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Stewed Mussels with Green Herb Masala from India

So here's what happened last Saturday, it snowed!

A lot.

And that meant, my cooking class was canceled. And since Adult education classes follow the school county schedule, I was stuck with all 10 lbs of organic mussels.

So I asked the boys, to put on their 'big boy pants' and get ready to eat a whole lot of mussels for the next 3 days straight. So we made them with wine & garlic and then with tomatoes and rosemary and finally, I decided to use my mum's delicious cilantro and chili masala paste for the mussels. I've used serrano chilies because I didn't want to make them uber hot with Thai green chilies but feel free to make the switch.

Oh boy! They were good!

And so easy to make - dinner was still done in 30 minutes flat and wait until you try this refreshing and mouthwatering take of good ole' mussels. Serve with white rice for a full meal.



Recipe for

Indian Style Stewed Mussels with Green Herb Masala

2 lbs mussels (preferably organic) - scrubbed and de-bearded

yellow onion, to yield 1-1/2 cups sliced

1 can coconut milk, unsweetened

1 serrano chili, sliced diagonally

1 large tomato, de-seeded and chopped

1/2 tsp salt

3 tbs olive oil

Masala paste:

1" piece fresh ginger root, roughly chopped 

1 whole bunch fresh cilantro leaves, washed & drained

4 cloves peeled garlic, roughly chopped 

1 tsp red chilly powder

3/4 tsp turmeric

2 tsp salt

1/4 cup water (or just enough to make a fine paste)


2 tbs chopped cilantro leaves for garnish


Mussels: Soak in water with 2 tbsp. flour to leach out any sand, for about 1 hour.

Masala paste: In a magic bullet or food processor capable of making a fine paste, grind the ingredients to a smooth, fine paste.


  1. In a wok or large kadhai, heat the oil on medium-high heat. Add the onions, 1/2 tsp salt & serrano chilies and saute for 7 minutes or so until the onions have softened are translucent.

  2. Add the masala paste and saute for another 7-10 minutes until the masala paste is fragrant and fat leaves the edges. That's when you know the spices are no longer raw.

  3. Add the tomato and continue to saute for a few minutes until the tomato has softened.

  4. Add 1-1/2 cups water & bring to a heavy simmer.

  5. Add the mussels and stir to combine. Empty the can of coconut milk and stir. Bring all the liquid to a boil & cover with a tight-fitting lid.

  6. Cook for 10 minutes. Discard any mussels that have not yet opened.

  7. Taste and adjust seasoning.

  8. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro leaves and serve with steamed white rice or crusty bread.


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