Mussel Masala with Coconut, Ginger and Green Chillies

This sumptuous mussel masala recipe from Rick Stein's best-selling Fish & Shellfish cookbook is a real treat for seafood lovers. Combining soft, delicate mussels with fragrant Indian spices, it offers an unusual twist on a shellfish curry. Simple to prepare, this is a perfect dinner party dish.

Rick Stein's Fish & Shellfish
The definitive guide to fish and shellfish
Innovative versions of favourite seafood dishes
Failsafe prep and cooking instructions


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.

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.


See more recipes »

More Recipes by Rick Stein

See more recipes »

More Seafood Recipes

See more recipes »

More Curry Recipes