Meen puttu – South Indian Salmon Scramble

I have been exploring a lot with salmon. It’s in season now and we just have one more month left to enjoy fresh wild salmon from Alaska. You must have read about my series on Copper River Salmon. I have received three pounds of different types of salmon over the past three months. I have got really creative to create Indian inspired salmon dishes with it. I have never tasted salmon in India. Few days after we I got settled in my new home here, I ventured out at fish markets in Bay area to buy fresh fishes. I brought home some tilapia, mackerel and anchovies. Those were the fish I was comfortable handling. Once during a breakfast at a restaurant, I happened to taste smoked salmon with croissant and hollandaise sauce. I loved its texture and little google search enlightened me about the goodness of salmon. That’s when I started to grill and bake with salmon. You can read about other recipes here.

From the time I started with South beach diet, I look for recipes that are low carb. First step I took was changing white rice to brown one. I now eat my Indian curries and sauces with short grain brown rice I bought from Costco. Next key step was to eat lots of veggies. Since I work five days now, I cooked few dishes over the weekend. I stocked my fridge with stir fries of beans, chayote squash and pepper chicken fry and chicken masala. My mother in law made “puli kozhambhu” ( savoury tamarind sauce) in bulk. I froze them in three batches and planning to bake it with salmon and serve a week night dinner with spinach curry and brown rice. That’s the way I have been planning to feed my family with healthy low carb diet recipes.


On today’s post I am sharing an authentic recipe from my home state – Tamil Nadu. I hail from a sea town called Cuddalore where fresh fish and crabs are taken three meals a day. I love seafood from childhood and now I love it all the more as they are so healthy and has low calorie. My grandmother makes a dish called soora puttu , I crumbly dry dish made with shark, onions, lots of garlic and exotic South Indian spices. I recreated this dish with salmon as shark I find here doesn’t reach the texture I look for. Instead of boiling the salmon fillet in water, I bake them with salt for 15 minutes at 400F. Once cooled I crumbled them to tiny chunks with a fork. I make a simple onion-garlic mixture and add salmon to it and cook further to let the flavors marry.

 It’s such a easy dish to prepare. I have started to bake salmon ahead (like on Sundays) and freeze it for the week. I make the onion mixture on the day I plan to serve it. I mix the salmon with onion mixture right before lunch or dinner. This saves a lot of my time as I have a toddler who wants my attention on the time I am at home. These quick dinners are best for working moms and also for cooks who want healthy food in a jiffy.



Source: Mother-in-law
Serves: 4


  • 2 chunky salmon fillet – baked at 400F for 15 minutes, cooled and crumbled to tiny chunks with a fork

For the spice mixture

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon black mustard seeds
  • 15 garlic cloves – chopped
  • 3 Thai green chillies – sliced
  • 1 large onion – finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 2 teaspoon Kashimiri chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon coriander powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/4 cup cilantro for garnish


  1. Bake and cool the salmon. Using a dining fork, pull out the flesh and if need use hands to crumble them into tiny chunks. Set aside.
  2. Heat oil in a large kadai. Once hot enough, add mustard seeds and let it pop. Then add the curry leaves, garlic and green chillies. Saute for 2 minutes.
  3. Mix in the onions and let it brown a bit, about 10 minutes.
  4. Add the turmeric, chili and coriander powder. Saute for 2 minutes until the raw smell disappears. Add salmon and mix well to combine with the onion mixture. Add salt to taste.
  5. Garnish with cilantro. Serve hot with brown rice or quinoa and rasam.

Additional notes

  1. Ideal dish for South beach phase 1 dieters. Can be eaten as such for breakfast/lunch or dinner.
  2. Also good for those who are on a weightloss journey.
  3. Can be eaten by those who are diabetic and pre-diabetic.

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  1. I love salmon and this looks so delicious! A meal that can be prepared under 30 minutes is my kinda meal.

  2. It's funny am watching a late night iron chef and special ingredient is guess what? Salmon! Loved reading about the history behind the dish from your home state in India. I love the flaky salmon dish with all the Indian flavors!

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