Scallops work well with a bit of spice and at this time of the year, spiced-up yellow split peas in the form of dhal are a delicious combination with the scallops.
10 medium scallops, shucked and trimmed
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
A little vegetable or corn oil for brushing
For the dhal
80g butter or ghee
2 medium onions, peeled, halved and finely chopped
4 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
1 green chilli, trimmed and finely chopped (seeds and all)
1tsp cumin seeds
1tsp ground cumin
1tsp black mustard seeds
1tsp fenugreek seeds
1tsp ground turmeric
10 curry leaves
150g yellow split peas (dhal), soaked for 2 hours in cold water
350ml vegetable stock
3-4tbsp chopped coriander
To make the dhal, melt the butter or ghee in a pan and gently cook the onion, garlic and spices for 3-4 minutes without colouring.
Drain, rinse and add the split peas and stock, season and simmer gently for about 30-40 minutes, stirring every so often until the lentils are cooked and tender and the liquid has been absorbed and the consistency is risotto-like. Stir in the coriander and keep warm.
To serve, heat a ribbed griddle or heavy-based or non-stick frying pan and lightly brush with oil.
Season the scallops and cook them on a high heat for about a minute and a half on each side.
You can remove the coral and chop it up to scatter over the dish if you wish, or you can just leave it attached.
Spoon the dhal on to small plates and place the scallop on top.
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