Baked scallops with watermelon and hazelnut curry

Baked scallops with watermelon and hazelnut curry

Real Food by Mike
Alan Benson

You can buy scallops in many different forms. Alive is of course best, but you can also buy them on the half shell (these usually come frozen), or as just scallop meat. If you buy a large live scallop in its shell, hold it firmly and place a blunt palette knife between the top and bottom of the shell. Scrape the flat shell to separate it – the flat part is the top of the shell, and the round part is the bottom. Discard the top. The scallop flesh is connected to the bottom shell by a muscle. Remove the muscle and also the frill, but leave the roe. You can ask your fishmonger to do this if you prefer.


Quantity Ingredient
12 scallops
olive oil
sea salt
lime wedges

Watermelon curry

Quantity Ingredient
350g watermelon, diced
1/2 bunch coriander with roots
1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
1 teaspoon chilli powder
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1 pinch ground tumeric
50ml extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds, toasted and lightly crushed
50g hazelnuts
1/2 lime
1/2 teaspoon caster sugar


  1. For the watermelon curry, purée 150 g of the diced watermelon with the coriander roots in a blender until a smooth juice is formed.
  2. Using a mortar and pestle or a food processor, make a paste from the garlic and ground spices with a pinch of salt.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat and fry the paste for 30 seconds or until the garlic is aromatic. Add the toasted cumin seeds and watermelon purée and reduce for 5 minutes to form a thick curry sauce. Remove from the heat and add the remaining diced watermelon and the hazelnuts. Adjust the flavour to taste with the lime juice, sugar and salt. Garnish with half the coriander leaves.
  4. Preheat the oven to 220°C.
  5. Place the cleaned scallops back in the bottom halves of the shells, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt. Place the scallops on the tray and bake for 3 minutes. The scallops are ready when you press the flesh and it feels springy and bounces back. If it still feels dull to the touch, it’s still raw in the centre.
  6. Remove the scallops from the oven and transfer to serving plates. Spoon the watermelon curry over the scallops, garnish with the remaining coriander leaves and serve with the lime wedges.

Medicinal Benefit

  • Scallops are rich in the omega-3 fatty acids that can help blood sugar levels (thus helping control diabetes) and prevent heart disease by lowering ‘bad’ cholesterol. Scallops contain iron, potassium and magnesium, known to reduce muscle cramps and help regulate blood pressure.
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