Padma Lakshmi shares a recipe inspired by her book, "The Encyclopedia of Spices and Herbs," showing just how much a flavor a few strategically used spices can add to a simple dish.
Tip: You can also make extra butter and fill ramekins, refrigerating for later use. This butter is great for sautéing vegetables and other proteins.
For the compound butter:
Mix the garlic, Madras curry powder, salt, and pepper in a small bowl until well combined. Slice the butter into cubes, and add to the spice mixture.
Cut and smash the other ingredients into butter with a fork until creamy, smooth and well combined.
Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready for use.
To cook scallops:
Lightly season the scallops with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
In a large sauté pan, heat 2 tablespoons of the compound butter over high heat until sizzling and add the scallops in a single layer. (Do not crowd pan, as scallops will steam, rather than sear.)
Lower the heat to medium and allow the scallops to brown and caramelize on one side without moving them.
Gently turn the scallops over and brown lightly on the other side for just a minute. Total cooking time for scallops should only take 3 to 4 minutes. Serve scallops over rice.