Salmon tikka with lentil dhal

Although, at first sight, this recipe looks a little more elaborate than most of my recipes, learning to cook a good dhal is an important skill for a low carb cook. Great comfort food. Once you’ve cooked it the first time you’ll have another great staple in your repertoire.


  • 4 tbsp yoghurt
  • 2 tbsp Patak’s tikka paste
  • 4 100g salmon fillets
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 50g baby spinach, trimmed, chopped
  • ½ cup fresh mint leaves (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 2 cups red lentils
  • 400g can chopped tomatoes


Mix the tikka paste with the yoghurt and thoroughly coat 4 salmon fillets. Place in a sealed container and leave for as long as possible (overnight if you can).

Heat the olive oil over a medium heat, add the onions and cook with a pinch of salt* for 5 minutes until soft. Add the garlic, coriander, cumin and turmeric and stir for a further minute before adding the lentils, tomatoes and 2½ cups of cold water. Cover and bring to the boil. Reduce to a slow simmer, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes or until the lentils are tender.

Meanwhile heat the grill to its highest setting and grill the salmon for 10 minutes on each side. When it’s cooked, add the spinach leaves to the dhal and cook for 2 minutes until they have wilted. Serve the salmon on top of the dhal with a minty yoghurt dressing.

TIP: you can alter the ratio of water:tomatoes:lentils until you get a consistency that you’re happy with. It should be like a moist purée. You can also stir in yoghurt, other spices and other cooked veg etc. to suit your taste.

*a pinch of salt saves onions from burning.

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