Roasted Spiced Salmon with Baked Persian Pilaff

Lesley Waters rustles up a fabulous fusion feast with her citrusy cardamom-spiced salmon, baked Persian pilaf and curry-based coconut gravy
By Lesley Waters
Roasted Spiced Salmon with Baked Persian Pilaff
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Effort: medium


For the baked Persian pilaf

  • 1/4 tsp strands saffron
  • 750 ml hot vegetable stock
  • 2 tsp clear honey
  • 125 g sultanas
  • 1 orange, zest only
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 25 g butter
  • 2 medium onions, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 250 g long grain rice
  • 50 g pine kernels
  • 3 tbsp flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped

For the spiced salmon

  • 4 x 140 g salmon, skinless and boneless, preferably wild
  • 8 cardamom pods
  • 1 lemon, zest and juice
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • black peppercorns

For the korma gravy

  • 2 tbsp korma curry paste, preferably Pataks
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 1 x 400 ml tin coconut milk
  • squeeze lemon juice


1. Combine the saffron, stock, honey, sultanas and orange zest and leave to infuse for 10 minutes.

2. Preheat the oven to 200C/gas 6.

3. Heat the oil and butter in a paella or shallow oven-proof pan. Add the onion and fry for 10 minutes until soft and golden. Add the garlic and cook for a further minute.

4. Tip in the rice and cook for 1 minute until translucent, stirring well. Pour in the stock, season and bring to the boil.

5. Transfer to the oven and cook for 20-25 minutes, or until the rice is tender and the stock absorbed, stirring halfway through. Mix in the pine nuts and parsley when the rice is cooked. While the rice is in the oven, prepare the fish.

6. For the spiced salmon, lay the salmon fillets in a shallow, ovenproof dish and grind over a little black pepper.

7. In a small bowl, crush the cardamom pods with the end of a rolling pin. Add the lemon zest, lemon juice, oil and garlic and mix together thoroughly. Rub each filet with the mixture and set aside for 15 minutes.

8. Roast the salmon for 8-10 minutes. While the salmon is cooking, make the korma gravy.

9. For the korma gravy, heat a medium saucepan over a low flame. Add the curry paste and tomato puree and fry for 1 minute. Add the coconut milk and simmer for 5 minutes. Finish with a squeeze of lemon juice.

10. Serve the salmon with the korma gravy and baked Persian pilaf.

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