This dish is designed to be shared. Served on a large platter, the different layers and textures will be a feast for the eyes and the palate. The fresh and vibrant beetroot slaw is a perfect accompaniment to the fragrant, spicy rice and the hearty salmon.
- 2x200g salmon fillets, skins removed
- 2tbs olive oil, plus extra for brushing and if needed
- Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
- 300g basmati rice
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 2tbs ground coriander
- 2tbs ground cumin
- 1½tbs ground turmeric
- 6 cloves
- 6 black peppercorns
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 6 curry leaves
- 6 green cardamom pods, lightly crushed
- 1tbs sea salt
- 100g peas, steamed or boiled
- Sea salt and black pepper
For the beetroot slaw
- 2 medium raw beetroot, grated
- 1 garlic clove
- 4tbs white wine vinegar
- 2tbs olive oil
- 1tbs lemon juice
- 1 handful of fresh coriander, finely chopped
- 1 handful fresh mint, finely chopped
For the crispy onions
- 1 large onion, finely sliced
- 500ml rapeseed oil
- 4 poached eggs
- 1 handful of fresh parsley, chopped
Combine all the ingredients for the beetroot slaw in a bowl and mix well. Cover and leave to rest in the fridge until needed. Preheat the oven to 180ºC fan. Place the salmon fillets on a baking tray lined with parchment. Brush with olive oil, sprinkle with the lemon zest and season with salt and pepper. Bake for 15 minutes, or until just cooked, then allow to cool. Once cool, break into large flakes with a fork, and set aside.
Place the basmati rice in a large bowl and rinse under water until the water runs clear. Cover the rice with fresh water and leave to soak for 30 minutes. This will help to reduce the cooking time.
Heat the olive oil in a large heavy-bottomed pan over a medium heat. Add the onion and sauté for about five minutes until it is translucent. Add the garlic and cook for two minutes.
Add the coriander, cumin, turmeric, cloves, peppercorns, cinnamon, curry leaves and cardamom, and fry or a couple of minutes. Add some more oil if it becomes too dry – you want a paste-like consistency.
Drain the rice and add to the pan, mixing well to ensure that it is well coated with the spice paste. Add 600ml water and salt. Increase the heat to high to bring it to the boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for around 30 minutes or until the rice is cooked.
While the rice is cooking, prepare the crispy onions. Heat the vegetable oil in a wok over a medium heat. Test the oil's heat by dropping in a slice of onion to test; if it dances and fizzes on the surface of the oil, the temperature is correct. Add the onions and fry until golden, stirring to make sure the onions nearest the wok edges don't burn. Using a slotted metal spoon, remove the onions from the oil when they are a shade or two lighter than your desired shade, as they will continue to cook after being removed from the oil. Place on kitchen paper to soak up any excess oil.
Just before the rice is cooked, remove the cinnamon stick, cloves and cardamom pods from the pan. Add the peas and cook for a couple of minutes as the rice finishes cooking.
Prepare the poached eggs. To serve, spoon the rice onto a large platter. Top with the flaked salmon, poached eggs, crispy onions, and a generous amount of chopped parsley. Serve with the beetroot slaw on the side.
Taken from Brunch the Sunday Way by Alan Turner and Terence Williamson (Frances Lincoln Publishers, £14.99)
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