Skip to content

Pin This Recipe



  • 2 Tbsp Grapeseed oil
  • 1 each onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 each carrot, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 1 each celery stalk, coarsely chopped
  • 1 head garlic, halved horizontally
  • 3 each fresh thyme sprigs
  • 8 cups water
  • 4 cups dry white wine
  • 2 each large octopus (about 2 pounds each), rinsed
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground whitepepper


  • 1¼ cups jarred tandoori paste
  • ¼ cup tomato sauce eggplants
  • 1½ Tbsp honey
  • 1 Tbsp molasses
  • 1 Tbsp sherry vinegar

Yogurt Sauce

  • ⅓ cup goat’s-milk yogurt
  • ⅓ cup greek yogurt
  • Kosher salt


  • 1 each large pink grapefruit, supreme
  • ¼ each head cauliflower
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground white pepper
  • Olive oil
  • Fleur de sel

Tandoori Octopus Yogurt, Cauliflower, Grapefruit

Excerpted from the cookbook “LudoBites” by Ludo Lefebvre, pages 334 - 336, published by HarperCollins, 2012.

To prepare the octopus

Heat the grapeseed oil in a 6-quart pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion, carrot, celery, garlic, and thyme and sauté until the onion is translucent, about 5minutes. Add the water and wine and bring to a simmer. Add the octopuses and bring the liquid to a near simmer, then reduce the heat to low, cover the octopuses with a small weight so that they are submerged, and simmer very gently for about 2hours, or until a small knife glides easily through one of the octopus arms. (Never allow the water to boil or the skin will fall away; slow and gentle is the key.)

Remove the octopuses from the cooking liquid and let cool. (Discard the cooking liquid.) Cut each of the 8 octopus legs away from the head; discard the head.

To marinate the octopus

Mix all the marinade ingredients in a large bowl to blend. Add the octopus legs and toss them to coat completely. Refrigerate for 6 hours.

Meanwhile, to make the sauce

Mix the yogurts in a small bowl to blend. Season to taste with salt. Cover and refrigerate.

To prepare the garnishes

Cut the grapefruit segments into small dice; set aside.Remove the stems from the cauliflower florets. Using a mandoline, cut the florets into 2-inch-thick slices.

To sear the octopus

Heat the olive oil in a large cast-iron skillet over high heat. Remove the octopus legs from the marinade and lightly shake off the excess marinade; the octopus should still be well coated. Add the octopus legs to the hot skillet and cook for about 3 minutes per side, or until almost black. Transfer to a cutting board.

To serve

Spoon about 1 tablespoon of the yogurt sauce into the center of each of eight plates. Mix the grapefruit and cauliflower in a bowl and season to taste with salt and white pepper. Place about 1 tablespoon of the grapefruit mixture on top of the yogurt on each plate. Cut each octopus leg into 3 pieces and arrange them on top of the grapefruit mixture. Lightly drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle lightly with fleur de sel, and serve immediately.


i-zmVpXCk-X4 (1)