Friday, December 15, 2017

Salmon Maacher Pulao - Fish Pilaf

Fish Pilaf
A complete one-dish meal, this pilaf combines salmon, cauliflower and potatoes with rice for a flavour-filled dish. Fish pilaf needs a strong tasting fish such as ilish or salmon. Both kinds of fish are fatty, omega-3 rich varieties that impart the required flavour to the mild flavours of the rest of the ingredients. It's best to use bone-in fish to maximize on taste so fish heads would also work here.

1 lb. salmon steaks or heads
1 large head cauliflower, cut into florets
1 large russet potato, peeled and cut in wedges
2 cups basmati rice, washed and drained
3-1/2 cups chicken broth, simmering

4 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
1/2 tsp. Bengali garam masala powder (cinnamon, cardamom & cloves)
salt to taste
1 tsp. cumin seeds
2 cinnamon sticks
2 black cardamoms
2 star anise

1 large onion, sliced in crescents
1 large onion, chopped and blanched
1 Tbsp. ginger paste
1 Tbsp. garlic paste
1 large tomato, diced
1/2 tsp. Kashmiri mirch or paprika
3 green chilies, slit
1 Tbsp. ghee or butter


  1. Rub turmeric powder and salt to taste on fish pieces, lightly fry to a golden brown, remove from oil and set aside.
  2. Blanch cauliflower in boiling water for 2 minutes, drain and set aside.
  3. Lightly fry potatoes to a golden brown, remove from oil and set aside.
  4. Blend blanched onions, ginger & garlic pastes, tomatoes and paprika to a paste.
  5. Heat oil in a skillet, sputter cumin seeds, cinnamon sticks, cardamoms and star anise.
  6. Fry sliced onions until translucent, add blended ingredients and stir-fry until oil resurfaces.
  7. Add fried fish, a cup of boiling water and simmer for 5 minutes.
  8. Remove fish and gravy from skillet, add more oil to the skillet and stir-fry rice until all the grains are coated with the oil and turn opaque.
  9. Remove rice from skillet and return gravy from fish to skillet, top with rice, fish pieces, potatoes, cauliflower and dot with ghee.
  10. Bring chicken broth to a boil, sprinkle with garam masala powder and pour over ingredients in skillet, cover and reduce heat to medium-low.
  11. Top with green chilies and simmer for 25 minutes without uncovering, let rest for 10 minutes and serve.

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