Mussel, Cockle and Clam Masala

For something a little different, try this seafood curry recipe with mussels, cockles and clams as the star. A glorious recipe from Rick Stein's Coast to Coast.

Introduction

The sauce for this dish shouldn’t be too wet; it’s much better if it is quite thick and clinging to the shells. I use three different molluscs here because we get plenty of all of them at my restaurant, but it’s nearly as good made with only one. Unusually for curry sauces from southern India, the spices are roasted before being blended and this gives a slightly spicier and less aromatic flavour.

Serves 4

Ingredients

1¾kg (4lb) mixed live mussels, cockles and small clams, cleaned
2 tbsp sunflower oil
2 tbsp roughly chopped coriander
For the masala paste:
1 tbsp coriander seeds
1 tsp cloves
2 tbsp cumin seeds
2 onions, quartered
8 large garlic cloves
50g (2oz) fresh ginger, chopped
A walnut-sized piece of seedless tamarind pulp
1 tsp ground turmeric
3 medium-hot red chillies, chopped
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
40g (1½oz) creamed coconut

Essential kit

You will need a spice grinder and a food processor.

Instructions

For the masala paste, heat a dry heavy-based frying pan over a medium-high heat. Add the coriander seeds, cloves and cumin seeds and cook until they darken slightly and start to smell aromatic. Tip into a spice grinder and grind to a powder. Put this mixture and all the other paste ingredients into a food processor and blend until smooth.

Heat the oil in a large pan, add the masala paste and fry for a few minutes until it starts to separate from the oil.

Add the mussels, cockles and clams, cover and cook over a high heat for 3-4 minutes, shaking the pan now and then, until they have all opened.

Add a little water if there is not quite enough sauce, season with a little salt if necessary, then add the chopped coriander. Spoon into warmed bowls and serve.

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