Fish with Squash and Indian Seed Pop

Seen Lippert calls this side dish pop, based on raita, a cooling Indian condiment. Her version is a colorful salad of juicy cucumbers and crisp squash with a spicy yogurt dressing. The black onion seeds are available at Indian markets.



  • 2 medium cucumbers—peeled, seeded and finely diced

  • 2 medium summer squash—halved, seeded and finely diced

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

  • 6 scallions, white and tender green parts only, thinly sliced

  • 1 large jalapeño, seeded and minced

  • 2 tablespoons minced cilantro

  • 2 tablespoons minced mint

  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lime zest

  • 1 cup plain yogurt

  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for grilling

  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds

  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds

  • 1 teaspoon black onion seeds (nigella), optional

  • Four 6-ounce skinless grouper or sea bass fillets


  1. In a colander, toss the cucumbers and squash with 1 teaspoon of salt and let drain for 10 minutes. Transfer the vegetables to a kitchen towel and gently squeeze them dry. In a large bowl, combine the vegetables with the scallions, jalapeño, cilantro, mint, lime juice, lime zest and yogurt; stir well.

  2. In a small skillet, cook the garlic in the 2 tablespoons of oil over moderate heat until fragrant and lightly golden, about 1 minute. Add the cumin, mustard and black onion seeds and shake the pan until the seeds begin to sputter and pop. Stir the seed mixture into the vegetables and season with salt and pepper.

  3. Rub the fish lightly with oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill or sear the fish in a preheated grill pan over moderately high heat, turning once, until golden and cooked through, 6 to 7 minutes. Transfer the fillets to plates, spoon the vegetables alongside and serve.

Suggested Pairing

A refreshing Italian Pinot Grigio would make a fine match.

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