This is a classic cafe dish and at Mavis and Co they make the harissa, aioli and olive crumb from scratch. If you want to cheat, you could buy a good quality harissa and aioli from Vetro.

To prepare the squid

For 6 portions you will want around 1–1.5kgs of squid.

Either cut the squid into rings, 1–2cm wide, or slice squid open and gently score the inside, then cut slices horizontally. Marinate (overnight for best results) in enough milk to cover.


1½ cups whole dried red chillies
1 dried ancho chilli
1 tbsp cumin seeds
1 tbsp coriander seeds
1 tbsp caraway seeds
8 garlic cloves
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp caster sugar
1 tbsp paprika
2 tbsp lemon juice
1½ tbsp rosewater
¼ cup cider vinegar
1 cup olive oil, divided in 2 batches

Place the chillies in a bowl and pour enough boiling water to submerge, then cover and soak for 30 minutes to re-hydrate. Strain the chillies then roughly chop and place in a food processor. (De-seed if you don’t like too much spice.)

Toast the cumin, coriander and caraway seeds in a pan until fragrant (2–3 minutes). Transfer the seeds to a mortar and pestle and roughly crush them before adding to the food processor along with the chopped chillies, garlic, tomato paste, sugar and paprika. Pulse a few times until roughly chopped and combined. Add lemon juice, rosewater, cider vinegar, half of the olive oil and a pinch of salt to the blender. Blitz until it becomes a coarse paste. Transfer to a bowl and add the remaining olive oil as a layer on top, then refrigerate.


3 eggs
3 tbsp cider vinegar
3 tbsp Dijon mustard
2 tbsp sugar
½ lemon, juiced
2 minced garlic, cloves
3 cups oil
salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients apart from oil and blend together in a food processor. Add oil in a very slow trickle. If needed, add hot water to thin out but keep mayo as thick as possible.

Olive Crumb

1 cup black pitted olives

Drain and pat dry as much as possible. Place in food processor and pulse till small crumb but not fine paste. On a large roasting tray spread a thin layer and bake in oven at 90° for 3–3 ½ hours, checking occasionally till dry and dehydrated.

Squid Flour 

(6 portions)
2 cups cornflour
2 cups rice flour
4 tsp salt
2 tsp white pepper
2 tsp chilli powder
3 tsp paprika
2 tsp white sesame seeds

In a large bowl combine all ingredients and whisk until well combined.

Make more as required.

To Assemble

Bring frying oil to 180°C. Drain squid then coat in flour seasoning. Fry for 1–1½ minutes or until crispy to touch (being careful not to overcook). On desired serving plate place 3 small dollops of harissa, off centre. Arrange 3 similar size aioli in between. Place squid on top and scatter olive dust. Serve with a lemon wedge.

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