Pan Seared Scallops on a Bed of Creamy Mung Dahl and Crème Fraîche

Recipe from Chef Sudip “Spike” Nath

For this February’s Curated Dining Series at Emily Harding Gallery, Chef Sudip “Spike” Nath will bring his vast experience that began in Calcutta India to the table for guest to enjoy. Currently there is a comprehensive exhibit of the artist Gord Smith. Mr. Smith will also be in attendance at the table to talk about his work that spans 6 decades.

This dinner series runs for 3 evenings only – Mon 26th, Tue 27th and Wed 28th February, 2018. Seating is limited to 26 guests (prepaid tickets at $200+HST per guest).

Tickets can be purchased via Eventbrite, e-transfer or cheque.

Chef Sudip “Spike” Nath
Pan Seared Scallops on a Bed of Creamy Mung Dahl and Crème Fraîche – photo cred: Alan Dawe

To celebrate the evening, here is a recipe from the chef.

Pan Seared Scallops on a Bed of Creamy Mung Dahl and Crème Fraîche


2 pc Hokkaido Scallops
5ml canola Oil
15g Unsalted cold butter
Salt and Black pepper to taste

Mung Dahl

100 g Split Mung Dahl
10 g ginger, finely minced
10 g garlic, finely minced
15 g clarified unsalted butter
1 medium shallot, finely minced
15 g garam masala
1 pc fresh bayleaf
15 g cold unsalted butter
5 g Kashmiri chilli powder
5 g turmeric
30-50 ml water
Salt to taste

Crème fraîche

250 ml heavy cream
1 lemon

Garam Masala

80 g Cumin Seeds
60 g Coriander Seeds
40 g Black Cardamom
10 g Black peppercorn
10 g Green Cardamom
10 g Ginger powder
10 sticks of Cinnamon
10g Cloves
10g Mace
15g Bayleaf
1 Nutmeg


I love lentils . The myriad distinct flavours that each type of lentil brings is very underrated. Growing up in the heart of Calcutta , monsoon would be something I would look forward to. After a long dry spell, it was the truest form of relief for all farmers looking forward to a better year full of prosperity. While closer to home my mother would make a simple Mung Dahl topped with a generous amount of butter. This recipe is a homage to my mother’s intuitive understanding of what honest food should taste like .

While cooking with spices it is very mandatory to cook out the spices on a gentle heat to release and unlock all the flavour each spice has to offer. Mung dahl is soaked for an hour in cold water, drained and then cooked like any other lentil. This recipe would make more garam masala than you would need, but you can store them in an air tight container, ready to be used sparingly when the need arises. Crème fraîche is meant to be made two to three days before executing this recipe .

FOR THE GARAMA MASALA : Toast all spices individually on a tray in a low oven(120-130 Celsius) till they emanate their individual fragrances. Blend each spice individually in a spice blender. Finish by mixing them homogeneously in a bowl with a wooden spatula or a whisk. Store in air tight container.

FOR THE Crème fraîche: Pour the juice of one lemon, devoid of seeds in a medium bowl. Pour the heavy cream. Mix both ingredients well. Leave in room temperature for two to three days. Mix the creme and the collected whey back together with a whisk and store in a fridge.

FOR THE MUNG DAHL: Sweat shallots, ginger, garlic with Kashmiri chilli powder and bayleaf in clarified butter. Add the cooked and drained mung dahl, water mix well. At this point add Garam masala, turmeric and cook for a further five minutes. Adjust seasoning. Add knobs of cold butter to the dish off the heat and emulsify as if making a risotto.

TO COMPLETE: Have a small cast iron pan heating till searing hot. In the meantime season the scallops with just the salt. Add the oil and then follow instantaneously with the scallop. Flip the scallop to the other side once the desired deep golden brown colour is achieved. Add the pieces of cold butter to the pan and baste the scallop. Drain immediately on a piece of paper towel. Season with black pepper. On two flat plates divide the mung dahl equally and tap with the belly end of a large serving spoon to form a circle. Place each pan seared scallop on each circle of mung dahl. Place a quenelle or dollop of Crème fraîche right on top of each scallop. Garnish with micro pea shoots.




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Editor-In-Chief at Toronto Guardian. Photographer and Writer for Toronto Guardian and Joel Levy Photography