On a food trip to Mumbai I discovered a seafood restaurant called Jai Hind Lunch Home, where I tasted some of the best seafood I've had in the city to date.
The restaurant showcased regional seafood cooking from places like Karnataka on the west coast of India. I ate a clam dish there and loved it so much that I identified all the ingredients and then recreated it with mussels as soon as I got back home.
1kg fresh mussels, scrubbed and debearded
6tbs dry white wine
Handful of fresh coriander, chopped
Generous squeeze of lime juice
For the masala
2tbs coconut oil
1tbs black mustard seeds
Large handful of fresh curry leaves
2 onions, finely diced
1tbs ground turmeric
1tbs Kashmiri red chilli powder
200g fresh or frozen grated coconut
2 thumb-size pieces of fresh ginger root, grated
3 green chillies, finely chopped
Sea salt, to taste
First, make the masala. Heat the coconut oil in a frying pan until hot, then add the mustard seeds and heat for 30 seconds or so until they start to splutter. Add the curry leaves, reduce the heat to low and add the diced onions.
Continue to cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are translucent but without any colour.
Add the turmeric, chilli powder, coconut, ginger and green chillies, and season to taste with salt. Cook, stirring, for a couple of minutes until fragrant. Continue to simmer on a low heat while you prepare the mussels.
Wash the mussels thoroughly and discard any that remain open when you tap them. Heat up a large heavy-based saucepan and add the wine. Let it simmer for a few minutes before adding the mussels. Cover tightly with a lid, and cook for about four minutes until the mussels have opened. Discard any that remain closed. Stir in the masala, making sure the mussels are fully coated in all the spices.
To serve, spoon the mussels into four bowls and garnish with fresh coriander and lime juice to finish. Serve straight away.
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