James Privett’s Seared Tuna and Yoghurt with Curried Chickpeas

By James Privett

James Privett’s Seared Tuna and Yoghurt with Curried Chickpeas

James Privett of The Butler in Potts Point, Sydney shares his Seared Tuna and Yoghurt with Curried Chickpeas recipe with us.

What are your favourite ingredients to work with during the cooler months?
Cold weather is great for pulses… beans, lentils, chickpeas. They’re so hearty and versatile for soups, stews, braises or a hot toasted jaffle….

What are you loving cooking at the moment?
A good roast dinner. There really is nothing better to bring the family together any day of the week – It should never just be for Sunday.

What’s your ultimate comfort food?
Warm chocolate pudding. It’s one of the great joys in life.

Tell us about your current menu at The Butler – inspiration?
The menu at Butler is a quirky mix of traditional French with a hint of Caribbean and Creole. It’s all about sharing food and trying as many things as you can.
Punchy flavours, some hearty winter warmers with a good mix of light and healthy.

What’s your favourite country to travel to for food and why?
It has to be France…. There’s a natural way of life that revolves around eating, growing and sharing food (and wine).

What can we look forward to at The Butler in coming months?
I think the great thing about a restaurant in its first few years is that it’s constantly evolving. We try new things, it’s never boring.

Seared Tuna, Yoghurt and Curried Chickpeas Recipe

Serves 4


4 x 180 g Albacore Tuna
80 g Natural Yoghurt
½ Bunch Mint – pick leaves and chop finely

Curried Chickpeas

375 g tin Chickpeas – drained and rinsed
1 Medium Onion – diced
1 tsp Ground Cumin
½ tsp Paprika
1 tsp Madras Curry Powder
100 g Tomato – diced
100 ml Water


Sweat the onion in 25ml of oil over a medium heat (stirring constantly) until the onion is translucent – 10mins.

Stir the spices into the onion and continue cooking for another 2 minutes. Add tomato and water before bringing to the boil for 1 minute then stir in the rinsed chick peas and season with salt to taste

Creole Seasoning


2 tbl Paprika
1 ½ tbl Salt
1 ½ tbl Garlic Powder
½ tbl Ground Black Pepper
½ tbl Cayenne Pepper
½ tbl Dried Thyme
½ tbl Dried Oregano


Mix all ingredients together well (this will make more than you need, store the remaining in an airtight container in the fridge)


Sprinkle some of the creole seasoning onto a plate. Roll the tuna steaks in the spice until evenly covered.

Heat a small amount of oil in a fry pan over a medium heat. When the oil is hot but not smoking gently place the tuna steaks into the hot pan. Reduce the heat to low so the spice won’t burn then cook until the side of the tuna in contact with the pan is golden. Turn the tuna and do the same for the other side. Remove tuna from the pan and set aside.

Stir the mint through the warm chick peas and divide the mix over 4 plates. Place the tuna on top of the chick peas. Spoon a dollop of yoghurt on top of the tuna and serve.


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