I grew up in a family of mixed nations. A great grand uncle was married to an English-woman, an aunt married a Frenchman and my father’s brother is married to a Swede. I moved to Sweden 16 years back and have Swedish New Zealander and French god children. So for me mixed nation is the norm rather than the exception. But can we see beyond national identity and identify yourself in different ways? Like the great Indian Nobel laureate and philosopher, Amartya Sen says
“History and background are not the only ways to see ourselves and the groups to which we belong. There are a great variety of categories to which we simultaneously belong. I can be at the same time an Asian, an Indian citizen, a Bengali with Bangladeshi ancestry, an American or British resident, an economist, a dabbler in philosophy, an author, a Sanskritist, a strong believer in secularism and democracy, a man, a feminist, a heterosexual, a defender of gay and lesbian rights, with a nonreligious lifestyle from a Hindu background, a nonbeliever in afterlife and he adds with humor an non believer in before life” – Amartya Sen
How do you see yourselves? However being part of two cultures or more has its advantages. What do you do to find your voice, your belonging, your expressions? I have fashioned my own. I am fusionista. Fusion food has become my integration mantra or calling. I am sharing here one of my fusionista creations, my Tandoori Salmon or Lax Nam Nam. An organic salmon soaked in rich tandoori flavours, combining the beautiful orange halvtorn berries(In Latin rhamnoides means “resembling buckthorn) rich in vitamin c, antioxidants and omegas, all the goodness of the local nature here along with the exotic taste of India…bringing together the best of summer. The carrots and zucchini gives a very wholesome and handsome alternative to carbs and the mango aioli gives the Indian zing to the whole dish. This dish can be served with a nice dry and chilled white Reisling.
Sanjoos Lax nam nam
- 600 grams fresh salmon ( 4 x 150 grams)
- 100 g mayonnaise
- 3 teaspoons mango chutney
- 1 small clove garlic
For the filling:
- 4 tablespoons cream cheese
- 1 / 2 spring onions chopped fine
- 2 tablespoons sour creame or Creme fraische
- a pinch of white pepper
For the fish marinade:
- 2 tablespoons tandoori paste or powder( off the shelf or home-made)
- 2 tablespoons sour cream or greek yoghurt
- 1 teaspoon tomato paste
- 4 large carrots
- 1 zucchini
- salt and pepper
- Turn on oven to 150 degrees.
- Make first mangoaioli. Squeeze the garlic, add the chutney and mayonnaise. Mix all ingredients and chill.
- Mix all the ingredients for the tandoori marinade together in a bowl.
- Mix the soft cheese with the finely chopped onion, creme fraiche and season with white pepper for the salmon filling.
- Make an incision in the side or top of the salmon, like a pocket. Thinly cover the salmon with the tandoori marinade and let it stand at room temperature for minimum 20 minutes- 30 mins or 1 hour in the fridge.
- Open the pocket of the salmon, carefully insert/place 1 tablespoon of the salmon filling , place the salmon on a plate. Bake for approximately 20 minutes, depending on its thickness.
- Prepare the vegetables while the salmon is being marinaded. Peel the carrots, zucchini and slicing them into thin slices lengthwise with a cheese slicer or a vegetable peeler. Fry the vegetables in olive oil and salt over high to medium heat until they are softer but still a bit crispy.
- Place the vegetables in the middle of the plate, and place the salmon onthe bed of vegetables. Add a dollop of mango aioli on the fish. Decorate with some buckthorn berries or havtorn and a sprig of thyme.
You can read more of Sanjoo’s pieces over at his blog!