to write a guest post, I immediately started thinking about what I was going to make. I wanted to create something extra special for her and came up with a few ideas for dessert. But things didn’t work out in the kitchen as expected! Isn’t it a shame that a concept that sounds great in your head doesn’t seem to work out so well when you try it out in the kitchen? Ahh…the unpredictability of recipe testing!

Anyways, since Leanne is going to India, what could be more apt than a dish inspired by Indian cuisine? So I came up with this simple and delicious tandoori salmon salad with baby spinach, cucumber and pickled onions. And to top it all off and to cut out some of the heat, I added a few dollops of a cilantro-yogurt sauce. Doesn’t that sound like a scrumptious spring salad?

Who doesn’t love salmon? Not only is it a good source of high quality protein and omega-3 fatty acids, but it’s also quick to make. Whenever I’m short on time, I know I can whip up a quick and satisfying meal with some salmon.

For this dish, the salmon is marinated with some ginger, garlic and tandoori masala before grilling/pan frying it. I think marinating is a great way to enhance the natural fatty flavour of salmon. I recommend marinating for at least 15 minutes, but if you have some time, marinate for up to 2 hours. It really does make the salmon taste much better!

If you’ve never cooked with Indian spices, you might find it intimidating, but it really isn’t. I used to find it difficult too, but all you really need to know is a few key spices and then you can experiment with mixing and matching them to taste.

For this dish, I’m keeping it really simple. All you need is some tandoori masala and chilli powder – so no complicated spices here! You can find tandoori masala at any Indian store and even at most major supermarkets these days. I’ve even spotted it at Bulk Barn! Tandoori masala is a mixture of garam masala, ginger, garlic, cayenne pepper and other spices. I always recommend adding plenty of lemon or lime juice on a dish with tandoori masala to really enhance to the flavour of the spices.

Tandoori Salmon with Spinach, Cucumber and Pickled Onions

Gluten free, Dairy free, Sugar free, Yeast free, Corn free, Grain free

Tandoori dishes are usually served with naan or grilled vegetables on the side, but to keep things fresh, I’ve paired the salmon with some fresh spinach, cucumber and pickled onions. This is a great way to start experimenting with Indian flavours, if you haven’t done so already. Hope you enjoy this spring salad!

Yield: 2 salmon fillets

Servings: 2

Ingredients

Salmon

  • 2 – 5oz. salmon fillets
  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1.5 tablespoon oil (coconut or your preference)
  • 1/2 teaspoon chilli powder
  • 1.5 teaspoon tandoori masala

Pickled onions

  • 2 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1/2 red onion, sliced thin

Yogurt sauce

  • 4 tablespoon yogurt (dairy or coconut yogurt)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Spinach salad

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • Juice from 1/2 large lemon
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 cups baby spinach, loosely packed
  • 1/2 cucumber, sliced thin
  • Picked onions, from above

Serve with lemon wedges

Directions

  1. Remove the skin from the salmon fillets. Sprinkle salt and press it down on both sides of the fillets.
  2. Mix the ginger, garlic, oil, tandoori masala and chilli powder. Apply to both sides of the salmon fillets and marinate for 15 to 30 minutes.
  3. While the salmon is marinating, preheat the oven to 400F.
  4. Prepare the pickled onions by mixing the onion slices with the rice wine vinegar. Let this sit for at least 15 minutes and then drain.
  5. To prepare the yogurt sauce, mix the cilantro and yogurt with a little salt and pepper.
  6. After the salmon has marinated, heat a grill pan or frying pan on medium heat with a little oil. Sear the salmon on each side for 2-3 minutes per side and then transfer the salmon to a baking sheet and bake for 4-5 minutes in the oven.
  7. While the salmon is baking, prepare the salad. Start by mixing the olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper in a small bowl. In another bowl, toss the spinach, cucumber and pickled onions together. Add the salad dressing and toss well.
  8. Serve the salmon on a bed of salad. Add a little lemon juice on the salmon prior to serving and add a dollop of the yogurt cilantro sauce. Enjoy!

View nutrition facts

Thanks so much Leanne for giving me the honour to create something special for your site! I really enjoyed creating this recipe for you and I hope you have a great time in India!

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Comments | Leave Your Comment

  1. YUM! It looks amazing. I haven’t had a whole lot of experience with Indian cuisine, but I know I can make this!

  2. Wow, great recipe Divya! When I lived in Bahrain we had lots of Indian and Sri Lankan friends that would cook us food from their local cuisines, and I totally fell in love with spice mixes like tandoori. Can’t wait to try this! :)

  3. Such pretty looking salmon and Ive been thinking about you and hoping your trip is going wonderfully!

    Re-read your post last night and the fenugreek part….it’s known to help nursing mothers. A food that’s known as a galactagogue (helps w/ milk production) so I know you are not in this boat, but back in the day, I ate plenty of fenugreek :)

    And that scalp massage you had for an hour?! Omg I would be in massage heaven!

  4. This looks simply stunning. I’m so boring when it comes to cooking fish. Always doing the same lemon juice with salt and pepper. I think this recipe has given me inspiration to spice it up a notch!

  5. I love Divya’s blog and all her beauty/health tips! She’s such a perfect guest blogger for Healthful Pursuit, Leanne! :)
    The Tandoori Salmon with Spinach Salad looks light but really appetizing! I’ll definitely give this a try!

  6. This looks like dinner for the first Friday of Lent! Is Tandoori Masala a spice or do you mean the tandoori paste?…Thanks so much for any enlightenment!..(Gorgeous dish…gorgeous photos!

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