This actually turned out to be a mussel curry as opposed to a general seafood curry. Firstly, that’s what I had available and was inspired to do, but also because you don’t have to be restricted to only use mussels with this sauce and there could be an opportunity for including other seafood as well.
I did include a small amount of prawns and for the sake of making sure they didn’t feel neglected, I called it a seafood curry. Actually, it was all about the mussels. I love mussels and will grab them messily with both hands at every opportunity. On some levels I like the simplicity of just the mussels but it’s up to you. This would work equally well with mussels, squid, prawns, chunks of white fish or a combination of all of these for something really fancy.
The fresh seafood, together with the sharp, sweet and pokey coconut base hit all the right buttons for me. The only thing I needed to finish it off was some fresh coriander which from the photo you can see I obviously didn’t have. The other ingredient I would have liked was fresh curry leaves instead of dried ones. Next time….
This comforting curry is very easy to put together and once you have the mussels and/or other seafood prepared it doesn’t take very long at all.
INGREDIENTS (for 3-4)
1kg fresh mussels
500g fresh prawns
2 tbsp coconut oil
1 fresh red chilli
2 red onions
1 thumb size piece of fresh ginger
6-8 cloves garlic
1 large stick of cinnamon
1 tsp brown mustard seeds
3 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
handful curry leaves
1 tsp turmeric
1tsp chilli flakes
2 tsp hot Bolst’s curry mix
large handful chopped fresh coriander
1 tin coconut milk
1 red pepper
1 dessertspoon jaggery or brown sugar
good dash of fish sauce
1 dessertspoon tamarind paste or juice of 1 lime or lemon
salt and pepper to taste
In a large wok or wide pan (you’ll need a lid for it later on) melt the coconut oil over a medium heat and add the coarsely chopped onion and allow to fry for a couple of minutes until it starts to soften. Add ginger, cinnamon, curry leaves, whole chilli, chilli flakes, mustard seeds, half the coarsely ground coriander seeds (useful if you have a spice mill or coffee grinder specially for this), freshly ground cumin seeds, Bolst’s and turmeric. Fry gently for a minute then add sliced red pepper and thinly sliced garlic. Cook for a further 2 minutes then add coconut milk, tamarind (or citrus), jaggery (or sugar) and fish sauce. Allow sauce to cook for around 15-20 minutes until flavour becomes deeply rich and the sauce creamy and sweet.
Get a pan of plain boiled or steamed basmati on and have ready before finishing the curry.
Add the mussels and or prawns to the curry sauce and turn the heat to medium and cover with a lid. Allow to steam for 4-5 minutes then serve immediately with the rice and a good sprinkling of fresh and ground coriander.
If adding some white fish, give it a bit longer – maybe an extra 5 minutes before adding other shellfish. (Matthew)