Tandoori Salmon

This one is a gem. Best salmon I’ve ever made. There are a lot of steps, so save it for a Sunday when you can casually move in and out of your kitchen without feeling like you’re in a time crunch. It’s tedious but well worth the effort. Michael and I both agreed that we could easily charge big bucks for this dish if only we had our own restaurant. I’ll be tucking this one away for my future fine dining menu.

Tandoori Salmon

Adapted from saveur.com. I substituted sherry vinegar for the white vinegar, lowered the heat level from the peppers, subbed paprika for kashmiri,, omitted the ground bay leaves, and changed the cooking temperature. 


1  2½–3-lb. boneless, skin-on wild-caught salmon filet
6 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1  3″ piece ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
salt, to taste
3 tbsp canola oil
1 tbsp sherry vinegar
3 tsp paprika, plus more
1½ tsp cardamom seeds
1½ tsp. garlic powder
1½ tsp ground cinnamon
1½ tsp ground cloves
1½ tsp ground ginger
2 cups plain yogurt
1-2 serrano peppers, stemmed, deseeded and minced
1 tbsp minced fresh cilantro
1 tsp garam masala
1/2 small cucumber, peeled, seeded, and minced
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste


1. Put salmon on an aluminum foil–lined baking sheet and set aside. In a mortar and pestle, grind garlic, ginger, and ¼ cup water, salt, 1 1/2 tbsp oil, vinegar, 1 tsp paprika, 3/4 tsp cardamom, 3/4 tsp garlic powder, 3/4 tsp cinnamon, 3/4 tsp cloves and 3/4 tsp ground ginger. Using a spatula, smear garlic mixture over the flesh of the salmon. Cover the salmon with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to overnight.

2. Combine 1 cup yogurt, chiles, and 1 1/2 tbsp oil, 2 tsp paprika, 3/4 tsp cardamom, 3/4 tsp garlic powder, 3/4 tsp cinnamon, 3/4 tsp cloves, and 3/4 tsp ground ginger in a bowl. Season with salt to taste.

3. Pour yogurt mixture over salmon and gently massage into the flesh. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 more hour.

4. Meanwhile, make the raita sauce. In a small bowl, combine 1 cup of yogurt, cilantro, garam masala, and cucumbers. Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle some paprika over the top. Set raita aside.

5. Heat oven to 400. Uncover salmon and bake until fish is crisp and cooked through, 20–25 minutes. Serve hot atop garlicky roasted vegetables with the raita sauce.


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