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Salmon Tiki Masala ~Nightshade Free Variation

For those of you that follow me, you know that I am mostly (not strictly) Paleo in the way that I eat.  This means that I eat veggies, quality meats, fruit, and nuts and seeds.  I choose to generally avoid grains, legumes, and diary.  This way of eating is an anti-inflammatory way of eating.  In 2008 I choose to eat nightshade free (tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, and peppers–read more on nightshades in About My Journey).

I got inspired to create Salmon with an Indian flare… and this is the evolution of this incredible meal.  For the record, I decided at the last minute to add garbanzo beans to the recipe, so this version is not strictly Paleo.  Next time I think I will choose sweet potatoes in order to craft a Paleo version of this great recipe!

What’s For Dinner?

  1. Salmon Tiki Masala (Nightshade Free)

  2. Riata (Yogurt Cilantro Sauce/Dip)

Whenever I wonder “What’s For Dinner?” I take a quick glance into the fridge, freezer and cupboards to take stock of what I have.  The other day I started with a quick search for Salmon recipes.

The challenge for me is modifying recipes so that they are what I can eat.  I started this evening’s search looking at the spices in tandoori, and tiki masala to see how I could modify the spices.  Recipes are all about percentages. I know I can modify ingredients by sticking with the same percentages or similar measurements, swap out things I cannot tolerate and modify with ingredients that my body likes.

Tonight’s recipe was inspired by three individual recipes, and I’ll show you how took bits of each and crafted them into my dinner master piece.

  1. Salmon Marinade inspired from the Sheet Pan Chicken Tiki Masala

  2. Tiki Masala Sauce inspired by Night Shade Free Chicken Tiki Masala

  3. Inside of this recipe it calls for Tomato-less Marinara Sauce by as the base… This is basically made with carrots.  If you’ve not tried a carrot sauce–it is divine!


  1. 1 cup KiteHill Plain Unsweetened Almond Milk Yogurt

  2. 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger OR 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger

  3. 1 ½ teaspoons ground cumin

2 garlic cloves, minced

  1. 1 teaspoon ground coriander

  2. 1 teaspoon Himalayan salt, ground

  3. ½ teaspoon ground cardamom

  4. ½ teaspoon ground turmeric

  5. ½ teaspoon black pepper

  6. Salmon Fillet ~ deboned, 1/2 full salmon

Rinse and drain salmon fillet, place into a large baking.  I used a pyrex glass casserole pan that has a lid so that I can marinate in the fridge. Mix all spices into the yogurt, and cover the fish with the marinade.  Refrigerate for 30 minutes to 2 hours.  Since the Marinara sauce cooks for 40 min, and the Tiki Masala sauce cooks for 40 min, my salmon stayed tucked in for about 90 min.


(AIP, Nightshade-Free, Paleo)

Makes 2 cups. (Original recipe stated 5… I cut it down for my needs.)

1 tablespoon refined coconut oil 1/2 sweet onions, chopped 2 garlic cloves, minced 1/2 pound organic multi-color carrots, chopped 1 medium golden beet, chopped 1 cup water (to start, more if needed) 1/2 teaspoon Himalayan salt Juice of 1/2 lemon

Melt the coconut oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Sauté onions until they are slightly caramelized, about 10 minutes.

Add minced garlic,  sauté 1 minute till fragrant. Add in the carrots, beet, and water. Cover and simmer, cooking until the carrots and beets are easy to mash with a fork, about 30 to 40 minutes.  I needed to add another 1 cup water about 10-15 min in. My stove runs hot, so the the water had simmered down.

Once the carrots and beets easy to mash, transfer the mixture to the food processor.  Blend to the consistency you prefer.  The original recipe recommended blending to smooth in a high speed blender.  I like mine a bit chunky from the food processor, so I skipped that step.

This Nightshade-Free Marinara was absolutely divine.  I’ll use this again. This is an excellent trade out for traditional tomato based marinara sauce. 


  1. 1/2 medium sweet onion, chopped

  2. 2 cloves garlic, minced

  3. 3 cups Tomato-less Marinara

  4. heaping 1/2 tsp ground cardamom

  5. 1/2 tsp black pepper (black pepper is not in the nightshade family)

  6. 1/2 cup each chicken broth

  7. 1/2 cup half and half (I had this on hand and it needs to be used, you can use an alternate milk.  I’d use coconut milk next time.

  8. 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped, for serving

  9. 1/2 tbsp turmeric

  10. 1 tsp ground coriander

  11. 1 tsp ground cumin

  12. 1/2 tsp Himalayan salt, ground

  13. 1/2 tsp ground ginger

Melt coconut oil a large skillet. Sauté onion until caramelized, about 10-15 min minutes. Add the garlic and sauté until aromatic, another minute. Add the Tomato-less Marinara, cardamom, pepper, and the other half of the spice blend. Stir to combine, then reduce the heat to medium-low and gently simmer about 40 minutes.


Scrape off the Marinade.  I know this was the hard part.  I looked and looked at multiple recipes and they all say this step.  Place Salmon back in large glass casserole dish.

Add some kind of veggie around the salmon.

  1. I used 1 can of garbanzo beans / chick peas**

Cover veggies and salmon with the Tiki Masala Sauce

Bake 350 for 20 min.



**Garbanzos are legumes, and not encouraged in an AIP or Paleo way of eating.  I had a can, and they sounded delicious.  Next time I’ll do Chopped Sweet Potatoes or Yams for a Paleo variation.

***IF you want to do VEGAN skip the half and half, substitute an alternative milk.  I prefer coconut milk to compliment the Indian flavors.

For those of you who look deep to compare the original recipes and see what I did, you may notice that I left out a couple of spices: Garam Masala, and a Tiki Masala Blend… The ones at my grocery store included peppers, which are a nightshade, so I left them out. You can look deeper and find a way to make your own versions of these.  I figured that with all the nutmeg, cloves, cardamom, and coriander that it would be spiced in all the right ways, and I probably would not notice something was missing… and I did not. 🙂


Comment on this post IF you try a variation for yourself!  Let me know what you choose to swap out or which ingredients you choose to modify!

Bon Apetit!

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