Seared Keralan Tuna Steaks with Mild Indian Spices and Cucumber Raita

Spicy tuna steaks make great eating with cooling cucumber Raita in this fabulous Indian-inspired recipe from Nigel Tunnicliff and Tim Reeves
Seared Keralan Tuna Steaks with Mild Indian Spices and Cucumber Raita
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 6
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes plus 2 hrs marinating (or overnight)
  • Effort: easy



  • 3 tsp tamarind pulp
  • 3 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp fenugreek seeds
  • 2 large mild green chillies, finely sliced, or to taste
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 tsp garlic powder, or 1tsp garlic granules
  • 2 tsp dried mango powder, (optional)
  • 6 tuna steaks, each 175g
  • 3-4 tbsp vegetable oil, for cooking
  • black pepper

To serve

  • 2 limes, cut into wedges
  • cucumber raita


1. Place the tamarind pulp in a teacup or small bowl with 4 teaspoons of boiling water. Leave to soften for 20-25 minutes, mashing occasionally with the back of the spoon to extract all the flavour. Push through a sieve with the back of a spoon into a bowl.

2. Toast the cumin, coriander and fenugreek seeds in a dry frying pan over a gentle heat until golden and aromatic.

3. Grind in a spice grinder or pestle and mortar. Mix with the prepared tamarind and all the other marinade ingredients.

4. Spread the paste equally over both sides of all six tuna steaks. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.

5. Remove the tuna steaks from the fridge 30 minutes before cooking. Brush both sides of each steak lightly with vegetable oil and season well with salt and pepper.

6. Preheat the barbecue grill to high and lightly oil the rack. The following timings are for a 3cm thick steak cooked pink. If thinner, adjust the grill time accordingly. Place the steaks on the grill and cook for 2 minutes. Do not attempt to move the fish until the flesh begins to mark and so release itself from the grill bars. Use a fish slice to turn the steaks. Grill for a further 2 minutes on the flip side, or until well marked.

7. Remove the tuna steaks to a serving plate and surround with lime wedges. Serve with Cucumber Raita.

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