Indian Spiced Halibut with Cucumber Yogurt, Tamarind Glazed Carrots and Mango
+ Click dish photo to enlarge

Indian Spiced Halibut with Cucumber Yogurt, Tamarind Glazed Carrots and Mango
Chef James Hackney of L’Espalier – Boston, MA
Adapted by
December 2009
Yield: 4 Servings


Cucumber Yogurt:
2 European (seedless) cucumbers, sliced into long strips
4 tablespoons plain yogurt
Mint, chopped
Lime juice 

Tamarind Carrots:
½ cup tamarind pulp with seeds
½ cup boiling water
¾ cup honey
¼ cup Asian fish sauce
2 Thai chilies, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1½ pounds baby carrots, peeled and cleaned

Curry Sauce:
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
2 teaspoons garam masala
2 tablespoons sweet paprika
1 teaspoon hot chili powder
Juice of ½ a lemon
2 tablespoons groundnut oil
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon turmeric
1 tablespoon tomato puree
3 garlic cloves, crushed
Large knob fresh root ginger, finely grated
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon caster sugar
30 ounces yogurt

4 150-gram halibut fillets, skinned
1 tablespoon tandoori or hot Madras curry paste
4 tablespoons yogurt
Handful of mint leaves, chopped
Squeeze of lime juice
2 tablespoons vegetable oil

To Assemble and Serve:
1 mango, sliced into ribbons


For the Cucumber Yogurt:
Mix together the cucumber and yogurt. Stir in the mint and lime juice to taste. Refrigerate until ready to use.

For the Tamarind Carrots:
Preheat oven to 350ºF. In a medium heatproof bowl, mix together the tamarind pulp with the boiling water to form a paste. Pass through a coarse strainer, pressing with a firm rubber spatula to remove the seeds and fibers. Stir in the honey, fish sauce, chilies, and garlic; season with salt. Blanch the baby carrots. Put in a pan and pour the tamarind glaze over them. Roast until tender and well coated, tossing while roasting. Reserve warm.

For the Curry Sauce:
Toast the cumin and coriander seeds in a frying pan until fragrant. Using a mortar and pestle, grind to a powder. Transfer to a bowl and mix in the garam masala, paprika, chili powder, lemon juice, groundnut oil, salt, turmeric, tomato puree, garlic cloves, and ginger. Stir until a smooth paste forms. Mix the curry paste with the olive oil, sugar, and yogurt. Coat the halibut fillets in the sauce and set aside.

For the Halibut:
Preheat oven to 350ºF. Coat the halibut fillets in the curry sauce (recipe above). Heat a pan over a medium-high heat and add the vegetable oil. When hot, put the halibut fillets in the pan, scraping off and reserving the excess marinade. Sear for 1 to 1½ minutes on each side until golden brown.

Spoon the reserved marinade over the fish and transfer the pan to the oven for a few minutes to finish cooking the fish. Transfer to warm plates and drizzle with the pan juices.

To Assemble and Serve:
Spoon curry sauce into the bottom of a bowl. Top with a halibut fillet and place tamarind carrots in the bowl around the fish. Top with fish with a dollop of cucumber yogurt and mango ribbons; garnish with parsley and serve immediately.