Salmon Puttu

Reminisce of Sura Puttu / Shark Puttu my mother occasionally cooked back home in Malaysia.

Ikan yu as we called it in Malay is a small shark fish, relatively an expensive fish to buy and they were only seasonally available in our local markets.

The cooking process was considerable tough. Mum used to cut them up in small pieces, boil them for good few minutes before vigorously de-skinning. When I helped, I often felt it was almost impossible to de-skin those rubbery, tough skin to get to that flavoursome flesh.

I have to admit, sustainable shark fishing was unheard of, nor did we think of the same for ANY of our food, back then.
In truthiness, I could be deemed an indirect criminal for creating demand.

Salmon Puttu is my way of satisfying the fish puttu buds that flare up ever so often…




Salmon fillets x 2 (I use Frozen Lidl Salmon, skinless and boneless).
1 red onion / 2-3 Shallots finely chopped
1 red chilli (reduce quantity as per taste) finely chopped / 1 tsp. chilli powder
1 ½ tsp. ginger garlic paste
½ inch ginger chopped
¼ tsp. turmeric powder
1 tsp. curry powder
Coriander leaves
Spring onions chopped
Curry leaves chopped (if available)
6-7 tbsp. cooking oil
¼-½ Lemon’s juice
Salt to taste


½ tsp. cumin seeds / jeera
½ tsp. fennel seeds
1 small star anise
1 inch cinnamon stick
1 dried chilli (chopped) (optional)

1. Bring to boil some water in a milk pan, add the salmon, cook till fish is flaky, approx. 8 minutes, remove from water and once slightly cooled, mash them using a fork in a mixing bowl.
2. Add half of the onions, and rest of the ingredients (excluding spices and oil) to this, and set aside to soak / marinade for 15-20 mins.
3. In a non-stick frying pan, heat oil, and flavour with the spices.
4. Now add the remaining chopped onions, and once browned add the marinated salmon.
5. It’s important to stir constantly, non-stick pan helps, remember the fish is completely cooked, you are only looking to cook the remaining ingredients at this stage.
6. Add more oil if necessary. In a medium heat, you should aim to cook for approx. 10-13 minutes.
7. Puttu should be dry, so if deemed soggy, cook further. Salt to taste and garnish with coriander and spring onions.

Tastes gorgeous with plain boiled rice.
I leave the fresh chillies out of it when cooking for my babies…. 🙂

The true art of memory is the art of attention…
Samuel Johnson

I am glad I paid some attention in my mum’s kitchen,
To have a memory to share.



Till another memory from home,


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