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Scallops with Indian-spiced cauliflower

Time 1 hour
Yields Serves 4
Scallops with Indian-spiced cauliflower
(Los Angeles Times)

Almond-tamarind sauce

1

Heat the butter in a small pan over medium heat. Add the ginger, garlic, chile, cumin, coriander, pepper, salt to taste and garam masala. Cook, stirring, until fragrant, 3 minutes. Add the tamarind paste, sugar, almond paste, coconut milk and stock. Simmer 10 minutes. Place in a blender; blend until smooth. Strain, then adjust the salt.

Cauliflower

1

Heat a saucepan over medium heat. Add the butter, garlic, ginger and jalapeno. Cook 3 to 4 minutes. Add the cauliflower, nutmeg, cumin, coriander, bay leaf and salt and pepper to taste. Cover; cook over medium-low heat until tender, 15 minutes. Remove the lid; cook until the liquid has evaporated, 5 to 6 minutes. Add the mint and cilantro.

Scallops

1

Season the scallops with salt and pepper. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat; add the oil. When it smokes, add the scallops (cook in 2 batches). When browned on the bottom, turn and cook until all sides are browned, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes total, stirring to keep them from sticking. Add the butter and allow to foam. Baste the scallops with the butter until they are cooked, 30 seconds.

2

Divide the cauliflower among 4 plates. Arrange the scallops around it. Spoon 2 tablespoons of almond-tamarind sauce on and around the scallops; dust lightly with the garam masala. Garnish with cilantro or basil.

Tamarind paste is sold at Asian markets. To clarify butter, melt 1 stick over low heat. Spoon off foam, then pour off clarified butter. Use a mortar and pestle to crack the cumin and coriander.

S. Irene Virbila is a former restaurant critic and wine columnist for the Los Angeles Times. She left in 2015.
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