For the scallops
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2-inch piece gingerroot, peeled and finely chopped
1 teaspoon cayenne
16 large scallops

For the chutney
4 red peppers
1 medium red onion
1-inch piece gingerroot
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons lime juice (from about 1 lime)
1 tablespoon plus 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon toasted cumin seed powder
1/2 teaspoon cracked peppercorns
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1 1/2 tablespoons ghee or clarified butter

Place the olive oil, garlic, ginger and cayenne in a resealable gallon-sized plastic bag. Add the scallops and turn to coat. Refrigerate the scallops while you make the chutney.

Set an oven rack at the upper-middle position and heat your broiler to high. Place the peppers, onion and ginger on an aluminum foil-lined baking sheet and broil for 15 minutes, turning often, until all sides of the vegetables and ginger are charred (you may need to remove the ginger before the peppers and onion are finished). Place them in a large bowl and cover with plastic wrap for 30 minutes. Peel the charred skin from peppers and onion and trim the blackened skin from the ginger. Place the roasted and peeled vegetables and ginger in a food processor along with the heavy cream, lime juice, salt, toasted cumin, cracked pepper, garam masala and cayenne pepper and pulse until smooth.

Warm a large skillet over medium-high heat for 2 minutes. Add the ghee or clarified butter and heat for 1 minute. Add enough scallops to fill the skillet and cook until they’re browned, about 1 1/2 minutes, without moving. Flip the scallops over and cook the other side until browned, about 1 minute longer. Place the scallops on a large serving dish. Cover with foil to keep warm and cook remaining scallops. When all of the scallops are browned, discard all but 2 tablespoons of fat from the skillet and add the chutney. Bring it to a broil, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 2 minutes. Taste the chutney for seasoning, pour over the scallops and serve.

The Costco Connection, May 2013, page 67
Reprinted from American Masala (Clarkson Potter, 2007) by Suvir Saran with Raquel Petzel

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