This kosher salmon tikka masala recipe is in my top 5 favorite Indian recipes of all time. Ironically, I never ate this as part of an Indian meal. I got the inspiration to create this dish when I was looking for a kosher alternative to chicken tikka masala which uses dairy ingredients and is not kosher. Creating this dish was my first attempt at a "treif hack" and I think it was pretty darn successful.
Indian Recipes Are Kosher Friendly
One of the nice things about Indian food is that almost all of the key flavors used are kosher friendly. A lot of Indian dishes come from groups of people that have similar dietary restrictions to the kosher restrictions. Indian cuisine relies mainly on sophisticated spice blends and vegetables to create its robust flavors. This makes it possible to recreate many of the these dishes in a kosher kitchen.
Non-Kosher Indian Dishes Can Become Treif Hacks
Some Indian recipes are not kosher because they involve the mixture of dairy and meat; these recipes need to become a treif hack. This kosher salmon tikka masala recipe is what made me come up with the concept of a treif hack; this term refers to a recipe that is treif on its own but with a few alterations can become kosher. For a kosher diet, these are the dishes that require a little bit more than just a recipe and the ingredients.
To create the kosher salmon tikka masala recipe, I found a recipe for chicken tikka masala and performed my first treif hack by replacing the chicken with salmon. I thought that the flavors and textures would be similar enough to work. I was right.
Use Ghee And Not Butter
Using ghee instead of butter may be obvious to those who have made any dairy Indian recipes. For those who have not, you are probably wondering why I used this strange word and why I am insistent in using it in this kosher salmon tikka masala recipe.
Ghee is a Hindi word that refers to clarified butter. Ghee is a butter derivative and using it versus whole is night and day for your dish. To get ghee you are basically heating whole butter until the whey separates out and browns. The solid whey is then removed leaving only the clarified butter behind. The end result is a clear oil substance that adds notes of buttered toffee to your dish that you cannot get from butter. There is simply no substitute for ghee.
Salmon Tikka Masala Is A Simple Curry
There are a lot of ingredients and steps to get this recipe right but at its essence this salmon tikka masala is a simple curry. Contrary to popular belief, curry does not refer to the spice blend. Rather a curry refers to the type of dish being served. Most Indian curries do contain a spice blend called garam masala. A curry dish is analogous to a stew or sauce usually served over or along side rice. Curries are nice dishes to make at home because they need to sit on a low flame for a long time before they are ready. This means that most of the work is done in the preparation steps. Once the ingredients are placed on the heat they can be left to simmer for hours to let the flavors properly meld together.
How to Serve Salmon Tikka Masala
The curry itself is the focus of the dish but Indian food is usually served in one of the following ways:
- Over basmati rice
- On naan bread
- With dosa on the side
- Along with chapati
Salmon TIkka Masala
- heavy bottomed pan
- large mixing bowl
- 3 tbsp garam masala Our recipe is found at yaykosher.com/garam-masala
- 2 tbsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp ground turmeric
- 1 onion large
- ¾ cup ghee if you use whole butter then use 1 cup butter
- 1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
- ¾ cup cream
- cilantro chopped, optional
- jalapeno pepper diced, optional
- 2 lbs salmon
- 2 cups plain yogurt you can also use quark as a substitute
- 1 cup water to thin out the marinade
- 4 cloves garlic crushed
- ½ inch ginger this is approximately 1 tbsp when grated
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
Instructions for making the salmon
- Stir together the yogurt, water, ginger, garlic, salt, and black pepper.
- Remove the skin from the salmon if it was not already removed.
- Slice the salmon into 1 inch cubes and stir into the yogurt mixture.
- Let the yogurt and salmon mixture marinate for a minimum of 6 hours (preferably overnight).
- Remove the salmon from the yogurt marinade and wipe off the majority of the marinade from the salmon pieces. You should leave a little of it on for flavor.
- Heat a heavy bottomed pan to low/medium heat and cook the salmon pieces until ¾ done. This should only take about 5 minutes.
- Add the mostly cooked salmon to the curry to finish cooking at low heat. (See the instructions for the curry for the exact time to add the salmon pieces).
Instructions for making the curry
- Heat a heavy bottomed pan to medium/low heat and add ghee once heated.
- Slice the large onion into 16 pieces and add to the heated pan.
- Add the turmeric to the onions and cook until soft.
- Add the 28 oz can of diced tomatoes to the onions and stir together. Add the garam masala and stir until it is incorporated into the mixture.
- Lower the flame to low and simmer for 45 minutes stirring occasionally.
- Pour all of the contents of the pan into a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.
- Pour the blended mixture back into the pan and heat on low.
- Add the mostly cooked salmon and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Add the cream and stir.
- Keep warm until ready to serve.
- Garnish with lots of cilantro and diced jalapeno peppers. (Optional)
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