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Grilled Pumpkin Swordfish with Green Masala Sauce on a square plate

Pumpkin Swordfish with Green Masala Sauce

A rare but delicious delicacy – Pumpkin Swordfish is in season (well, kind of) and it’s the best swordfish you ever ate!
With a gorgeous “pumpkin” color ~ it’s a sweeter variety that is more buttery in flavor with a juicy texture.

Of course you can use this recipe with any swordfish… I’m just showing off my catch!

Grilled Pumpkin Swordfish with Green Masala Sauce on a square plate
Grilled Pumpkin Swordfish lightly seasoned and grilled with a vibrant Green Masala Sauce enriched with Coconut Milk

The availability of “Pumpkin” swordfish is tricky, when fishermen catch this rare variety – it’s a surprise!

I lightly seasoned my fillets, not to overpower the natural sweet taste of the fish and grilled it indoors using a cast iron grill pan (instead of my BBQ ~ winter in CT is cold!) I plated it with a delicious, flowing Green Masala Sauce.

The sauce is made by blending fresh herbs and Indian seasonings, then heating it so the flavors pop – and adding coconut milk for a creamy consistency.

I found mine this past weekend – caught in Cherry Point, South Carolina and brought to my local Farmers’ Market in Greenwich, CT by The Local Catch.

 a cut of rare pumpkin swordfish
This is the color of Pumpkin Swordfish! Thanks to my friends at The Local Catch for this treat.

The Method: Lightly season the swordfish – not to overpower it’s natural sweet flavor.
Grill to perfection, paying attention not to overcook it.
Make a Green Masala Paste in a blender – then add coconut milk and seasonings to a pan – makes a delicious Green Masala Sauce with a creamy consistency – and cook gently, not to dull it’s vibrant green color.

See blog for more photos and information about this gorgeous swordfish and masala sauce.

Grilled Pumpkin Swordfish with Green Masala Sauce on a square plate


2 pounds fresh swordfish fillets
preferably ¾ inches thick

1 /2 teaspoons garam masala

2 teaspoons neutral oil
expeller pressed

Green Masala Paste – make 2/3 cups

1 cup parsley or cilantro
leaves, washed & dried
(firmly packed)

¼ cup mint leaves,
washed & dried; packed
(Use additional mint leaves
for garnish)

1 ½ tablespoon fresh ginger,
peeled and chopped

1 ½ tablespoon fresh garlic,
peeled and chopped

½ – 1 teaspoon hot greens chiles,
stemmed and chopped –
jalapeño or serrano
(serranos are hotter!)

1 teaspoon garam masala seasoning

6 tablespoons neutral oil, such as expeller
pressed safflower oil

2 tablespoons filtered water

To finish the dish:

2 teaspoon neutral oil

1 teaspoon garam masala

¾ cups coconut milk,
not “lite”



Cut fish into 4 even pieces (from 2 “steaks”)
Clean and dry – place on a plate, rub in 2 teaspoons of oil, sprinkle one side with the garam masala.
Alternately, you can season with salt & pepper.
Add to a plate to fit, set a side (or refrigerate.)


Make Masala Green Paste:
Place the next 8 ingredients in the carafe of a blender.
Blend from low heat to medium, scraping down the carafe once with a rubber spatula.

Run on medium speed for about one minute until it is smooth and a vibrant green.
Can be made a few days ahead; place in a glass container with a good seal in the refrigerator.


Make the Green Masala Sauce Sauce:
To a medium sized 1  1/2 quart pan, add 2 teaspoons of neutral oil, set heat to low.
Add the onions and cook for 5 minutes until translucent, but not colored.
Add 1 teaspoon of garam masala, cook for 30 seconds, so the flavor just pops.

Add 4 tablespoons of the Green Masala paste – stir for 30 seconds.
Add the coconut milk – bring to a simmer, stir well and remove from the heat.
(Cooking too long will dull the vibrant green color.)

Add the lemon juice, sea salt and pinch of sugar stir in. Taste for seasonings.


Cook the Swordfish:
Heat a cast iron grill pan, or your favorite pan with a small coating of neutral oil to medium – high heat. (Can use your outdoor bbq too!)
When hot, add the swordfish, seasoned side down and cook until very golden in color.

Turn over with a metal spatula and turn the heat down to medium-low.
Cook until almost cooked through – you do not want to overcook swordfish – it will continue to cook a bit off the heat.


To Serve:
Add a pool of the sauce (a good portion) on individual plates or platter.
Reheat the sauce gently if needed.
Top with swordfish and garnish with fresh mint leaves.
Another nice garnish is thin-cut, julienned scallions (add to ice water and it will curl nicely!)

*Garam Masala Seasoning, used in Indian cuisine, is a vibrant mix of coriander, black pepper, cinnamon, cloves, black & green cardamom, mace and bay leaves. I bought mine in whole form from Kalustyan’s in NYC, and ground it in my spice grinder.


This recipe may not be reproduced without the consent of its author, Karen Sheer.

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