Pepper Delight

Tandoori Salmon with Rice and Cucumber Raita

Salmon in a Yogurt flavored Tandoori Masala… Served on a bed of Fragrant Basmati Rice and Cucumber Raita…! Healthy n Delicious Protein meal.

Tandoori dishes are an Indian Delicacy. They are spicy, smoky, packed with a mix of versatile spices & cooked to perfection, making them always a Winner Dish!! The word “tandoori” is not the name of any dish; it’s in fact a method of cooking. Tandoori refers to traditional Indian style baking/cooking in a tandoor oven, which is a cylindrical shaped clay oven, fired with charcoal or wood and can reach temperatures up to 600 degree F.

The marinade for a tandoori masala is a mix of different spices including garam masala, along with yogurt and lemon juice. The main meat/protein ingredient should be marinated in it for a few hours to absorb the flavors and tenderize. It is then cooked vertically using skewers in a tandoor or horizontally on a grill. The fat and juices from the meat drip onto the hot coal creating a smoky environment perfect for a tandoori recipe. The cooked dish would have a charred coating, but the meat inside would be tender with a distinct aroma from the smoked spices. Tandoori recipes are considered as one of the healthiest foods as it is fat free. Originally, tandoori dishes were a delicacy found only in the royal kitchens with varieties like in naan, chicken, lamb, fish, paneer and vegetables. Down the years it started trickling to restaurants and onto the streets, in fact tandoori dishes gained its widespread popularity through street food stalls, night markets, bazaars, and dhabas. It has also gained immense popularity throughout the world and is a well sought-after dish in Indian restaurants globally.

Having a traditional clay oven at home is not easy, but you can still cook a wonderful tandoori dish in a conventional oven using the right spices and grilling/broiling methods. For this recipe, the Salmon is marinated in a homemade masala and is kept for a few hours (overnight preferably), cooked on both sides and finally broiled until it is charred and smoked on the surface. This dish tastes best with a bowl of basmati rice mixed with fried raisins and cashews, and cucumber yogurt raita. The sweetness and crunchiness from the raisins and cashews, along with the cooler cucumber raita, complement the smokiness and heat from the tandoori salmon, creating the perfect balance of flavors.

Enjoy, Happy Cooking!!!

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Tandoori Salmon with Rice and Cucumber Raita
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
16 mins
Total Time
31 mins
Salmon in a Yogurt flavored Tandoori Masala… Served on a bed of Fragrant Basmati Rice and Cucumber Raita…! Healthy n Delicious Protein meal. 
Course: Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: Indian
Servings: 5
Author: Akhila
For the Tandoori Salmon
  • 6 salmon fillets
  • 1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
  • 1 tsp chili powder (add 1 tsp more if u like spicy)
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • ¼ tsp turmeric powder
  • ¼ tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp dried fenugreek leaves (crushed)
  • ½ of lemon juice (squeezed)
  • 3 tsp yogurt
  • 1 tsp oil
  • Salt (as required)
For the Rice
  • 2 cup basmati rice
  • 3 cups water
  • Salt (as required)
  • 1 tbsp ghee / butter
  • ¼ cup cashews
  • ¼ cup raisins
  • Chopped fresh cilantro leaves (garnish)
For the Cucumber Raita
  • 1 cucumber (peeled n chopped)
  • cup yogurt
  • Chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • Salt (as required)
For the Tandoori Salmon
  1. Marinate the salmon with ginger-garlic paste, chili powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder, cumin, garam masala, fenugreek leaves, lemon juice, yogurt and salt for 4-5 hours (or at least 2 hrs).
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degree F. Line a baking tray with aluminum foil and spray cooking oil.
  3. Line the marinated salmon on the tray and bake for 10 minutes in the oven. Then turn up the heat to a broil and cook for 5-6 minutes until it starts to char on the surface.
For the Rice
  1. Wash and soak rice for 30 minutes and drain the water completely. Cook the rice in water and salt till the water is completely absorbed. Keep aside.

  2. In a small pan, add ghee and fry cashews and raisins until they are golden. Add to the rice and fluff with a fork, garnish with chopped cilantro leaves.

For the Cucumber Raita
  1. Mix everything together and adjust seasoning.

1. Make sure to keep an eye on the salmon while broiling to prevent it from burning.

2. You can also prepare this recipe with a store bought tandoori masala from your local Indian/Asian grocery store/World Market, or prepare it at home yourself as per the instructions above.

3. The garam masala I have used has been bought from an Indian store (Sakthi garam masala). You can also use a homemade masala which is preferable.