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Noor Murad’s Fenugreek Mussels with Chickpeas and Harissa Oil

Noor Murad Ottolenghi Test Kitchen

by Noor Murad

This deceptively simple and budget-friendly recipe from Noor Murad, head of the Ottolenghi Test Kitchen, features mussels steamed in a fragrant fenugreek broth with chickpeas and a punchy rose harissa oil.
This recipe is exclusive to The Happy Foodie but includes a link to a recipe for your own homemade harissa, which is featured in the new book from the Ottolenghi Test Kitchen, Extra Good Things. Harissa is one of the many condiments you can make from the book, where each recipe comes equipped with a little something ‘extra’ that you can use in a number of inventive ways - like spooned onto these delicious mussels!


These mussels deliver on minimum effort and maximum flavour and are a fun way to get all hands involved in the eating process. I like to use jarred chickpeas here, which are a bit softer, but you can also use a tin. The ‘Extra’ in this recipe is the harissa, which is well worth making yourself; a jar can last in the fridge for at least a month, if not longer, and you can easily control the spice levels by using more or less of your favourite dried chillies. You can, of course, also use store-bought harissa for ease. Be sure to serve this dish with plenty of toasted bread or, alternatively, some jasmine rice.

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½ tsp fenugreek seeds
1½ tsp cumin seeds
1½ tsp coriander seeds
½ tsp ground turmeric
1½ tsp soft brown sugar
1 onion, peeled and roughly chopped (180g)
3 garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
30g ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
1 green chilli, stem removed, roughly chopped seeds and all (15g)
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp tomato paste
250g jarred chickpeas, drained (or 1 x 400g tin)
400ml chicken stock
75ml double cream
1kg mussels, washed of any grit and de-bearded
1½ tbsp lime juice
10g fresh coriander leaves
toasted sourdough, to serve
For the harissa oil:
3 tbsp olive oil
4 tsp rose harissa, store-bought or homemade (see link below to recipe)
fine sea salt and black pepper

Essential kit

You will need: a large sauté pan for which you have a lid.


Add the fenugreek, cumin and coriander seeds to a small frying pan and place over a medium-heat. Toast until fragrant, shaking the pan often, about 3-4 minutes. Transfer to a spice grinder and blitz into a fine powder. Stir in the turmeric and sugar and set aside.

Meanwhile, add the onion, garlic, ginger and chilli to the small bowl of a food processor and blitz into a rough paste. Add the oil to a large saute pan, for which you have a lid, and place over a medium-high heat. Once hot, add the onion mixture and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened and very lightly coloured. Add the tomato paste and the spice mixture and cook, stirring often, until fragrant, about 1½ -2 minutes. Stir in the chickpeas then pour in the stock and cream and season with ¾ teaspoon salt and a good grind of pepper. Bring to a simmer then lower the heat to medium and cook gently for 7 minutes, for the flavours to infuse.

Turn the heat back up to medium-high, stir in the mussels, top with the lid and leave to cook for 4 minutes, until the mussels have opened up and are cooked through. Discard any mussels that haven’t opened. Off the heat, stir in the lime juice.

In a small bowl, mix together the oil and harissa and set aside.

To serve, divide the mussel mixture between 4 (or 2) shallow bowls, spoon over the harissa oil and the coriander leaves and serve right away with the bread to dip alongside.

If you want to make your rose harissa from scratch, you can use this recipe from Extra Good Things.

Extra Good Things is the latest cookbook from the Ottolenghi Test Kitchen team and is brimming with inspiration for meals, snacks and desserts, ranging from simple midweek dinner ideas to more complex dishes for gathering and hosting. Each recipe is also designed to leave you with a little something extra to transform your next meal – think pastes, spice mixes, dressings, oils and more to stock your storecupboard with and Ottolenghify your next meal with ease. You can buy your copy here.


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