Atul Kochhar’s Salmon Meen Moilee With Crab Croquette


This stunning salmon meen moilee recipe from Atul Kochhar is served with a crispy crab croquette for an extra flavour of the sea.

The rich moilee gravy is a creamy, gently spiced sauce which brings the whole dish together beautifully

For the salmon:
• 4 salmon fillets, skin on (each weighing approx. 150g)
• 1 tbsp of coconut oil
• 30g of butter
• 1/2 lemon, juiced
• sea salt

For moilee gravy:
• 1 tbsp of coconut oil
• 1/2 tsp black mustard seeds
• 6 green chillies, slit lenghtways
• 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
• 2 medium onions, thinly sliced
• 1 knob of ginger, sliced julienne
• 10 curry leaves
• 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
• 400ml of coconut milk
• sea salt

For the beetroot ketchup:
• 100g of raw beetroot, peeled and diced
• 2 tbsp of sunflower oil
• 1 tbsp of sugar
• 2 tbsp of white wine vinegar
• 1 tsp ginger, chopped
• 1 tsp green chillies, chopped

For the lentil podi:
• 80g of chana dal, (lentils) toasted
• 10 curry leaves
• 1 red chilli
• 5g of garlic powder
• 2g of turmeric powder
• salt

For the crab croquette:
• 1 potato, peeled
• 2 tbsp of coconut oil
• 1 tbsp of curry leaves
• 1 tsp mustard seeds
• 1 tsp ginger, finely chopped
• 2 green chillies, finely chopped
• 1 tsp turmeric powder
• 1 tsp ground coriander
• 150g of white crab meat
• flour, for dusting
• 1 egg, beaten
• 4 tbsp of Panko breadcrumbs
• oil, for frying

For the vermiicelli upma:
• 1 tbsp of sunflower oil
• 1/2 tsp black mustard seeds
• 3 curry leaves, finely chopped
• 1/2 green chilli, finely chopped
• 1/2 shallot, finely chopped
• 1/2 tsp ginger, finely chopped
• 1/4 ground coriander
• 1 pinch of red chilli powder
• 1 pinch of ground cumin
• 200g of fine wheat vermicelli, toasted and broken into small pieces
• 1/2 courgette, grated

1 To make the moilee gravy, melt the coconut oil in a frying pan, add the mustard seeds and cook over a medium heat until they start to crackle.
2 Add the chillies, onion, garlic, ginger and curry leaves and sauté for 3–5 minutes until the onion is translucent.
3 Add the turmeric and salt to taste, pour in the coconut milk and simmer very gently for 10 minutes, or until the sauce thickens slightly. Adjust the seasoning, if necessary.
4 For the beetroot ketchup, place all the ingredients in a saucepan and boil over a high heat until the beetroot is tender, adding a little water if necessary. Blitz the sauce in a blender or food processor and pass through a fine sieve for an extra-smooth finish. Transfer to a squeeze bottle or piping bag to serve.
5 For the lentil podi, roast the lentils in a dry pan until toasted. Remove from the pan, then toast the curry leaves and chilli. Blitz the toasted ingredients along with the powdered spices to a course crumb texture and season with salt. Set aside.
6 To make the croquettes, cook the potato in salted boiling water until very tender. Drain well, mash until smooth and set aside.
7 Temper the whole spices in the coconut oil until they start to crackle, then add the ginger and chilli and fry until the ginger is soft and golden.
8 Add the powdered spices and crab meat, mix well then add to the mashed potato. Season the mixture with salt, ensuring everything is thoroughly combined.
9 Divide the mixture into 4 balls. Dust in flour, dip in the egg then roll in the breadcrumbs until evenly coated. Set aside in the fridge until ready to fry.
10 To make the upma, heat the oil in a saucepan, add the mustard seeds and sauté over a medium heat until they start to crackle. Add the curry leaves, green chilli, shallot and ginger, and continue sautéing until the shallot is translucent.
11 Stir in the ground spices and salt to taste. Mix well and then add the vermicelli, courgette and 125ml water. Stir over a low heat until the vermicelli is tender. Remove from the heat and keep warm.
12 Preheat a deep-fryer to 180°C.
13 Season the salmon fillets with salt and melt the coconut oil in a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat. Fry the fish, skin-side down, for 4 minutes, or until the skin is crisp.
14 Meanwhile, add the croquettes to the hot oil and fry until golden. When ready, drain on kitchen paper.
15 Flip the fish over and add the butter and lemon juice. Fry for a further 2 minutes, basting with the lemony pan juices, until a cocktail stick inserted in the centre of the fish meets no resistance. Drain on kitchen paper to absorb any excess oil.
16 Blanch the samphire in salted boiling water until tender. Gently reheat the moilee gravy.
17 To serve, place each croquette on top of a small pile of lentil podi and lean the salmon against it. Garnish with the vermicelli upma, beetroot ketchup, some samphire and the moilee gravy on the side.

Recipe courtesy of Atul Kochhar, originally published for


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