Chef Sarah Todd of Masterchef fame shares her easy-to-make and flavourful tahini recipe, which can be made from unhulled, sprouted and hulled sesame seeds. Tahini is very versatile and can be used to add flavour to multiple dishes. Sarah Todd’s recipe for a delicately-spiced baked kingfish, swaddled in a rich, comforting warm tahini sauce topped with golden shallow fried onions is the perfect dish to raise the bar at your dinner party. This baked kingfish has the perfect balance of spices and is topped with delicious home-made tahini sauce. This delectable recipe was shared by Sarah Todd at L’affaire 2019, the Godrej group’s annual brand agnostic lifestyle soiree.
Sesame seeds 1 cup or 140 g, preferably hulled
Neutral oil (grape seed, canola or a light olive oil) 2 to 4 tbsp
Salt a pinch, optional
Toast the sesame seeds by taking them in a wide, dry saucepan over medium-low heat, while stirring constantly until the seeds become fragrant and very lightly coloured (not brown) for 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer the toasted seeds to a baking sheet or a large plate and cool completely. Be careful, sesame seeds can burn quickly.
Add the toasted sesame seeds to the bowl of a food processor and process for about one minute until a crumbly paste forms. Add three tablespoons of the oil and process for two to three minutes more. Stop and scrape the bottom and sides of the food processor a couple times in between.
Check the tahini’s consistency; it should be smooth, not gritty and should be pourable. Process for another minute or add the additional tablespoon of oil if the consistency is not right. Taste the tahini for seasoning and then add salt to taste. Process for five to ten seconds to mix the salt in.
Store the tahini covered in the refrigerator for one month. It might separate over time, like natural peanut butter. If this happens, give the tahini a good stir before using.
Baked kingfish in home-made tahini
Snapper fillets 4, approximately 175g each
Cumin seeds 2 tsp
Coriander seeds 1 tsp
Chili powder 1 tsp
White pepper 1 pinch
Salt 1 pinch
Ghee 2 tsp
Crispy golden onions
Onion 1 large, peeled and sliced
Red cabbage half, finely sliced
Red wine vinegar 1 tbsp
Sea salt 1 pinch
Olive oil 1 tbsp
Warm tahini sauce
Tahini 8 tbsp
Water 8 tbsp, cold
Lemon juice 6 tbsp
Garlic cloves 2, crushed
To begin, marinate the snapper. Gently toast the cumin and coriander seeds until fragrant, and crush to a powder in a mortar and pestle or spice grinder. Mix with the chilli powder, pepper, ghee and pinch of salt.
Place the snapper in a heat proof dish and rub with the marinade. Cover and set aside in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees/ gas mark 4.
To make the crispy onions, heat some oil to a depth of 1cm in a heavy-based skillet or frying pan and add the onions in two batches. Fry until golden for around five minutes. Drain on kitchen paper and set aside.
Next, prepare the cabbage salad. Add the sliced cabbage, salt and vinegar to a bowl and scrunch it up with your fingers, mixing really well and crunching it to soften. Add the oil, mix to coat evenly and set aside while you cook the fish.
Cover the snapper loosely with foil and bake for 15–20 minutes or until cooked through.
To make the tahini sauce, whisk all the ingredients together in a pan, off the heat, with a large pinch of salt. It will curdle but keep whisking until it all comes together. Taste and add more lemon juice and salt if necessary.
When the fish is ready, warm the tahini sauce through over a low heat. Divide the haddock between plates, pour over the tahini sauce and top with crispy onions.
Serve with rice or flatbreads.