This delicate, elegant dish is also surprisingly easy to make. I stumbled on adding the peanuts because I wanted something crunchy that would offset the soft, voluptuous nature of the sea scallops yet still echo their buttery flavor. This is a dish in which you really have all the basic tastes of salt, sour, hot, and sweet. If you don’t have dried mango powder, you can use sumac, or even skip it and just slightly increase the lemon juice in the relish. You can chop up the cucumber and tomato relish beforehand and keep it in the fridge, but don’t mix in the peanuts until you are ready to dress the scallops as they will get soggy.
- ½ cup flour
- ½ cup finely ground, dry bread crumbs
- 2 teaspoons dried mango powder (amchoor)
- 1 teaspoon cayenne
- 2 teaspoons fine sea salt
- 2 pounds fresh sea scallops
- 2 cups peeled and diced English cucumber
- 1 cup peeled, seeded, and chopped red and yellow heirloom tomatoes
- ¼ teaspoon brown sugar
- ½ cup chopped fresh dill
- 2 to 3 tablespoons fresh-squeezed lime juice
- 2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup dry-roasted peanuts, coarsely crushed in a mortar and pestle
- Black pepper
1. In a large glass bowl, mix the flour, bread crumbs, mango powder, cayenne, and ¾ teaspoon of sea salt.
2. Wash the sea scallops and gently pat them dry with paper towels.
3. In another big bowl, combine the cucumber, tomatoes, 1¼ teaspoons of sea salt, brown sugar, dill, and lime juice.
4. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan. While waiting, drop each scallop in the flour mixture, lightly coating all sides.
5. Sauté the scallops over medium-high heat until they are browned on all their surfaces and cooked through; this should only take about 4 to 5 minutes. If you’re using smaller scallops, cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Just before serving, stir the peanuts into the cucumber relish.
6. Put the scallops on a serving plate and place a generous ladleful of the relish over them. Grind a generous amount of black peppercorns over the top. Serve immediately.
Nutritional information is based on 6 servings as a starter course.
Nutritional information is based on using 2 tablespoons of olive oil.