Grilling doesn’t have to automatically cue standards like burgers, dogs and ribs. I like to look for global inspiration when I fire up the coals! Cooking over fire is something that has connected us as humans since the days of our hairy, cave dwelling ancestors- it’s perhaps the most primitive and fundamental way of preparing food, a practice celebrated across ages and cultures (not just in the modern American backyard). These Indian inspired Spiced Salmon and Okra Skewers are an easy and delicious way to celebrate global grilling! I’ve been really in to cooking food on skewers lately...not sure why, but the heat always makes me want to put food on a stick! If you’re using wooden skewers, make sure to soak them first so that they don’t flame up on the grill. I also like to double them to hold the salmon and okra in place while flipping on the grill. Don't fret if your okra/tomatoes get black in spots- that’s actually ideal! Char equals flavor! This meal requires easy prep and cooks quickly, making it simple enough for a weeknight but interesting enough for a special occasion. So many yummy things happening on a single platter! Y’all should know by now that I’m all about a good sauce... the tangy raita adds creaminess and also compliments the spicy skewers as a cooling element. I love schmearing some on a little naan (or pita) then piling the salmon and veggies on top to make the perfect bite. A little steamed white or brown rice on the side is optional, but rounds out this healthy, tasty meal. Enjoy!
prep time: ~35 min. cook time: ~10 min. serves: 2-3
1 tbsp garam masala
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp coriander
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper, or to taste
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
extra virgin olive oil
1 lb salmon filet, skin removed, cut into 2” pieces
1/2 lb okra
1 pint cherry tomatoes
chopped cilantro leaves
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cumin
2 tbsp chopped scallion
2 tbsp chopped cilantro
2 tbsp chopped dill
1/2 cup finely diced peeled cucumber
1 tbsp lemon or lime juice
Place the wooden skewers in a baking dish large enough to fit and cover with water. Let them soak at least 30 min while you prep the rest of the ingredients. Drain the skewers and set aside until ready to use.
Make the raita by combining all the ingredients in a small bowl. Set aside or chill until ready to use.
Heat an outdoor grill or grill pan to medium high and oil the grate. Mix the garam masala, cumin, ginger, coriander, cayenne, salt and pepper together in a small bowl. Place the salmon in a medium bowl or large ziplocks bag. Drizzle with 1 tbsp of olive oil and 1 tbsp of the spice mixture- toss gently to coat. Repeat the same method with the okra in another bowl or bag. Toss the cherry tomatoes with a little olive oil and salt as well.
When the grill is at temperature, begin to “thread” the salmon, okra and tomatoes on separate skewers, using double skewers for the fish and okra to prevent them flipping on the grill. *for the pieces of salmon that are longer/thinner, fold them over before skewering so that they cook more uniformly. Place everything on the hot, oiled grill: the salmon should take 3-4 min per side, the okra and tomatoes a little longer (You want them to be slightly charred in places). Remove to a platter to rest while you plate.
Spread the raita out on one side of a large, long serving platter. Lay the skewers next to the raita, and sprinkle with cilantro leaves and a little coarse salt. Arrange the lime or lemon wedges on the platter. Serve warm with rice on the side if desired!