Seafood recipe from the Bombay Brasserie, London’s hotspot for A-list curry eaters.
For the scallops
16 king scallops, without shell
2 tbsp lemon juice
¼ tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp curry leaves, pulverised in a blender
1 tbsp vegetable oil
For the tomato chutney
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tsp ginger and garlic paste (3 cloves of garlic, peeled, and ½cm of peeled ginger pulverised
in a blender or pestle and mortar)
1 tsp red chilli powder
½ tsp turmeric powder
8 medium tomatoes, quartered
2 tbsp gram flour, roasted (by dry-stirring for
a few minutes in a warm pan)
for tempering the chutney
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
¼ tsp mustard seeds
8 whole dried red chillies
8 curry leaves
16 curry leaves
8 cherry tomatoes
Preheat the oven to 180C/gas mark 4. Place the scallops in a bowl and mix with the lemon juice, turmeric and curry leaves until well covered. Season with salt. Heat the oil in a pan and sear the scallops on each side. Remove the scallops from the pan, and place in an ovenproof dish to cook for 3-5 minutes in the oven. Remove from the oven, set aside and keep warm.
To make the tomato chutney, heat the oil in a frying-pan and sauté the ginger and garlic paste for a few minutes. Add the red chilli powder, turmeric and tomatoes and cook for 10 minutes. Mix the gram flour in eight tablespoons of water to make a thin paste, and add it to the cooking tomato mix. Simmer for five minutes. Blend the tomato mix and strain through a sieve. Season with salt, return the mix to the frying-pan, and cook for a further 10 minutes.
To temper the spices, heat the vegetable oil for a few minutes, add the spices one at a time to the hot oil, then mix in with the tomatoes. Spoon the tomato chutney on to a plate, and gently lift the scallops and place them on top of the chutney.
Garnish each scallop with a toothpick skewered through a crisply fried curry leaf and half a cherry tomato.
Wine choice 2009 Bush Vines Chenin Blanc, Zalze, Western Cape, South Africa £5.99, Waitrose. Chenin made from old vines is one of the Cape’s USPs. I am not sure why something this good is so cheap. Don’t tell the winery – just revel in the lush, tropical flavours that temper the spice of this dish while the trademark chenin acidity counters the rich scallops.