Butter Scallops

According to legend, Murgh Makhani, or Butter Chicken as it is known in English, was invented by a chef by the name of Kundan Lal Gujral in the City of Peshawar in what is now Pakistan during the period of the British Raj. Whatever its origins, it has spread across the world and is now one of the best-known and most-loved recipes to emerge from the sub-continent. ‘Recipe’ is perhaps not quite the right word, however, as Butter Chicken is more of a method of cooking than a recipe of itself, and there are countless variations on this wonderful theme. Amongst these latter is this one, which we discovered while having dinner one night recently at the Himalaya Restaurant in Colombo Street.

2 tsp paprika.
2 tsp ground coriander.
1 tsp ground fenugreek.
1 tsp ground ginger.
1 tsp cinnamon.
Cayenne pepper to taste.
Salt to taste.
50 g butter.
1x 400g can diced tomatoes.
¼ cup tomato paste.
¼ cup jaggery [or raw sugar].
1 cup yoghurt.
300g raw scallops.
Chopped coriander greens.
Lime juice.

Mix the spices together and set aside. Place a sauté pan on a hot flame and add the butter. When bubbling, add the spice mix and stir fry for about one minute then add the tomato, tomato paste, yoghurt and sugar. Stir though, bring to the boil, reduce heat to a simmer and cook uncovered for 10 – 15 minutes until the sauce is reduced a little and thickened. Stir frequently.

Pour the sauce into a bowl and allow it to sit, covered, in a cool place for an hour or so to let the flavours combine. At this point, if you wish, the sauce can be kept in the refrigerator for several days, or frozen for later use for much longer.

Gently reheat the sauce until bubbling and add the scallops. Simmer, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes or until the scallops are cooked to taste. Garnish with the chopped coriander and serve with a squeeze of lime juice and rice on the side.

Serves: 2.

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