The Full Diet: Calamari with tartare sauce recipe

Eat your fill and still lose weight with this tasty, easy-cook calamari recipe from the diet book of the year, The Full Diet by NHS weight-loss expert Dr Saira Hameed.

Hannah Taylor-Eddington


2 tbsp full-fat mayonnaise
2 tbsp full-fat Greek yogurt
1 tbsp capers, drained, rinsed and chopped
2 gherkins, finely chopped
1⁄4 tsp ground turmeric
1 tbsp finely chopped parsley
Zest and juice of 1 lemon, to taste
Salt and black pepper

400g squid tubes, fresh or frozen and defrosted, cut into 1.5cm rounds
1 large egg, beaten
100g ground almonds
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp garlic granules
Olive oil, for frying
Salt and black pepper

Lemon wedges

  1. To make the tartare sauce, place the mayonnaise, yogurt, capers, gherkins, turmeric and parsley in a small bowl and stir to mix. Add the lemon zest, salt and pepper and as much lemon juice as you like. Keep to one side.
  2. Take the squid and, if defrosted from frozen, pat it as dry as you can with some kitchen towel.
  3. Place the beaten egg in one shallow dish, and the almonds, paprika, garlic and some seasoning in another.
  4. Take the squid rings and dip them into the egg, then gently toss in the almond mix to coat. Keep to one side while you heat around a centimetre of oil in a frying pan over a medium heat and then, very carefully, place the calamari in the pan in a single layer. Don’t overcrowd the pan – it’s probably best to do it in a few batches unless you have a very large pan.
  5. Cook the squid for a minute until the coating is light gold and then turn and cook the other side. Remove with a slotted spoon and place on kitchen paper to soak up the excess oil. Repeat for the other squid rings and then serve the calamari alongside the tartare sauce, with a big wedge of lemon.
  6. These go brilliantly with some peppers and courgettes oven-roasted in a little olive oil with a pinch of dried oregano and seasoning for 20-25 minutes at 200C/180C fan/gas 6.

TIP Leftover jarred capers can be used to accompany smoked salmon with lemon and cream cheese or scattered in a salad.

Now buy the book

the full dietOur recipes are from The Full Diet by Dr Saira Hameed, which will be published by Penguin Michael Joseph on 31 March, price £14.99. To pre-order a copy for £12.74 until 4 April, go to or call 020 020 3176 2937. Free UK delivery on orders over £20.