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Thrissur-Style Salmon Curry

Joe Thottungal
"I first tasted salmon in Saudi Arabia, where it was occasionally flown in to the kitchens of the Oasis Resorts. And, of course, when I came to Canada, I learned how prized and important this great fish was, in many Canadian communities, and how beautifully it behaved in a curry. Added at the end, the chunks of salmon cook in the hot and sour sauce, stay moist and soft, and hold their shape well. Prepared with Atlantic or wild Pacific salmon, this Thrissur-style fish curry is a Coconut Lagoon fan favorite." ~Joe Thottungal
5 from 1 vote
Course Dairy-free, Gluten-free, Seafood
Cuisine South Indian
Servings 4


  • 4 kudampuli Malabar tamarind
  • 3 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 2-inch slices ginger, peeled and cut into matchsticks
  • 4 –6 cloves garlic cut into matchsticks
  • 2 Indian or Thai green chiles chopped
  • 15 curry leaves coarsely chopped
  • 1 1/2 tsp red chili powder
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp salt plus extra to taste
  • 1 lb skinless salmon fillets cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1 to mato quartered, seeded, and thinly sliced lengthwise, for garnish (optional)
  • Basmati Rice to serve


  • In a small bowl, combine kudampuli and 1/4 cup hot water (or just enough to cover) and set aside for 15–20 minutes to soften. If the pieces are large, cut them into 2–3 smaller pieces, then return to soaking water.
  • Heat oil in a heavy-bottomed frying pan over medium heat. Add ginger, garlic, chiles, and curry leaves and sauté for 2–3 minutes, until the leaves are wilted and flavors are released.
  • Add chili powder and turmeric and stir for another 30 seconds, until the raw smell is cooked off. Pour in 1 1/2 cups water, the kudampuli pieces, with their soaking water, and salt and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 3 minutes.
  • Add salmon and simmer for 4–5 minutes, or until fish is just cooked. Pour in coconut milk, bring back to a boil, and immediately remove from heat. Season with salt to taste.
  • Garnish with tomato strips (if using) and serve with rice.


Excerpted from Coconut Lagoon by Joe Thottungal. Photographs by Christian Lalonde. Copyright 2019 by Coconut Lagoon. Excerpted with permission from Figure 1 Publishing. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.