Spiced Scallops with Coconut Tarka Dhal

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

It’s a knock-out - the creamy, lightly spiced lentils complement the curry-dusted scallops without overpowering the delicate flavour of the shellfish.



  • 100g red lentils
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 shallots
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 small red chilli
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp fresh coriander
  • 1 tbsp creamed coconut
  • Salt and pepper (to taste)


  • 6 x king scallops
  • 2 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • Mango chutney (garnish)
  • Fresh coriander (garnish)



1. Rinse the lentils and then place them in a small pan.
2. Add enough cold water to cover them by about an inch.
3. Bring to the boil, skimming off any scum.
4. Once the water is boiling, add the turmeric and 1 tbsp butter.
5. Cover and gently simmer for 15-20 minutes until the lentils are soft, stirring occasionally.
6. Chop the shallots, garlic, chilli, tomatoes and coriander.
7. In a small frying pan, dry-fry the cumin seeds for approximately 1 minute, until they are aromatic.
8. Pour them into a bowl and put it to one side.
9. In the same frying pan, melt the remaining butter and gently fry the garlic, shallots and chilli until the shallots are soft and golden.
10. Add the chopped tomatoes and toasted cumin seeds and stir through.
11. Once the lentils are cooked, stir the mixture into the lentils and add the creamed coconut and chopped coriander.
12. Season to taste with salt and pepper, stir well to mix and set aside to keep warm.
13. Wipe out the frying pan.


14. Mix the curry powder and salt in a bowl and dip the scallops into it, one side only.
15. Tap off any excess and put them on a plate, spiced-side up.
16. Heat the frying pan and once it’s searingly hot, add the oil.
17. Place the scallops in the frying pan, spiced-side down and cook for 1 minute.
18. Turn them over and cook on the other side for 1 minute.

To serve

19. Spoon the dhal onto warmed serving plates and sit the scallops on top.
20. Scatter over the coriander leaves and dot the plate with mango chutney.