1 1/2 cups freshly grated coconut (defrosted if using frozen)
1 to 2 serrano chiles, stems removed
5 cloves garlic
1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped and tightly packed
Pinch of cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon ground coriander
3 tablespoons coconut oil
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
8 to 10 fresh curry leaves
1 small onion (1/2 cup), thinly sliced
1 can unsweetened coconut milk (14 ounces)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon tamarind concentrate
1. Place the coconut, chiles, garlic, cilantro, cayenne and coriander in a food processor and puree with as much water as needed, up to 1/2 cup, to make a smooth paste.
2. Heat the oil over medium high heat in a large skillet. Add the mustard seeds and cover immediately, as they will splatter. After about 30 seconds, when the sizzling subsides, add the curry leaves and the sliced onions. Sauté until the onions are translucent, about 3 minutes.
3. Stir in the coconut-herb paste and sauté on high heat, stirring frequently to avoid burning. Cook for about 5 to 6 minutes, until all the moisture evaporates, leaving a dry “masala” in the pan.
4. Add the coconut milk and 1 cup hot water. When the mixture comes to a boil, add the salt. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes to allow the flavors to blend. Add the tamarind and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes. The curry can be prepared a day ahead to this point. Refrigerate until ready to proceed.
5. When ready to serve, heat the curry mixture over medium heat and add the salmon. Cover and cook for 5 minutes, until there is just some pink in the center. Serve immediately.