Spicy Baked Salmon Topped with Tomato Masala
This salmon fillet recipe is baked together with a spicy tomato masala topping for a nourishing and flavorful dinner. Spicy baked salmon is easy to make and bursting with South Asian flavors. Ready within 30 minutes.
“You turned non fish fans into MASSIVE fish fans! My mom and are apprehensive when trying any fish recipe but that quickly changed once we tried this one. This was the best salmon I have ever had and I mean EVER! So flavorful, so delicious, so easy to make, and melts right in your mouth. This is a must try recipe for anyone!”Foodie
Baked Salmon, but make it Spicy!
Salmon isn’t common in South Asian cuisine. But because of its taste & health benefits, I try to include it in my family’s diet. This spicy tomato masala makes it easier to do so.
The herbs, spices, and the slight tang of the tomato masala help balance out the robust taste of salmon. To create this recipe, I took inspiration from creole-style cooking and spiced it up South-Asian style.
How to make this Spicy Salmon
Making the spicy masala will be easy and familiar. First, you brown the onions, add the tomatoes (I use a food processor to chop both), throw in a slit serrano pepper and whatever spices and herbs you have on hand, and then just reduce this mixture until a masala is formed. You’ll find you have something similar to what would be the base of a curry.
Place this tomato masala atop the salmon and bake in an oven just until the salmon is cooked through (we don’t want dry and chalky salmon). Done!!
If you’re interested in learning about the difference between wild caught vs. farm raised salmon, I found this to be a helpful, balanced resource.
For more salmon recipes, check out my collection of 7 Spicy Salmon Recipes That Everyone Will Love!
Let me know in the comments if you try this recipe! I always love hearing from you!
Spicy Baked Salmon Topped with Tomato Masala
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped*
- 4 medium tomatoes, finely chopped*
- 1 green chili pepper, slit
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano or Italian herbs
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1/4 heaped tsp (1/2 tsp dried) ground thyme
- 1/4 tsp cumin powder
- 1/4 tsp coriander powder
- 1/4 tsp red chili powder
- 1/8 tsp black pepper, or to taste
- 1/8 tsp red chili flakes
- 1 tbsp parsley, chopped, plus more for garnish
- a dash garlic powder, optional
- 1 tsp salt, or to taste
- 1 lb (16 oz) salmon, cut into fillets if desired
- 1/2 lemon, juiced
- Preheat the oven to 425° F.
- Heat olive oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Add the bay leaf and onion and sauté until lightly golden, about 5-7 minutes.
- Add the tomatoes and cook until they are soft, about 5 minutes. Add the green chili pepper, all the spices, herbs, and salt.
- Cook until the tomatoes have completely reduced and the moisture has mostly evaporated. Taste and adjust salt and seasoning.
- Lightly grease an oven-safe pan. Place the salmon on the pan sprinkle salt and squeeze the lemon juice over them.
- Spoon the tomato mixture on top of the salmon. Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until the thickest part of the salmon is cooked through and flakey. Try not to overcook it as it will get dry and chalky. Sprinkle fresh parsley and serve immediately. I like to serve it with a side of brown rice and vegetables or a salad.
10 Comments on “Spicy Baked Salmon Topped with Tomato Masala”
This recipe is always a huge hit in my house even with my picky parents 👍🏼
Thanks so much, Sameera!
I’ve been looking for a Desi fish recipe with baked salmon! So glad to have found your site. Everything has been a hit so far MashaaAllah 🙂
I was wondering, my family likes their fish to be really saucy (I like your recipe as it is!). I still want to bake the fish, but I was wondering how I could change/increase the ingredients to make it more saucy? Newbie here. JazaakAllah!
aH so glad to hear that! You could try 1 – not reducing the tomatoes fully (just puree them and saute them slightly) or 2 – you could try adding 1/2 cup water or coconut milk after cooking the tomatoes and reduce it to desired consistency. In that case, bake it in a tray that’ll catch the sauce!
Salaam, Great idea for a fish recipe. I premake and freeze my masala so I cant wait to try this 🤩 . Just wanted to ask, can you use italian chopped tinned tomatoes from a can to make a curry base? Have you ever compared tinned vs fresh and noticed a difference in the flavour?
W.S. Sana! Thank you! I use tinned tomatoes often for pasta, pizza sauce, etc. I usually stick to ripe, fresh tomatoes for curries as I get them year round here. I find fresh tomatoes have a less concentrated, yet more vibrant flavor. But I think they can work just fine! Hope that helps 🙂
Salam, So I followed your recipe but I just marinated with the spices. I skipped onions, tomatoes, and bay leaf and just baked it. It still turned out perfect 🙂
My husband is extremely picky and doesn’t like salmon. But he actually liked it! thank you!
That was the goal. Thanks so much for sharing your review!!
You turned non fish fans into MASSIVE fish fans! My mom and are apprehensive when trying any fish recipe but that quickly changed once we tried this one. This was the best salmon I have ever had and I mean EVER! So flavorful, so delicious, so easy to make, and melts right in your mouth. This is a must try recipe for anyone!
I’m so happy to hear that! Thank you for the feedback. 🙂