Thursday, June 09, 2011

Salmon with Cilantro -- Mexican really

Salmon Mexican | Salmon Cilantro Salsa

Salmon with Cilantro | Mexican Style Salmon

I first had this dish at a Mexican restaurant in suburban Maryland. It was beautiful with high notes of fresh coriander aka cilantro, jalapenos and lime. I do not know if it is an authentic Mexican dish or a creation of the chef at this restaurant as I have not had it at any other Mexican place. This recipe of Salmon with Cilantro in Mexican style is totally my take on the dish. It tastes delicious and that is all that matters

Summer is here upon us, all with its 90F+ temperature and I am lovin' it. As usual summer gets me extremely hyper. With first signs of warmth I start planning outdoor weekend trips which eventually leads to fun weekends but very very tired weekdays.

A couple weeks back we took BigSis and Little Sis to the Philadelphia Zoo. This was LS's first zoo visit and she was very excited. BS's school had a class trip to the same zoo later in the month but we were not sending her there so she was excited to visit the zoo before any of her class friends. The trip was really nice if you can overlook LS's throwing up in the car, there not being enough backup for the incidence which actually happens too often and us stopping at a Wal-Mart off the road to buy clothes, tissue, wipe etc. for LS. An hour long drive took us 3 hour with all the fiasco and the fact that every other parent in the tri-state area had decided to visit the zoo over the same weekend.

Though LS had fun running and jumping around I don't think she was awed by all those animals except the Peacock which kept crossing our path. Oh, and the tiger did scare her.


Over the long memorial day weekend we went to a music event organized by a major Indian publishing group. The arrangement was unprofessional, the seating deplorable and choice of venue very inappropriate.The Food as promised on the website was nowhere in real site.Fortunately the music was very good.

There was a three hour concert by Pt.Shiv Kumar Sharma and Hariprasad Cahurasia. I am not much of a music connoisseur and I have never heard them live. It was a wonderful experience to say the least, would be better with more peace and quiet around. Next up was Shaan and he wooed the crowd as expected. BigSis enjoyed the entire show including the Santoor recital and is now a huge fan of Shaan. LS fortunately slept through the classical rendition and was ok for most part of the later until Dad took her home.


Now few weeks back we were visiting our friend in a neighboring state and food connoisseurs that they are, they treated us to a lovely dinner at a Mexican place. This was not your usual run of the mill Mexican chains that dot the map of USA but was more of an authentic Mexican place. We had a Chicken Mole, my first mole time and I didn't really care for it much. Then came the salmon with cilantro. It was beautiful with high notes of fresh coriander, jalapenos and lime. We were in love with that salmon.

Now usually if I love something in the restaurant I don't try to cook it same way at home, instead I just go back to the restaurant to eat it. In this case though it would mean a 3 hour drive each way.So since the meal we had 3 weeks back, I have been trying to re-create it in my kitchen almost every week.

I am not totally successful. It is close and tastes very good but never perfect like the dish we had. I do not have their recipe and this is totally my creation with huge inputs from D of course.  Also since Mexico is a hop, skip and jump from India (no ?), I have used some Indian spices in the recipe. If you make this dish leave your inputs and idea to make it better. I will <3 you for that.

I am cool or what, I used my first ever heart sign so very casually. And here I did not know what "xoxo" meant until BigSis explained it all. Sigh.


Salmon with Cilantro | Mexican Style Salmon

Salmon - 4-6 pieces  each a rectangle of about 3" x 2" 
You can use other fish like Flounder, Tilapia, Bhetki or even Rohu.

In a blender add

1/2 cup of chopped fresh coriander leaves
1 of a good quality juicy medium sized tomato
5 cloves of garlic
2 cloves/laung
1/4th tsp of Cumin seeds
2 green chili(optional)
and make a paste with very little water added

Marinate the salmon with half of the above marinade for an hour. Add salt to salmon during the last 15 mins.

Heat Vegetable Oil or Avocado Oil in a Frying Pan

Temper the Oil with 12-15 Methi/fenugreek seeds. When you get the fragrance add the remaining marinade and fry till you see the paste coming together and oil separating from the edges.

Add one jalapeno chopped in thin rounds and sauté for a minute

Next add 2 heaped Tbsp of Tomato Paste
Add about 1/2 tsp of Kashmiri Mirch or Paprika for colo.
rAdd little salt and 1/2 tsp of sugar and fry with a sprinkle of water till the raw smell of tomato paste is no longer there.
Note: Adding tomato paste gives the required color and thickness which is not achieved if I use raw tomatoes.

Add the fish pieces along with the marinade. Do not pile the fish pieces on top of each other, space them out on the pan. Cook the pieces in the masala till the fish stars flaking a wee bit.

Add warm water (maybe a cup), scraping the sides of the pan to mix all the masala. Add salt and sugar to taste. If you don't like the sourness of tomatoes adjust for sugar.

Add 1/2 cup of chopped coriander leaves and let the fish cook in low heat. Once the fish is flaky and done, switch off heat. Add two thinly sliced lime rinds, zest of half a lime and cover. Do not let the rind soak in the gravy for too long, it will make it bitter.

Serve warm in the next 15 mins.


  1. K throws up too, sometimes on long road trips, so as soon as we hear any crankiness from her or listlessness, we start checking with her on how she's feeling and pull over if needed. At that age she wasn't able to articulate what she was feeling - Its better now. Plus we don't give her milk, bananas or eggs before leaving- just some toast or apples.

    The salmon looks light and perfect for the summer.....I am trying to eat more protein so am looking for light fish recipes

  2. Mexican dishes heavily use cumin, chilli and cilantro, so like you I believe that India-Mexico are neighbors :)
    BTW were you talking about AnandaUtsav...saw a lot of pics on FB from friends who live around the tri-state area.
    The dish looks great and summer-y(?) :)

  3. Although I am not much of a fish eater- your dish looks yummy, and will definitely try it out...hubby loves fish ! In case Salmon is not available, can this be made with Bengali fishes like Rohu, Katla etc?What's a mole? you mentioned a chicken mole in your writeup.... And loved the zoo pics too...

  4. That sounds like an unusual paste from usual ingredients. I would like to try this - as far as I know, we get salmon only in one store here, one which expats frequent and God knows how old it is!

  5. Salmon with cilantro looks absolutely irresistible and tempting..

  6. Sounds yummy and that too with no onion !!! Great !! BTW do you have any crockpot recipe ideas? I just bought one...wondering what should i cook....

  7. We have not had Salmon in a while and this is very tempting.

    DD2 throws up on long rides (car or plane) when she has yogurt or milk - dairy and travel don't go well together I guess.

  8. Am a fish lover...Hubby (he does not eat fish at all) says that the two gold fishes in our small aquarium actually died of fright and stress, "will it be US next time?"
    Lovely dish , will try.


  9. lovely food!
    That XOX things I also learned from 'J'.
    I remember I used to do the same with heart shapes, using them all over. My mother always had rolling eyes seeing them. Now in 'J's case she laughs on them.
    These partial grand mothers!

  10. Miri

    LS throws up trip or no trip, if things like onion get in her throat she throws up, sometimes she bawls her head off and thus throws up, it is a long list and then she threatens us by saying she will throw up !!! The milk thing does it for her too and on this occasion we waited over an hour after her morning cereal to start off and yet she did that.
    Also I have noticed she throws up more when we drive the SUV as compared to the sedan, maybe height or the ride or something, don't know.


    Yeah same one. Does look summer-y :)

    Bengali Mom in Mumbai

    Chicken Mole is a Mexican/Spanish sauce, more here

    You can try this with Rohu, maybe use some onion too. My fish did not have bones. You should find fish like rawas in Mumbai which I guess is close to salmon


    Isn't there something called rawas which is close to salmon ?

  11. Anindita

    I did not add onion. The original might have had onion, don't know. Now that you said I should take out my crockpot too, was gifted a small one, yet to use it.


    I am trying to have salmon now before they have a GM one out there. saw a EU certified organic salmon the other day, darn expensive


    My hub will eat salmon and other such fish but will turn up his nose at our Bangali fish. Ki ar bolbo


    very true about partial grand mothers

  12. I use fresh cilantro in cooking/marinades very rarely but my Father in law def. like to marinade chicken in fresh cilantro alongwith other stuff.....We love salmon here, I'm gonna try this recipe.....talking of mole, I bought a big pack of chile ancho(let's not talk when) after watching some mexican cooking show....haven't made yet...still on to-do list....

    My older one use to throw up very easily, so I started to carry empty grocerry bag(with no wholes)...I use to keep it near her where she can grab it & this trick did saved me not all the time but atleast half of the times....

    Love Philly zoo, had many trips there, last time when we r at zoo(not this one) my almost 2 yr. old wanted to grab rabbits eyes in the petting zoo....

    I think I'm leaving the comment here for the first time b'coz I wanted to share that good thing about kids going to pre-school/elementary school, we parents get to learn so many things like meaning of "xoxo", me too fall in the same cateogory, couple of months back only my 3rd grader explained me:-)).....

  13.'s a typo.....hole not wholes

  14. Thanks, Sandeepa...Yes Rawas is available aplenty here...will try, hubby is all game for anything that swims :)although I prefer veg. If I HAVE to have non-veg, I'd go for chicken...but if it looks like your Salmon with cilantro....I can have a crocodile too:D

  15. Delicious way to spice up Salmon!

  16. This recipe looks delicious! P.S. As a child I threw up all the time, but I grew out of it (if that's any consolation).

  17. Sandeepa,
    Salmon cilantro besh bhalo hoyeche..eyi bhabhe kore rui/pomfret korle O bhalo hobe asha kori..tumra ki wonderland?? near Lancaster ..hain bodhaye eyi nam to giyechile ki na..besh bhalo jaiga..parle ghore esho..hugs and smiles

  18. Will try this sometime,looks delicious

  19. I made this for my wife and me last week, and my daughter (24 years old and very particular about her food) had the leftovers the next day. She liked it so much that, when she wanted to have some of her friends over for some food before the July Fourth fireworks, she insisted I make it again. She even agreed to buy the salmon!

    So I've made it twice in the past week and, unlike a lot of the dishes I make a second time, it came out better on the replay. All of daughter's friends agreed it was delicious.

    Thank you. Your Mexican/Indian hybrid recipe is helping me keep my back yard stocked with 24 year old girls.

    Dave in Virginia

  20. Made this dish for some guests over this weekend, and it was delicious. Everyone loved it, and this is a new way of cooking Salmon in my kitchen from now on. Thank you !


  21. Made this last weekend, and it was delicious. will make this from now on pretty often. thank you so much,

  22. Made it today and it turned out really delicious. It’s a simple recipe and came together very quickly. Thanks for this!

    1. Thank you. I totallyforgot about this :-) should try it again

  23. Made it today and it turned out really delicious. It’s a simple recipe and came together very quickly. Thanks for this!


Thanks for your Comments. I hope you will be nice and not Spam.