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Continued: Recipes from Raghavan Iyer's "Indian Cooking Unfolded”

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  • Last update: September 25, 2013 - 1:05 PM

1 1/2 lbs. skinless, boneless wild salmon fillet in a single piece

• 1/4 c. cider vinegar

4 dried red cayenne chiles (like chile de arbol), stems discarded and ground (do not remove seeds) or 1 tsp. ground cayenne pepper

1 tsp. coarse kosher or sea salt

• 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg

• 1 medium-size bunch fresh kale

• 2 tbsp. canola oil

6 large cloves garlic, either thinly sliced or finely chopped

1 can (13.5 to 15 oz.) unsweetened coconut milk


Sprinkle about 1/4 teaspoon of turmeric on one side of the salmon fillet and press it into the fish. Turn the fish over and repeat with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon of turmeric. Set the salmon aside as you ­prepare the spice paste.

In a small bowl, combine vinegar, chiles, salt and nutmeg to make a slurry. Set the slurry aside.

Fill a medium-size bowl with cold water. Take a leaf of kale, cut along both sides of the tough rib, and discard the rib. Slice the leaf in half lengthwise. Repeat with remaining leaves. Stack the leaf halves, about 6 at a time, one on top of the other, and roll them into a tight log. Thinly slice the log crosswise; you will end up with long, slender shreds. Dunk shreds into bowl of water to rinse off any grit, then scoop the shreds out and drain them in a colander. Repeat once or twice if kale does not appear clean.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once oil appears to shimmer, add turmeric-smeared fillet to the skillet and cook until the underside turns light brown, about 2 minutes. Turn salmon over and repeat on the second side, about 2 minutes. Transfer fish to a plate. Add garlic to the skillet and stir-fry it until light brown and aromatic, about 1 minute.

Pour spice slurry into the skillet and stir to mix with the garlic. Simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, for about 2 minutes. Add kale shreds and stir to coat them evenly in the liquid. Pour 1/2 cup water into skillet and stir.

Lower heat to medium, cover skillet and stew the kale, stirring occasionally, until the shreds are tender, about 5 to 8 minutes. Stir in coconut milk. Let milk come to a boil, uncovered. Add seared salmon to the liquid, basting it to make sure it continues to poach. Cook, uncovered, scooping up the sauce and basting the fish occasionally, until it barely starts to flake, 3 to 5 minutes.

Transfer fish to a serving plate. Let the sauce boil, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until it thickens, 3 to 4 minutes. Pour sauce over the salmon and serve.

Nutrition information per serving:

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