This dish is inspired by my childhood. No there were no Salmon in South India, but fish was plentiful, as were Amaranth leaves. Purple amaranth was our favorite Mom used to make “Cheera thoran” or stir fried amaranth leaves with coconut . Amaranth leaves are more nutritious than spinach and a meal with Cheeera thoran and Fish Curry will be what you would call a complete , balanced meal !!!
Isn’t that a pretty plant ? It is Amaranth, in the same family of quinoa. Many plants in this family are popular ornamental plants. The leaves and seed are very nutritious, providing more calcium and iron per serving than spinach. Where I live these are sometimes available in the Asian markets where as spinach is ubiquitous.
Coming back to today’s dish, it is a good combinations of vegetables , protein and some spices. The good thing is my picky tasters don’t even notice the spinach ! Hooray , one for mommy 🙂 I have served these over rice today , but thicken the curry a bit and roll inside a flatbread or thin a bit more and serve in a bread bowl 🙂
Here is the recipe :
We start the standard curry route. Saute chopped onions, ginger and garlic in 2 tablespoons of oil for a minute or two. The green chilies, curry leaves and mustard are all optional. If you have these definitely give the mustard and curry leaves a try as these add a certain aroma and complexity to the dish. As the onions cook stir often. Soften the onions , but do not brown.
Once the onions are softened add the spice powders and salt. Stir well and heat for 30 seconds until the spicy aromas fill the air. Add the chopped tomatoes, mix, cover, and cook for 3 to 5 minutes or until the tomatoes soften. Add the chopped spinach , fresh or frozen and let it cook for a few minutes . If using fresh cook till the spinach is wilted and is greatly reduce in volume. Add coconut milk . If using canned , I like to skim off the cream and mix it with enough fresh warm water to make up about 1 1/2 to 2 cups. The amount of liquid greatly depends on how creamy you would like the curry to be. Mix and bring everything to a slow simmer.
Add the salmon pieces . Cover and cook for 10 minutes over low heat or until done .