Recipe: Spiced Calamari with Fennel & Smashed Avocado

This spiced calamari, fennel, and avocado dish sounds a little wintery - fennel is a winter vegetable and some of the warmth from the cumin and and paprika comes through. However, the way this dish comes together, it's light, clean, and almost summery. 

If you're feeling brunchy, add a slice of your favorite toast and stack everything for a spicy, protein-packed avocado toast. 

Our spiced flour ingredients are listed in grams for precision, but feel free to adjust to your own taste. 


Spiced Calamari with Fennel and Smashed AvocadoIngredients

  • 1 small garlic clove
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • Salt flakes
  • 3-4 ripe avocados, peeled and roughly chopped
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 limes — 2 juiced, 1 cut in wedges to serve
  • ¼ bunch coriander, roughly chopped, plus extra leaves to garnish
  • 1 bulb fennel
  • 1 lemon
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 green chilli, finely sliced
  • Oil for frying (I use olive oil)
  • 600g small or medium-sized calamari, cleaned, scored and cut into strips

Spiced Flour

  • 100g plain flour
  • 20g ground cumin
  • 25g smoked paprika
  • 25g ground coriander
  • 35g ras el hanout
  • 30g onion powder
  • 20g garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp salt flakes


Combine all the spiced flour ingredients until free of any lumps.

For the avocado, in a large mortar and pestle, grind the garlic and the spices with three good pinches of salt. Add the avocado and mash, then add plenty of pepper, the lime juice and the coriander. Stir and set aside.

Shave the fennel in fine slices lengthways (a mandolin is ideal for this) and dress with a squeeze of lemon juice, salt, pepper and extra virgin olive oil. Toss through with the chili.

Heat about six centimeters of oil to 175 degrees in a large saucepan.

Spread the avocado on a serving plate. Top with the fennel and extra coriander leaves.

Dust the calamari in the spiced flour and fry in batches until golden. Serve on the fennel and avocado with lime wedges on the side.

Cook′s Note

Recipe courtesy of Good Food. Photo Marina Oliphant.