Red Lentil Crusted Salmon with Raita and Lentil Rice
From Chef Michael Howell
For the Salmon
4 x 150g filets of Sustainable Blue salmon, skin off
1/4 cup dried lentils
Salt and pepper
1 tbsp ghee or vegetable oil
1 cup jasmine rice
1/4 cup cooked red lentils
(still a bit firm - simmer in salted water for 8-10 minutes or until cooked but not mushy)
1 tbsp butter (optional)
For the Raita
1 cup greek yogurt
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt
Grind of black pepper
1 tsp fresh ginger, minced
1 tsp grated cucumber, drained
1 tbsp fresh mint, julienned
1 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
Pinch of cumin and coriander
Cilantro and lime wedge to garnish
To make the raita – Combine the yogurt, lemon juice, salt, pepper, ginger, grated cucumber, mint, cilantro, cumin and coriander in a small bowl and let flavours mingle for one hour.
To make the rice – Bring 1½ cups water to a boil, add rice, cover, reduce heat to low and simmer 16 minutes. Turn off heat, remove lid and add cooked lentils. Place lid back on and rest 10 minutes. Fluff rice, stirring lentils into the rice mixtre. Add optional butter if desired. Keep warm with lid on.
Pulse dried lentils in a blender, clean coffee grinder, or food processor until the texture of fine sand, and place in a pie tin.
Heat a non -stick pan over medium to medium high heat. Season the fish with salt and pepper then place filets face down (not skin side) in ground lentils and press firmly so it sticks to salmon. Add ghee or oil to pre-heated pan and then add salmon to the pan with the lentil side down. Cook 5-6 minutes or until lentils start to colour and form a noticeable crust. Ensure they do not burn. Flip carefully, taking care to not remove or crack lentils. Finish cooking 3-4 more minutes or until your desired temperature. Remove from pan and allow to drain any oil on a piece of paper towel for a minute.
On each of four plates, place ¼ of the raita and smear with a large spoon to make a shape like a comet. Place ¼ of the rice on the plate beside the raita and top with the cooked fish. Garnish with a lime wedge and cilantro.