Spiced Scallops with Coconut Tarka Dhal - Fishbox

Spiced Scallops with Coconut Tarka Dhal - Fishbox
Fishboxer Mrs Portly's Kitchen from East Anglia


6 king scallops

2 tspn curry powder

1 tspn salt

Mango chutney and coriander leaves, to garnish


For the dhal:

100g red lentils

1/2 tspn turmeric

A knob of butter

1 tspn cumin seeds

2 shallots or equivalent in onion, peeled and finely chopped

1 fat clove of garlic, finely chopped

1 small medium hot chilli, de-seeded and finely chopped

1 or 2 tomatoes, finely diced

1 tbsp chopped fresh coriander

1 heaped tbsp creamed coconut, or more to taste

Salt and pepper, to taste


Put the lentils in a small pan and add enough cold water to cover them by about an inch. Bring to the boil, skim off any scum, then add the turmeric and a knob of butter. Cover and simmer gently until they’re soft, stirring occasionally.

In a small frying pan, dry-fry the cumin seeds for a minute or two, then pour into a bowl and put to one side. In the same pan, melt another knob of butter and gently fry the garlic, shallots and chilli until the onions are soft and golden. Add the chopped tomatoes and toasted cumin seeds and stir through.


Stir this into the lentils, which should be quite porridgy by now, and add the creamed coconut and chopped coriander. Season to taste with salt and pepper, stir well to mix and set aside to keep warm. Wipe out the frying pan.

To cook the scallops, mix the curry powder and salt in a bowl and dip the scallops into it, one side only. Tap off any excess and put them on a plate, spiced-side-up.

Put the frying pan on a high heat and once it’s searingly hot, add about a tablespoon of olive oil, just enough to coat it. Put the scallops in spiced-side-down, and cook for one minute, then turn them and brown the other side, another minute.

Spoon the dhal onto warmed serving plates and sit the scallops on top. Scatter over the coriander leaves and dot the plate with mango chutney (preferably one with little chunks of mango in it). Eat at once.


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