I’ve never met a curry I didn’t like, and curried mussels have always been a favorite in this house. The beautiful thing about curry is there are a million types, so finding a new taste using a favorite ingredient (or two) is easy. This recipe appealed to me because it uses a couple of ingredients I love, mussels and coconut milk, just like my favorite mussel curry recipe, but pretty much everything else is different. Reading the list of ingredients has made me hungry, so let’s get going and find out if this recipe is a Pinterest success.
In this Tanzanian seafood curry, mussels are cooked in a sauce spiced with cloves, cardamom and ginger and enriched with creamy coconut milk.
Fresh seafood can be expensive, so it’s not a frequent menu item for us (I wish it was). I haven’t bought mussels in ages, and I was pleasantly surprised at the price of $4.99 a pound. Since it’s just the two of us, I bought 1 1/4 pounds and got 46 mussels with only 1 DOA. Not bad for just over $6. the rest of the ingredients were inexpensive and easy to find, but I was a little worried about the tomatoes.
I have never encountered a recipe that calls for canned finely chopped tomatoes, so I did some research online before my shopping trip. Initially, I thought there might be a difference in terminology since the author is in the UK, but I wasn’t able to find a familiar equivalent. I was hoping crushed tomatoes would work, but I was able to find Pomi finely chopped tomatoes at my local grocery store. The consistency looks chunkier than crushed tomatoes, so I’m glad I was able to find them.
Making this recipe wasn’t difficult, and I had it prepped in 10 minutes as listed. The entire meal was ready in 42 minutes, just 2 minutes over the time listed, so this recipe would work well for a weeknight. I served my mussel curry over long-grain white rice. It was easy to cook at the same time as the mussels since rice doesn’t require much work.
One thing I missed was the difference between cloves and garlic cloves. Cloves are mentioned in the description and Step 1, but they aren’t listed as an ingredient. As a result, I added the garlic to the pan too early (in Step 1 instead of Step 2). Fortunately, it didn’t burn, and I don’t think adding the garlic early affected the taste too much. However, the lack of cloves must have, but I had no way of knowing how much to add.
A reader recently informed me that this recipe is no longer posted. I see the original blog post, but the actual recipe is nowhere to be found. Fortunately, I save all the recipes I make here, and my version is posted below. Enjoy!
Tanzanian Style Mussel Curry
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 large onion chopped
- 1 red bell pepper finely chopped
- 2 tsp ginger minced
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 1 ½ tsp ground coriander
- 1 ½ tsp ground cumin
- ¾ tsp ground cardamom
- ¼ tsp ground turmeric
- ¼ tsp red chili flakes
- 14 ½ ounces canned petite diced tomatoes undrained
- 14 ½ ounces chicken stock hot
- 13 ½ ounces coconut milk
- 1 ¼ pound mussels cleaned
- tamarind or lime juice to taste
- freshly chopped coriander (cilantro)
- Heat the vegetable oil in a large saucepan. Add the onion and bell pepper, and saute for 8 minutes or until soft.
- Add the ginger, garlic, and spices, and fry for an addtional 30 seconds.
- Add the diced tomatoes and chicken stock. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the coconut milk and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, add the mussels, and simmer for approximately 6 minutes or until the mussels open. Discard any that do not open.
- Remove from heat and add the tamarind or lime juice to taste. Serve over rice and garnish with chopped coriander (cilantro).