Salmon meen moilee with crab croquette

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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.

First published in 2017





Moilee gravy

Beetroot ketchup

Lentil podi

Crab croquette

Vermicelli upma

To serve


  • Food processor or blender


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
Add the chillies, onion, garlic, ginger and curry leaves and sauté for 3–5 minutes until the onion is translucent
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
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
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
To make the croquettes, cook the potato in salted boiling water until very tender. Drain well, mash until smooth and set aside
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
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
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
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 4 tbsp of Panko breadcrumbs (1)
  • oil, for frying
  • flour, for dusting
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
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
Preheat a deep-fryer to 180°C
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
Meanwhile, add the croquettes to the hot oil and fry until golden. When ready, drain on kitchen paper
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
Blanch the samphire in salted boiling water until tender. Gently reheat the moilee gravy
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

Combining the flavours of north, east and south India with the finest British produce, Atul Kochhar was the first ever Indian chef to receive a Michelin star in 2001.

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