Mussel Masala with Coconut, Ginger and Green Chillies

Mussel Masala with Coconut, Ginger and Green Chillies

This dish is based on a clam masala from the Keralan Backwaters of southern India, but I’ve used mussels instead as they’re easier to get hold of.

For how many? Serves 2-4


  • 1.5kg mussels, cleaned
  • 30ml coconut oil
  • 1 tsp black mustard seeds
  • 50g fresh or frozen coconut, grated or blitzed in a food processor
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 6cm fresh ginger, finely grated
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely crushed
  • 2 green chillies, seeds removed, thinly sliced
  • 1 handful of fresh curry leaves
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp Garam Masala
  • 1/2 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp salt


See Rick's brilliant video tutorial on how to clean and prepare mussels for cooking:

Put a splash of water into a large saucepan, add the mussels, cover with a lid and cook over a high heat, shaking the pan every now and again until all the mussels have opened and are cooked: 3–4 minutes.

Heat the coconut oil in a large sturdy pan over a medium heat. Add the mustard seeds and fry for 30 seconds until they start to pop, then stir in the coconut and fry for 1 minute.

Add the onion, ginger, garlic, green chillies and curry leaves and fry for a further 5 minutes.

Add the mussels and their liquor to the pan, followed by the fennel seeds, black pepper, garam masala, chilli powder, turmeric and salt. Cook for a further 1–2 minutes, then serve.


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