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Spicy Halibut with Spicy Tomato Chutney

Seared Halibut with Spicy Tomato Chutney

This succulent recipe, adapted from Bon Appétit (September 2001), is by Neela Paniz of the Bombay Café in Los Angeles.

Serves 6

3 tablespoons olive oil

½ teaspoon fenugreek seeds

½ teaspoon nigella (“black caraway”) seeds*

½ teaspoon mustard seeds

3 garlic cloves, minced

1¾ pounds tomatoes, finely chopped

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1 teaspoon turmeric

½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

6 six-ounce Vital Choice Alaskan halibut fillets

Lemon slices


  • Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in large skillet over medium heat.  Add fenugreek seeds, nigella (or celery) seeds, and mustard seeds. Cover and cook until seeds sizzle and begin to pop, about 45 seconds.
  • Add garlic and stir 1 minute.
  • Add tomatoes with juices, coriander, ½ teaspoon turmeric, and ¼ teaspoon cayenne.
  • Boil over medium heat until juices evaporate and mixture thickens, stirring occasionally, 12 minutes. Season chutney with salt and pepper. (Can be made one day ahead. Cover and chill. Re-warm over low heat, stirring often.)
  • Mix ½ teaspoon turmeric and ¼ teaspoon cayenne in small bowl. Sprinkle spice mixture over both sides of fish fillets; rub into fish to adhere. Sprinkle fish with salt.
  • Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add fish fillets and cook until opaque in center, about 3 minutes per side.
  • Transfer fish to plates. Top each with warm chutney. Garnish with lemon slices and serve.

*Nigella seed (AKA black caraway seed) is an Asian spice with a slightly bitter, peppery taste and crunchy texture.  If you can't find it in local gourmet, Indian, or Middle Eastern food shops, substitute celery seed or order it from (as black caraway seed; 1 lb. for about $10.00) or (2.3 oz. tin for about $3.00). Or.

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