This was originally inspired by seeing tuna with mango on a Mexican restaurant menu and when I tried the dish I felt like we could do better. I was quite excited by the idea, but each time I prepared the dish it would be met with the same lukewarm response: Is it Indian? The short answer is ‘no’, but then every time I sat on the sun-washed alfresco terrace at Cinnamon Kitchen in the Summertime of 2008, I imagined this dish working perfectly in the surroundings. So, that is how it made its way on the menu, during the summer that followed, and it has returned each year since!
8 king scallops, cleaned and thinly sliced horizontally into 2 or 3 slices
115g tuna loin, cut into 1cm dice
For the dressing
½ green chilli, de-seeded and finely chopped
½ ripe mango, cut into 1cm dice
½ raw green mango, cut into 5mm dice
1cm piece of fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
4 tablespoons canned mango puree
2 tablespoons pomegranate seeds
½ teaspoon black onion seed
Juice of 2 limes
Pinch of salt
Pinch of sugar
Prepare the dressing by mixing together all the ingredients. Check the seasoning; it should taste sweet, sour, sharp and hot all at the same time.
Put the scallops, tuna and salmon in a non-metallic bowl, pour the dressing over, stir lightly and leave to stand for 3-5 minutes, allowing the dressing to cure the seafood. When they are extremely fresh, high-quality scallops, salmon and tuna are good enough to eat raw, but when mixed with the dressing they turn slightly opaque, as if they have been cooked. Serve immediately, with salad leaves of your choice