Cumin crusted seared Tuna with Tzakiki and grilled Aubergine Salad


avocado four pic cumin and sumac seared tuna

Serves 2

Cumin pairs so well with meaty oily fish like tuna and mackerel as they each hold each other up with their strong flavours. To soften the power kick of the meaty fish and the cumin, I matched it with a classic Tzakiki that was inspired by an Iraqi friend’s recipe. It softens and cleans up the flavours with the sour yoghurt and cucumber. Add a little grilled Aubergine Salad to finish a light and summery dish.

2 tuna steaks squared off neatly

4 tablespoons olive oil

3 tablespoons of lemon oil to serve (optional)

2 teaspoons lightly chopped parsley and/or fresh micro greens to serve

2 garlic cloves grated

1 tsp sumac

Marinate for one hour in olive oil, lemon, garlic, salt, pepper, and one tablespoon of sumac.


Aubergine Salad


One Aubergine

2 teaspoons Za’atar

1 teaspoon Sumac

3 tablespoons of good olive oil

Half a lemon

2 garlic cloves grated

5 tablespoons of pomegranate seeds

Salt and pepper to taste


Slice the Aubergine very fine with a mandolin. Salt well and leave in a colander for about half an hour. Rinse off salt and dry in paper towels. Heat a grill pan on very high and grill all the aubergine slices until you see grill marks on each piece. Mix the remaining ingredients and pour over the grilled aubergine slices. Set aside two tablespoons of pomegranate seeds to serve. Set aside at room temperature.


Tuna Crust

4 tablespoons toasted Cumin seeds (roast in a hot dry pan for about 3 to 4 minutes)

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon dried mint

Good pinch of black pepper and sea salt

½ teaspoon potato starch


Blend in a coffee or spice grounder until fine or you can pound with a mortar and pestle, but start first with the cumin seeds. Make sure to save two tablespoons of the toasted cumin seeds for the tzatziki. Place on a place and set aside.




175 grams Greek yoghurt

1 seeded grated cucumber (scrape out the centre with a spoon)

2 cloves of garlic grated

1 teaspoon dried mint

¼ cup chopped fresh mint

1½ tablespoons toasted crushed cumin seeds

Squeeze of half of a lemon

1 teaspoon olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste


Add all the ingredients above and mix well. Set aside.


Heat a grill pan with a little olive oil to medium high. Take your tuna out of the marinade and drag it across the spice crust so it is completely covered. Sear the tuna on each side about 3 minutes, or until you can see from the sides of the tuna the bottom edges turning white. Place on a cutting board to cool, and then make ½” slices against the grain of the tuna loin. To serve, take two large plates and smear a large helping of the tzatziki on the side of each plate. Pile the aubergine salad on the other side of the plate. Place the tuna pieces over the Tzatziki. Sprinkle with a little chopped parsley and/or micro greens. then sprinkle over the whole plate the remaining pomegranate seeds. Dust Sumac over plate and drizzle with lemon oil (or olive oil if that is all you have) to finish.


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