Family Recipe

I've never been much of a cook. So when my mother-in-law asked if I ever make Indian food, I had to honestly reply, "I'm still trying to get the hang of American food." I'm not sure if she took pity on me, or wanted her son to be able to enjoy a little of his culture, but regardless, she said she was going to teach me how to make Fish Moilee (AKA Salmon Curry).

She started out by chopping up a bunch of things and telling me to add bits of this and dashes of that. Yeah, remember how I said I'm still trying to get the hang of making food originating from my own country? Well I needed measurements, and I needed the recipe to be written down. And when she started to just throw things in, I handed her teaspoons and measuring cups and said use these so I can make notes. I don't think she has ever measured out anything in her life. She just knows how to cook, and she does it naturally.

Come to find out, this recipe really is easy. And it's tasty too. I like getting salmon in our diet, and I love that I can make something my husband grew up eating. To top it off, Julianna has been enjoying a few bites of it as well, spices and all. Gotta love that.

So here it is for you to try. An authentic Indian dish from a very genuine, warm hearted woman. All the way from India... straight to you.

(So glad that I have it in her handwriting. But for your convenience, I've typed it below.)

FISH MOILEE from the kitchen of Anna George
Serves: 4

1 1/2 lbs. salmon - skin removed, cubed
1 white onion - chopped
2 medium tomatoes - sliced in wedges
1 inch piece fresh ginger - peeled, minced
3 green jalapeno peppers - cut in half length-wise
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt (to taste)
1 cup soy milk or coconut milk
1/2 cup water

Chop onion (large chunks) and ginger. Slice jalapeno peppers in half length-wise. Depending on your preference either leave seeds in place (hot) or discard all seeds (mild). I usually remove seeds from one (medium). Saute onion, ginger and jalapeno peppers in large skillet until onions are translucent. Add sliced tomato wedges. Saute a few more minutes.
Add turmeric, salt, water and cubed salmon (we buy in packets from Costco with skin and bones already removed). Stir occasionally until Salmon is cooked through. Add soy milk (or coconut milk for a rich gravy). When it begins to boil, turn burner to low heat. For maximum flavor, let sit for 30 minutes on low heat or remove from heat, add lid and let stand.
Pair with Naan Indian bread for dipping (found at Trader Joe's or in any Indian food section) and a side salad or green vegetable. If you try it, please let us know how you like it. My mother-in-law would get a kick out of knowing it wasn't only her daughter-in-law whom she inspired to make an Indian meal!

PS: Now I understand why there are food stylists and photographers. You'll just have to imagine the steam rising.

PPS: Did you know the anna in Julianna came from my mother-in-law's name? Now you do.
(Taken August 2010, India)

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