Spicy fried calamari with whipped avocado, yoghurt and herb sauce

Spicy fried calamari with whipped avocado, yoghurt and herb sauce

By
From
Turquoise
Serves
6
Photographer
Lisa Cohen and William Meppem

Everyone loves fried calamari and this light, tangy sauce makes a wonderful accompaniment for a special starter or mezze selection. It is a bit of work to make, but the resulting complex layering of flavours makes it well worth the effort.

You’ll find the red pepper paste used here in Middle Eastern food stores.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
6 x 120g whole calamari, cleaned
1/4 cup cornflour
1 tablespoon fine polenta
1 tablespoon fine semolina
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon chilli powder
olive oil

Avocado, yoghurt and herb sauce

Quantity Ingredient
50ml olive oil
1 small onion, diced
1 small leek, diced, white part only
1 garlic clove, sliced
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1-2 tablespoons lime juice
1 vine-ripened tomato, skinned, seeded and chopped
2 teaspoons hot turkish red pepper paste
1/2 cup mint leaves
1 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves
1 tablespoon water
180g thick natural yoghurt
1 avocado, roughly chopped

Method

  1. To make the sauce, heat the oil in a heavy-based frying pan. Sauté the onion, leek, garlic and cumin over a low heat for 10 minutes until very soft. Add the lime juice, tomato and red pepper paste and stir briefly to combine. Tip into a vitamiser and blitz to a smooth purée, then scrape into a bowl.
  2. Blitz the mint, parsley and water on high to a smooth purée. Add the yoghurt and avocado to the herb purée and blend until very smooth. Add the onion purée and blend until very smooth. Tip out into a bowl, then cover and refrigerate until needed.
  3. Split the calamari tubes lengthwise, then trim the sides neatly and use a very sharp knife to score a fine diamond pattern on the inner surface. Reserve the tentacles.
  4. Combine the cornflour, polenta, semolina and spices in a bowl, then stir well and sift into another bowl.
  5. When you are ready to eat, heat a griddle or barbecue to its highest setting. Brush the calamari pieces and the tentacles with olive oil and dust lightly with the spice mix. Cook the tentacles on the searing hot griddle or barbecue for a few seconds, then add the remaining calamari, scored-side down. After about 30 seconds turn everything over. The scored calamari will curl into a tight cylinder. Cook for a further 30–40 seconds, then tip onto a warmed serving platter. Serve piping hot, accompanied by the sauce.
Tags:
Turquoise
Malouf
Greg
Lucy
Turkish
Turkey
Mediterranean
European
Middle Eastern
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