Thursday, November 30
02:23 AM

Immunity builders

29 Jun 2021

When you visit the fish market or the fresh fish counter in a supermarket, does the sight of huge chunks of bloody, red meat tuna put you off, or do they stir up the gastronomist in you? Available often for just about RO1.8/kg, this meaty fish, caught off Oman’s shores, contain a large amount of myoglobin, a red pigment that also gives it a savoury, meaty flavour. Rich in Omega-3 fatty acids which lower the risk for heart disease and cancer, and support brain health, tuna is also high in vitamin B3 (niacin), vitamin B12 which is necessary to form red blood cells, vitamin D which supports mineral absorption, plus magnesium, phosphorus and potassium – all crucial for building immunity in the time of the pandemic. So, if you haven’t taken a liking for this chef’s delight yet, may be, it’s time to ‘go tuna’ this weekend.



Maldivian Tuna Curry


500g tuna steak – cut to chunks

1tbsp coconut oil

3 garlic cloves – minced

2 cardamom pods – seeds only

1tbsp minced ginger

10 curry leaves

2 green chillies – slit

1 onion – sliced

½tsp ground fennel seeds

½tsp ground cumin

½tsp ground turmeric

2tsp red chilli powder

2tbsp tomato paste

1 can (400ml) coconut milk

1 stick of cinnamon

Sea salt, pepper, to taste

Fresh coriander – to garnish


Lightly salt the fish chunks and set aside. In a large saucepan, warm the coconut oil over medium heat, add in the garlic, cardamom, ginger, curry leaves and chillies, and sauté until fragrant. Add the onion and cook until softened, then add the rest of the spices (fennel, cumin, turmeric and black pepper). After a minute, they will become aromatic. At this point, transfer everything into a food processor and blend to a coarse paste. Return the paste back to the pan over a medium heat, add the tomato paste and pour in the coconut milk, reserving 2tbsp for drizzling at the end. Add the cinnamon stick, salt and pepper to taste, and bring to a simmer. Add the fish pieces to the curry and cook for about 5 minutes till they become tender. Drizzle over the reserved coconut milk, garnish with chopped coriander leaves, and serve with steamed rice.


Spicy Tuna Cutlets


200g tuna steak – steamed

4tbsp oil

1 onion – minced

2 green chillies – minced

1tsp minced ginger

1tsp minced garlic

½tsp red chilli powder

¼tsp turmeric powder

2tsp coriander powder

1tsp garam masala 

1 medium sized potato

1 egg

1 cup breadcrumbs

½ cup all purpose flour

Oil for frying

Salt, to taste


Boil the potato, mash it and keep it ready. Heat oil in a pan and add chopped onion. Saute it till it becomes soft, Add ginger, garlic and green chillies and sauté for a minute. Add all spice powders and sauté for a minute. Break up the steamed fish to flakes and add to the seasoning. Saute for 5-6 minutes, remove and cool. Add the mashed potato, mix well,and make it to small oval cutlets. Dip each cutlet in flour, then in beaten egg, and roll in bread crumbs. Do this with all cutlet and place in freezer for an hour. When ready to eat, heat oil for deep frying, and fry the cutlets straight from the freezer (without thawing) till golden brown. You may also brush them with oil and air fry them. Serve piping hot with tomato ketchup or any favourite dip.


Pan Seared Tuna




For the balsamic reduction

6tbsp balsamic vinegar

Juice of 1 lemon

1 clove garlic – halved


For the tuna

500g tuna fillets

1½ kosher salt

1tsp coarsely ground coriander seeds

½tsp chilli flakes

¼tsp cayenne pepper

1½tsp coarsely ground black pepper

2tsp sesame seeds (optional)

2tbsp vegetable oil

Lemon wedges – for garnish



First, make the balsamic reduction – place the balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, and garlic in a small saucepan over medium-low heat and simmer until the mixture reduces by half. Turn off the heat and reserve. The reduction will thicken slightly as it cools. Now, slice the tuna into 4 rectangular steaks of equal size. In a small bowl, combine the salt, coriander, paprika, and cayenne pepper. Lay the tuna steaks out on a plate and sprinkle the spice mixture evenly on all sides. Evenly coat the tuna steaks with the freshly ground black pepper (and sesame seeds, if using it) and gently press it in so that it adheres to the surface. Place a thick-bottomed frying pan or cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add the oil and swirl to coat the pan. When you see small wisps of smoke, add the tuna steaks to the pan and sear them for about 1 minute per side or until the desired doneness is reached. Remove and place them on a cutting board. For presentation, cut each steak diagonally into 4 to 5 slices and fan on a plate. Serve with a small amount of sauce drizzled alongside. Garnish with a lemon wedge and enjoy.



Mediterranean Tuna Salad



  1. For the dressing
  2. ¼ cup red vinegar vinegar

2tbsp dijon mustard

1tsp dried oregano

1 clove garlic – minced 

½ cup extra virgin olive oil

3tbsp lemon juice + ½tsp lemon zest

1tbsp honey

Fine sea salt and pepper, to taste


  1. For the salad

1 cup orzo pasta – measured when dry

200g tuna – steamed and flaked

1 cup roasted and diced red bell peppers

½ cup coarsely chopped olives

2tbsp chopped parsley

1 red onion – chopped

1 cup chopped cucumber

½ cup crumbled feta cheese



To make the dressing, add all the dressing ingredients to a mason jar and season (to taste) with fine sea salt and pepper, to suit taste. Seal the jar and shake vigorously to combine. Store in the fridge while preparing the rest of the salad.

Then cook the orzo pasta as per directions, after salting water. Drain pasta, rinse under cold water, let cool, and allow to dry. Transfer to a large bowl and toss with 2-3tbsp of the dressing.

Meanwhile, prep the rest of the ingredients – flake the tuna with a fork and add to the drained pasta. Add the diced bell peppers, olives, parsley, onion, and cucumber. Add all the ingredients to the bowl with the pasta and tuna. Add in the feta cheese and toss well. Drizzle the dressing on the salad and reserve a little for adding later on, if needed. Gently toss the salad and enjoy immediately. 

Note: Dress the salad only before serving – this salad does not store well, once dressed.

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