I’m taking zero credit for that sauce, but my word is it delicious! Saturday Kitchen on BBC One is a staple in our household and a great place to find culinary inspiration. Atul Kochhar was a recent guest, who is known for delivering exquisite double-Michelin star food, and my word does he deliver BIG on flavour! I adapted this recipe from the one on the show, yes it’s got a lot of ingredients but it really isn’t difficult to make and the results are sure to wow anyone that you cook for. It’s very adaptable too, swap scallops for beautiful roasted aubergines then change up the stock and this dish could become a beautiful vegan feast, or go the grilled chicken route if you’d prefer…the options are many. You can also prep the sauce the day before if you want to take the strain out of a special meal. This is definitely going to be my go-to curry sauce, tons of beautiful flavours but pretty mild in terms of heat (although you can easily fire it up with more chilli). Give it a try and let us know what you think in the comments, I hope you love it as much as I do!
3 tbsp coconut oil
2 green cardamom pods
1 bay leaf
1 green chilli, split but kept whole
3 onions, roughly chopped, fried in vegetable oil and blended into a paste(1)
1 tsp ginger, finely crushed
1 tsp garlic, finely crushed
1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
2 tsp ground coriander
½ tsp red chilli powder
50 - 100ml fish stock
200ml coconut milk
For the mushrooms and beans
1 tbsp sunflower oil
½ tsp yellow mustard seeds
½ tsp cumin seeds
10g fresh root ginger, peeled & cut into matchsticks
10g fresh turmeric, peeled & cut into matchsticks (Use dried if unavailable)
1 green chilli, finely chopped
50g green beans, trimmed and blanched
100g mixed fresh wild mushrooms
1 tsp medium curry powder
small pinch of ground Sichuan peppercorns
1 tbsp oil
6 large hand-dived scallops, removed from shells (2)
Large handful samphire, blanched for 1 minute.
½ a lemon.
Sauce – Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add cardamom, bay and chilli then stir for 1 minute. Add onions and fry for 2 minutes. Add ginger and garlic and cook for another 2-3 minutes, until mixture is light brown. Stir in mustard, coriander and chilli. Next, add half the stock and slowly add coconut milk. Taste and season. Simmer and adjust consistency to your liking by reducing slightly or adding more stock. Strain sauce through sieve and keep warm.
Mushrooms and beans – Gently fry the mustard and cumin for 1 minute (3) in a large frying pan on a moderate heat. Add ginger, turmeric, beans and mushrooms then turn up the heat and cook for 2-3 minutes. Stir in curry powder and season to taste. Keep warm while you cook scallops.
Scallops – Heat large frying pan on high heat until very hot. Add oil, then add scallops in clockwise pattern starting at 12 o’clock. Cook for 1-2 minutes until golden, flip them over in the same order you placed them in the pan and repeat process. Squeeze over lemon and remove onto kitchen paper lined plate.
Add a ladle of curry sauce to each plate. Top with mushrooms and beans. Add three scallops per plate, then top with samphire. Thank you Atul!
1- Do this a day or two before to speed up the cooking on the day. Cook the onions gently over a medium heat for about 15-20 minutes, without colouring. You could double or triple the quantity and freeze the leftovers for another day, onions are the basis of so many curry sauces.
2- To get beautiful colour on the scallops, pat dry with kitchen roll and season with sea salt to remove all moisture from surface. Ensure pan is hot before cooking. Don’t move them around whilst cooking.
3 – Ensure the pan isn’t too hot at this stage or the mustard seeds will pop everywhere and the spices will burn.