Friday, March 01, 2013

Shorshe Salmon Jhaal -- Tomato Roshun diye

Jhaal in Bengali means hot. Not warm hot. Not "pink hot". But spicy hot.

But "jhaal" when in the name of a dish describes a gravy based dish (should have said curry, but don't want to add to curry culture) usually with mustard sauce that is thicker than a soupy "jhol" but not as rich as a "dalna". Confoosed ? Confused ? Okay forget it.

Jhaal and hot brings to my mind a very funny incident. I know a little girl, a neighborhood friend of my daughter who watches a little too much of Disney Channel. Well probably a lot of Disney Channel. If you are not a parent  or do not subscribe to cable, both good choice, you are probably at a loss here. "Disney" you think is all cutesy innocence, magic kingdoms and animated characters. Well, welcome to the Disney Channel on cable and spend some hours in the evening watching the shows they offer, and then come back and read this post. It is better for young kids  to watch back to back DDLJ than watch iCarly .

So any way this kid who watched a little too much of the channel, one day comes to my home in a new dress and tells me ," BM auntie, you know I am hot".

Being genuinely worried, I touched her forehead and said, "Do you have a fever ? your forehead is cool. You are not sweating either".

Balking at my ignorance, she exasperatedly said "No. Not that hot. Hot -- like in hot pink".

By now I had a grasp of what she had in mind, but knowing her for a long time and her obsession with the channel which probably led her to this imaginary self-obsession, I tried to play it down.

"Actually Hot in English language has only one meaning -- having a high temperature. And in some cases we use it for food which is very spicy. Never have I heard that being used to describe a person," I said, acting innocent.

Seeing that this was going nowhere and probably thinking of me as some bummer from an Indian village, she gave up on me. She also stopped all her preening and twirling and got down to more earthly business. "Can I have an oreo cookie ? Or two ?" she tried to negotiate.

"You can", I said. "But don't you say you are hot unless running a fever or feeling warm. You need to be older to understand different meanings of a word and only then use it".

Don't know if it had any effect on her but she is a good and smart child and I hope the self-obsession was momentary.

What do you do when faced with kids saying "grownup words" or acting "much older than their age" ? Do you give a stern scolding ? Do you sit them down and give them a lecture ? What do you do ?

Back to the food, this shorshe salmon is a quick dinner option on a weekday. All you need to make is the mustard paste. And then the best thing is, you make it different from the regular mustard paste. The way I do it, I make the mustard paste with mustard seeds, poppy seeds, green chillies, tomato and garlic, flavors which go very well with the stronger taste of salmon. If you don't want to do the jhaal,  you use the paste as a marinade and bake the salmon instead.

Else you make the Shorshe Tomato Salmon Jhaal.

Shorshe Tomato Salmon Jhaal 

When I buy salmon fillet I ask the skin to be removed. Then if I am making the jhaal I cut each fillet in 2x2 squares. Okay, maybe some other dimension but small squares or rectangles. Toss the pieces with turmeric powder, pinch of garam masala and salt and keep aside. For this dish I had two fillet of salmon

1 tbsp Mustard seeds
1/2 tbsp Poppy seeds
in a tbsp water for 30 mins

Make a paste of
the mustard + poppy seeds
2 fat clove of garlic
1 small tomato
2 green chilli
salt to taste 
with a splash of water

Heat 1 tbsp Mustard oil to smoking

Temper the hot oil with
1/4 tsp kalojeere(kalonji) and
4 slit green chilli.

Add the fish pieces and lightly fry till the fish loses its raw coloring.

Next add the mustard paste you made. Lower the heat and mix with the fish till fish is a pale golden color. Do not over fry fish or crisp it. Add warm water enough for gravy, salt to taste, cover the pan and let the gravy simmer.

The gravy should be on the thicker side and clinging to the fish. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves.


  1. Looks yum.. will definitely try it out!!

  2. I am craving for some of this now,..

  3. Good advice to the little girl :) And perfect recipe, I have salmon and going to try this tonight.

  4. Can't avoid all this, I think. Everything is geared towards making kids feel hot. TV, clothes ...

    I came across a kid in the 1st standard years ago saying "I am in love with (a certain actor)" and her grandmother tried correcting her to no avail. She also told my Uncle, then in his late 50s, that some dance step ought to be done by doing this and that (I forget the details) with the "bums". He listened to her solemnly and said "yes, with the bums only, but like this".

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  6. One of the best blogs to follow for recipes. Thanks a lot, the recipe is too good. For beverages check

  7. Just had this for dinner. It's truly delicious.

  8. Hi Sandeep, Could you please tell me the lbs of fillet? The fillet I get at costco is nearly 2 lbs each. Thanks

    1. Costco ones are big. Not those. I got from ShopRite. Use a little less than a lb.

  9. I make shorshe salmon and love it too. Have a recipe posted on my blog slightly different than yours.

  10. Tumar eyi post ta link-back korlaam..hope it's fine with you..hugs

  11. I have made this dish over and over, following the recipe to the T. It is easy to make and is so delicious. I am hooked.

  12. i'd had the same dish in the mumbai Oh! Calcutta and fell in love. i just made it following your recipe, and its delicious. thank you.

  13. What type of shorshe do you use? Is it the black ones or the yellow one?

  14. I replaced the tomato with salsa and mixed it along with mustard paste instead 🙄… laziness redefined …it tasted 😋. Thank you for these last minute go to recipes.


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