Thursday, December 1, 2016

Kerala Mussel Molee Curry with Coconut Milk

Everyone loves a Molee, the coconut and turmeric curry from Kerala. While most Indian dishes pride themselves on using scores of ingredients and combinations of spices, the simple, mild and delicious molee uses merely eight ingredients plus whichever main ingredient you choose to cook in the sauce. One of the most successful and respected modern Indian chefs in England, Vivek Singh is known for his innovative and refined approach to Indian cuisine, with three renowned London restaurants to his name - The Cinnamon Club, Cinnamon Kitchen and Cinnamon Soho. After twenty years of cooking subtle variations of this dish, chef Singh says there has not been one instance when guests haven’t been wowed by its simplicity. A Molee can be served as a soup or as a main course, using shrimp or just about any kind of seafood, chicken or, as in this recipe, mussels. Plump and sweet, I used premium quality Saltspring Island mussels which are grown in the rich, cool, clean coastal waters of British Columbia to honour this delicately flavoured dish, as a Canadian version of this Kerala classic.

Kerala Mussel Molee Curry with Coconut Milk

Serves 4
Recipe courtesy of chef Vivek Singh

5 lb fresh Salt Spring Island mussels, scrubbed and de-bearded

2 tbsp vegetable oil
40 fresh curry leaves
1 large onion sliced
6 green chilies slit open length ways
1 inch of fresh ginger, peeled and cut into thin strips
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
3 cups fish or seafood stock
14 oz can coconut milk
1 tbsp salt

Wash and scrub the mussels. Discard any open ones that do not close when tapped, then set aside the remainder. Heat the oil in a large pan on medium high and add the curry leaves, chillies, onion and ginger and cook, stirring, for 6–8 minutes. When the onion is translucent, add the turmeric and stir for 30 seconds, then add the fish stock, coconut milk and salt. Bring to a simmer and allow to bubble for a couple of minutes. Adjust the seasoning, if necessary, then add the mussels, cover the pan and simmer heavily on medium for 10-12 minutes until all the mussels have opened. If all the mussels haven’t opened, re-cover the pan and simmer another minute. Remove the pan from the heat and discard any unopened mussels. To serve, ladle the mussels and sauce into a large bowl with plenty of fresh bread.

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