Curried Mussels

Curried mussels was a dish that I would frequently order at an Irish pub in Nantucket called Kitty Murtaghs. When we moved to the UK, it was one of the dishes that I missed , so had to create a version of it and came to this delicious dish. In the UK, mussels are one of the cheaper seafood items to buy, so it makes it a seafood dish that is affordable.

WINE NOTE: A chilled aromatic wine is a must, such as Riesling or Gruner Vetliner.

  • 2lb 4oz /1kgfresh mussels scrubbed and debearded
  • 2 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 2 tsp brown mustard seeds
  • 1/8 tsp asafoetida
  • 15–20 curry leaves
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • 8 cloves, ground to a coarse powder
  • 2 red onions thinly sliced
  • 1 long red chilli sliced
  • 2inches fresh root ginger peeled and cut into very fine matchsticks
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tbsp soft brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp tamarind paste
  • 14oz/400ml can coconut milk
  • 1 lemon juice only
  • Small bunch of cilantro/fresh coriander

Clean the mussels of grit and de beard, discarding any which do not close when tapped.

Heat the oil in a Dutch oven. Put the mustard seeds in the pan and cook until they pop (be careful not to have the oil too hot as the seeds will produce a gas that stings the eyes)

Add the asafoetida and curry leaves. Stir, then add the cumin, cloves, onion and some salt. Cook until the onions have softened.

Add the chilli and ginger, cook for 2 minutes and add the turmeric and sugar.

Blend the tamarind and coconut milk and pour into the pan, and pour in 14oz/400ml water. Bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer for 10 minutes.

Out the mussels in the pan and cover with the lid. Cook for 3-4 minutes, shaking the Dutch oven occasionally. Discard mussels that have not opened.

Sprinkle some chopped cilantro (fresh coriander) over. Serve with freshly made naan bread.