During a trip to Kerala, I fell in love with their simple home-cooked meals. The way they use curry leaf and sesame rub in marinades stayed with me, inspiring this fish. The tuna in it is almost sashimi-like and is offset by the avocado pachadi, which is again inspired by south India. The pickled beets provide nice texture, and the whole dish sits beautifully in the mouth.

  • Serves


  • Cook Time


    Plus pickling of beets for 4 days


  • 400 gm tuna loin

For Pickled Beetroots

  • 300 gm red beetroots
  • 50 gm sugar
  • 10 gm salt
  • 200 ml white wine vinegar
  • 200 ml water

For Curry Leaf & Sesame Rub

  • 350 gm curry leaves
  • 45 gm chana dal
  • 45 gm urad dal
  • 45 gm white sesame seeds
  • 45 gm desiccated coconut
  • 20 gm coriander seeds
  • 15 gm black peppercorns
  • 10 gm cumin seeds
  • 2 gm methi seeds
  • 3 dry Madras chillies
  • Citric acid to taste
  • Salt to taste

For Avocado Pachadi

  • 2 avocados
  • 50 gm Greek yogurt
  • 20 gm fresh coriander
  • 10 gm lemon juice
  • 10 gm vegetable oil
  • 5 gm green chilli
  • 5 gm mustard seeds
  • 5 gm curry leaf


For Pickled Beetroots

  1. Wash and clean the beetroots. Keep skin on; do not peel.
  2. Take a sterilised mason jar and place the beetroots in it.
  3. Boil water with vinegar, sugar and salt. Pour it over the beets and close the jar tightly.
  4. After 4 days, the beets will be pickled. Slice them and have them ready to be served.

For Sesame Rub

  1. Toast all the spices separately. Grind them together and finish with citric acid and salt to taste.

For Avocado Pachadi

  1. Blend the avocado flesh with yogurt, coriander, chilli and lemon juice to get a smooth paste.
  2. Heat oil separately and add curry leaves and mustard seeds. Let them crackle.
  3. Pour this flavoured oil over the beetroot pachadi.
Rahul Akerkar

Rahul Akerkar

Rahul Akerkar is the chef-founder of Qualia, Mumbai, and he is Scroll Food’s Chef of the Month for June. He started his culinary journey 35 years ago in the US, returning to India in 1989. Since then, he has been busy changing the way we eat. Known for setting industry trends with his creative, ingredient-driven cuisine, and warm attentive hospitality, Rahul’s award-winning restaurants secured his position as one of India’s first successful, chef-restaurateurs. In his career, he has won many accolades – he was featured in Asiaweek’s Survey of “Kitchen Gods” in 2001 and was 28 on San Pellegrino’s List of Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants in 2013. More recently, he won Chef of The Year at the Times Food Awards 2016, Mumbai. He has been guest chef in several kitchens around the world, authored numerous articles, and frequently consults to the food and hospitality industry.

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