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Spiced Halibut

Halibut is a robust fish and well-suited to the vibrant flavours of South Asia. This straightforward recipe pairs the best Scottish halibut with freshly ground spices to deliver a smack of flavour you’ll keep wanting again and again. You need to be patient while the spices penetrate the fish but this will give you time to prepare the accompaniment, whatever you choose. We’ve become big fans of sauteeing potatoes in an air fryer – it couldn’t be easier and is a cinch to co-ordinate with more traditional cooking tasks like pan-frying fish.

Feel free to adjust the heat level as you see fit – the fish is capable of taking more chilli powder (or hot chili powder instead) or less. Also, adjust the cooking time a little depending on the thickness of the halibut portions – the thicker they are, the longer they will need in the pan.

One last thing: if you haven’t got mustard oil then olive or vegetable oil are more than acceptable substitutes.   


  • Prep Time1 hr 15 min
  • Cook Time6 min
  • Total Time1 hr 21 min
  • Serving Size4
  • Course
    • Main
  • Cooking Method
    • Pan


  • 2tsp fennel seeds
  • 2tsp coriander seeds
  • 2tsp cumin seeds
  • 4 cloves
  • 1tsp turmeric
  • Half tsp chilli powder
  • 4 halibut fillets or steaks
  • 1-3tbsp mustard oil



Add the fennel, coriander, cumin and cloves to a dry pan and toast gently over a medium heat for a minute or two until their scent is released. Take the pan off the heat and allow the spices to cool.


Put the fennel, coriander, cumin and cloves in a mortar and grind with a pestle into a fine powder. Add the turmeric and chilli powder and mix well.


Place the halibut on a baking sheet and season with salt and pepper, then drizzle them with mustard oil.


Sprinkle the spice mix over both sides of the halibut and massage gently into the flesh. Cover with clingfilm and refrigerate for 1 hour.


Give the halibut around 10 minutes to get back up to room temperature.


Place a wide, heavy-based pan over a medium heat, add the halibut and cook for around 3 minutes on each side until the flesh is opaque.


Serve with sauteed potatoes or boiled rice and a small bowl of refreshing raita.

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