Spiced salmon couli­b­iac


Mark Sargeant’s al­ter­na­tive Christ­mas main ‘This is a great choice for Christ­mas Day as it can all be made in ad­vance. The un­baked couli­b­iac can be kept in the fridge for up to a day or, if the salmon has not been pre­vi­ously frozen, you can put it in the freezer for up to two months.’

Serves 6- 8 Prep 20 mins, plus cool­ing Cook 50 mins

2 tbsp veg­etable oil

1 onion, finely chopped 2

gar­lic cloves, crushed

2 car­damom pods, crushed

1 cin­na­mon stick

1 tsp fen­nel seeds

2 star anise

1 tsp fenu­greek seeds

3 cloves thumb-sized piece gin­ger, cut into large chunks

2 tsp garam masala

140g bas­mati rice, soaked in cold wa­ter for

30 mins, then drained

1 bay leaf small pack co­rian­der, finely chopped

1 red chilli, seeds kept in, finely chopped

1 tbsp mango chut­ney

1 tbsp lemon juice 2 x

320g packs ready-rolled puff pas­try

2 x 500g whole salmon fil­lets, skin re­moved and pin-boned

2 large egg yolks, lightly beaten

1 Heat the oil in a fry­ing pan and add the onion, gar­lic, car­damom, cin­na­mon, fen­nel, star anise, fenu­greek, cloves, gin­ger and 1 tsp of the garam masala. Cook over a medium heat un­til the onion is a deep golden brown. Add the rice with 250ml wa­ter and the bay leaf, and sea­son with salt. Bring to the boil, then turn down to a gen­tle sim­mer. Cover and cook for 15 mins or un­til the liq­uid has been ab­sorbed and the rice is light and fluffy. Re­move from the heat, tip into a bowl and leave to cool.

2 Once the rice is cooled, re­move the car­damom, cin­na­mon stick, star anise, cloves, gin­ger and bay leaf. Add the chopped co­rian­der, chilli, mango chut­ney and lemon juice. Check the sea­son­ing, cover and chill un­til needed.

3 Take the pas­try out of the fridge and leave at room tem­per­a­ture for 10 mins. Un­roll the pas­try sheets, roll out to make a lit­tle wider and put each on a non-stick bak­ing sheet. Cover with cling film and place in the fridge to re-chill for 30 mins.

4 Sea­son the salmon on both sides with a lit­tle salt and pep­per and the rest of the garam masala, then place one piece of salmon on one piece of pas­try and cover with half of the rice mix­ture. Top with the other piece of salmon, then brush around the pas­try edges with beaten egg. Cover with the se­cond piece of pas­try, push­ing down well, then roll the edges over, crimp with a fork to seal and dec­o­rate as you like. Can be made ahead and chilled for a day. Brush all over with beaten egg and chill for 30 mins.

5 Heat oven to 220C/200C fan/ gas 7. Bake for 10 mins, then turn the oven down to 180C/160C fan/ gas 4 and con­tinue to bake for about 30 mins un­til the pas­try is golden brown. Set aside in a warm place to rest for 10 mins. Serve with the rest of the rice mix (heated or cold) and the raita ( be­low). PER SERV­ING (8) 647 kcals, fat 37g, sat­u­rates 12g, carbs 45g, sug­ars 3g, fi­bre 1g, pro­tein 33g, salt 0.9g

For the raita

Mix 250g Greek yo­gurt with a finely grated gar­lic clove, a grated thumb-sized piece root gin­ger, ½ small pack co­rian­der, chopped, ¼ small pack mint leaves, chopped, juice 1/2 lime and ½ tsp garam masala with ¼ cu­cum­ber, grated and lightly squeezed. Sea­son and serve sprin­kled with ex­tra garam masala. Serves 6.

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