Garlic Lobster Masala

lobster masala

Like most people I find it intimidating to cook a whole live lobster. So I love to cook with lobster tails, its simple to work with and I don’t have to kill anything.  Since lobster meat is delicate and sweet, I deviated from strong flavors but used some spices to enhance and compliment the lobster meat.

I cut the lobster tail shell first, so I don’t have to saw through the meat. Some lobster tails like shrimp have some of their intestinal tract in the tail, when cut in half it is visible and can be easily discarded.

cut with scissors lobster lobster cut in half

Once the tails are cut in half the meat can be easily pulled out. I like to use the lobster shells as serving cups. This is optional but it makes for a great presentation.  In order to prep the lobster tails, I sauté the some grapeseed oil so they turn their characteristic red color. Sautéing the shells in this method also renders flavor in the pan we will be using later, and sanities the shells.

lobster meat on board

To defrost my lobster tails I soaked them in cold water, changing the water every 10 minutes. This is a good way to defrost most small seafood like shrimp, crab claws, and small fish. As a result the meat can be watery, drain it on a clean kitchen cloth. Otherwise the wet meat will not cook evenly and sear properly.

Ghee is clarified butter, used to in numerous varieties of dishes in Indian dishes from savory to sweet. Unlike the typical stick of butter found in the grocery store, ghee as a milky sweet flavor and can be cooked in high temperatures without burning.  Ghee is found in most Indian and middle eastern grocery stores.  But if you have a hard time finding Ghee, regular butter can be used with a drizzle grapeseed oil to prevent it from burning

  stir fry onions cook lobster

I love the combination of garlic and ginger with seafood! Garlic becomes nutty when cooked till golden brown. Ginger gives a spicy bite which compliments the lemon juice later added in the recipe. I deseeded the serrano chilies to mellow the spiciness but still have the grassy citrus chili flavor.

I used a series of spices in lesser quantities than usual to give a good background flavor without masking the delicate lobster meat. Garam masala powder is made with fragrant floral spices like cinnamon, cloves, star anise, cardamom, etc. Coriander powder has a mellow nutty and citrusy flavor.  Turmeric gives depth of flavor and a distinctive yellow color to the recipe.  Lemon juice added in the end adds a bright citrus flavor.

All the ingredients in conjunction give a nutty and sweet dish. I garish with spring onion to give a mild onion flavor, a nice crunch and visual pop of green. This recipe can be paired with rice and  sautéed veggies.

lobster garlic masala

Garlic Lobster Masala
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
  • 4 lobster tails (4oz each)
  • ½ cup of sliced garlic
  • 2 tbsp. minced garlic
  • 2 serrano chilies deseeded & sliced
  • ½ cup of sliced spring onions
  • ½ tbsp. coriander powder
  • 1 tsp. garam masala powder
  • ¼ tsp. turmeric powder
  • 2 tbsp. ghee (clarified butter)
  • 1 tbsp. grapeseed oil
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice
  • Salt and Black pepper to taste
  1. To prep the lobster tails cut the little legs off the belly of the lobster. With kitchen shears cut through the top middle of the lobster tail shell and the middle bottom. Cut the meat in half as well.
  2. Once the tails are cut in half, pull out the lobster meat gently. Cut the meat in bite size portions. And drain on a kitchen towel.
  3. In a medium skillet, heat one tablespoon of grapeseed oil on medium high heat. Add the lobster tails shells to the skillet and cook till red and fragrant.
  4. Set aside the lobster shell in a tray to cool.
  5. In the same skillet add two tablespoon of ghee, add the sliced garlic and the sliced and deseeded serrano chilies. Sauté on medium heat till the garlic is golden brown.
  6. Add the minced garlic, sauté till incorporated.
  7. Now add the lobster meat, and season with salt, black pepper, garam masala powder, coriander powder, and turmeric powder.
  8. Sauté till lobster is fully cooked this will only take 2-3 minutes.
  9. Once the lobster is cooked add lemon juice and garnish with the sliced spring onions, and serve in the lobster tail shell.


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