Masala Calamari is a favourite South Indian seafood recipe, loaded with flavour from fennel, coriander, and other spices. Once you’ve prepped, the calamari is quick to cook, and a popular starter for company!
- 500g squid, cleaned and cut into rings
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon turmeric
- ½ teaspoon Kashmiri chili, ground
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
- 1” piece ginger, peeled and roughly chopped (about 1 ½ tablespoons)
- 6-8 shallots, sliced lengthwise
- ½ teaspoon mustard seeds
- 8-10 curry leaves
- 1 green chili, split in half
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 tomato, finely chopped
- ½ teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
- ½ teaspoon fennel, ground (or crushed whole is fine)
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1 lime cut into wedges (optional)
- Apply salt, turmeric and ground red chili on cleaned squid.
- Grind garlic, ginger, and shallots in a mixer or food processor until you get a coarse puree.
- Heat oil in a work or deep frying pan on medium heat. Add mustard, curry leaves, and green chili stir for half a minute.
- When the mustard starts to sizzle and pop, add garlic, ginger, and shallot puree to pan, along with ground coriander seeds. Allow shallot pieces to become translucent (about 2 minutes).
- Add tomato to the pan and allow to fry, stirring, for 2 minutes until soft.
- Add squid to the pan and stir-fry for 3 minutes.
- Add pepper and fennel. Squid is cooked in about 3-5 more minutes when the liquid in the pan dries up.
- Squeeze half a lime on top, garnish with rings of onions if desired.
The squid isn’t critical! 🙂 You can make this same dish with prawns as well, and they take about the same time to cook! Shallots can be substituted by a small onion, and green chili can be substituted by red chilies. You can leave the turmeric out if necessary. Kashmiri chilies can be replaced by red chili powder. While I personally like the flavour of fennel, traditionally fennel is not added to seafood. Even without fennel and coriander, this dish tastes great! If you don’t like tomatoes, you can add ½ a teaspoon of plain white vinegar for acidity.