Superfood-Packed, Healthy Salmon Biryani Recipe

By Alexis Wolfer

Healthy and gourmet do not need to be mutually exclusive. Rather, this Salmon Biryani from Gurpareet Bains, chef, nutritional therapist and author of Indian Superfood, shows us just how delicious (and easy!) gourmet can really be!

With antibacterial, antifungal and anti-inflammatory cardamom, chili, coriander, cumin, garlic and ginger; antibacterial pepper, antiviral garlic; and analgesic chili – this gourmet dinner is almost like an immunity booster made delicious! The superfood twist on this classic Indian dish comes from replacing the traditional meat with the omega-3 rich salmon. The mélange of traditional Indian superspices with salmon and fresh lime leaves and coriander, is nothing short of breathtaking.

Salmon Biryani Recipe

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
10 green cardamom pods, lightly crushed
1 small onion, thinly sliced
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tablespoon grated (peeled) fresh root ginger
2 green chillies, coarsely chopped (optional)
2 tablespoons mild curry powder
350g salmon fillets, skinned and cut into large bite-size pieces
400g basmati rice
12 kaffir lime leaves, fresh or frozen (available at Oriental grocers)
1 rounded teaspoon salt, or to taste
1 potato, diced into cubes no larger than 1.5cm
200g cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
Chopped fresh coriander, to season (optional)
Lime wedges, onion salad, extra green chilies and raita, to garnish.

How To Prepare Salmon Biryani

Pour the olive oil into a deep saucepan, add the cumin seeds, peppercorns and cardamom pods and cook over a low-medium heat until the seeds start to pop – this should take no more than 2–3 minutes. Add the onion and cook until it is a light brown color, stirring frequently – this should take no more than 5 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger and chilies and continue cooking for about 2–3 minutes or until the garlic is brown in color. Add the curry powder, mix well and cook for about 20 seconds. Add the salmon pieces and cook until they are seared all over (not cooked through), making sure to stir gently to avoid breaking the salmon into small pieces – this should take about 2–3 minutes.

Remove the pan from the heat, then remove the salmon pieces from the pan to a warm plate. Brush off any excess spice mixture that may have stuck to them back into the saucepan. Set the salmon aside. Return the saucepan with the spice mixture to the heat and add the rice. Continue cooking and stirring frequently until the rice turns from slightly translucent to very white in color – this process should take only about 2–3 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat. Transfer the rice mixture into a microwave-safe dish, add the lime leaves and salt and pour in 790ml boiling water. Mix with a fork. Microwave, uncovered, for 6 minutes on HIGH. Mix well with a fork. Microwave, uncovered, for another 5 minutes on HIGH. Mix well with a fork. Add the salmon pieces and potato cubes, making sure to cover them with the rice. Cover the dish and microwave for another 7 minutes on HIGH.

Take the salmon biryani out of the microwave. Stir in the cherry tomatoes and cover. Leave to stand for 10 minutes. Season with the chopped coriander, if using, and mix well. Serve immediately with lime wedges, onion salad, extra green chillies and raita.

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Photography Credit: Lara Holmes

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