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Keralan Tuna Steak Recipe

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This tuna steak recipe is from my cookbook ‘The Curry Guy Light’

This tuna steak recipe is such an easy dish to prepare and I love the combination of flavours.  While researching for my cookbook ‘The Curry Guy Light’, my wife and I stayed for about a month in Kerala, on the southern coast of India. This Keralan tuna steak recipe is just one of many recipes we learned on that amazing trip.

Keralan tuna steak recipe photo from 'The Curry Guy Light'

So good and EASY too. Tuna Steak Recipe Photo by Kris Kirkham for ‘The Curry Guy Light cookbook

About this tuna steak recipe…

While in Kerala, I met up with my chef friend Jomon Kuriakose who is the chef at Lalit London. Jomon is from Kerala and he took Caroline and me all over the place introducing us to his chef friends.

One day we all piled into his car and drove out to the home of Chef Shibabudeen. What a place! He lived on a huge plot of land with an incredible vegetable and herb garden and they used their harvest for their recipes. Not only that, they had their own fish pond and caught fish regularly for dinner. 

His wife cooked up a feast for us which must have included no fewer than 10 dishes. This tuna steak recipe was one of the dishes they served. 

Is this recipe difficult?

As recipes go, this tuna steak recipe is really easy but its the combination of ingredients that make it really special and one I make all the time now. 

You really can whip is all up in less than 15 minutes. So it’s the perfect weekday meal for after work and can also be served up for a posh dinner with friends. When entertaining, I love to serve recipes like this as I want to be talking and drinking with friends, not slaving over a stove.

Shopping for tuna…

You want to find the freshest tuna steaks you can find and that’s not always easy given the fact that tuna in the west has already been cut into steaks or at least large slabs.

It’s nice to go shopping for tuna in India and the Far East as there are so many amazing fish markets where the tuna is brought in and sold to the public on the day its caught.

I recommend finding a good fish monger and asking for sashimi grade tuna. In this tuna steak recipe I recommend searing but keeping the centre quite rare so you want to use really fresh tuna. Failing that, smell the tuna. It should not smell fishy at all. Fresh tuna will smell of the sea.

Are there other ways to prepare this tuna steak recipe?

I like to cook it on the barbecue, but it also tastes great cooked in a hot pan as I did here. Just like when cooking beef steaks, no oil should be added to the pan.

The perfect amount of oil for cooking is already applied to the tuna steaks when marinating.

What do you serve these tuna steak with?

Anything you like really. It is really good served with a simple green salad.  I sometimes make an easy butternut squash purée to go with this dish. Just slice the squash in half and discard the seeds. Place cut-side up in an oven preheated to 200°C (400°F/Gas 6) and cook for 30 minutes, or until the squash is soft. Scoop the squash out of the skin and blend until smooth. Blend it and season with salt and pepper.

Any leftovers can be used in a soup or even frozen for later uses. In this case, I just used some of my squash curry, my butternut squash curry  and blended it until smooth.


Making Keralan Tuna steaks

Preparing the marinade is really easy. I love this blend of spices.

Making Keralan tuna steaks

Be sure to coat the tuna steaks with the marinade.

Making Keralan Tuna steaks

While the tuna is marinating, make the watermelon and pineapple salsa.

Making Keralan Tuna steaks

The optional squash puree really goes well with this dish.

Keralan tuna steaks

Now just sear the steaks for 1 – 2 minutes per side and plate up!

Keralan Tuna steaks

The tasty tuna steaks with a spice blend marinade and pineapple and watermelon salsa gets it!

If you like this tuna steak recipe, you might like to try some of these Keralan recipe too.

Keralan Lamb Curry
Keralan Prawn Curry
Keralan Lamb Stir Fry
Keralan Black Eyed Bean Curry
Keralan Chicken Aleesa

Yield: 4

Keralan Tuna Steaks

tuna steak
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes


  • 4 x 200g thick cut tuna steaks
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 generous tsp garlic and ginger paste
  • 1 tbsp white malt vinegar
  • 1 tbsp rapeseed (canola) oil
  • 100g watermelon – diced
  • 100g pineapple – diced
  • 2 green chillies – finely sliced
  • 3 spring onions – thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp green olives – roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp black olives – roughly chopped
  • 1 lime – sliced to garnish
  • A few slices of red onion to garnish


  1. Take your tuna steaks out of the fridge a half hour before cooking. Mix the salt, black pepper, Kashmiri chilli powder, turmeric, garlic and ginger paste, malt vinegar and oil in a mixing bowl. Place the tuna steaks in the bowl and be sure to cover them all over with the marinade. Set aside.
  2. In another bowl, mix the watermelon, pineapple, chillies, spring onions and green and black olives together.
  3. Now take a pan, preferably cast iron and heat it over high heat on the hob. When it is really hot, place the tuna steaks in it and sear for 1 – 2 minutes per side. I only sear mine for about a minute until it has a good char but the centre of the tuna steaks is still nice and pink.
  4. To serves, place the charred steaks on a heated serving platter and cover with the pineapple and watermelon salsa. Garnish with sliced red onion and lime slices.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 328Total Fat: 3gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 94mgSodium: 579mgCarbohydrates: 14gFiber: 2gSugar: 9gProtein: 60g

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Monday 13th of November 2023

Currently sailing down the east coast of Queensland, Australia. My partner and I are in our mid 20’s and only started sailing 9 months ago. We’re also very new to fishing, so you can imagine how thrilled we were to hook up a mackerel tuna! We made this dish, absolutely LOVED it! We’re unfortunately on the last of our provisions so we couldn’t make the salsa. Just had to share that we enjoyed your creation on the great blue! :) thanks

Dan Toombs

Monday 13th of November 2023

What a great story! Thanks very much. Dan

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