Thursday, April 8, 2021
Home Recipe Reviews Seafood Tanzanian Style Mussel Curry

Tanzanian Style Mussel Curry

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.

Recipe Author: Bintu at Recipes From A Pantry
Get the recipe

The Ingredients

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.

Tanzanian Style Mussel Curry Ingredients
Mussels, garlic, onion, red bell pepper, coconut milk, coriander, cumin, cardamom, turmeric, red chili flakes, finely chopped tomatoes, rice, chicken broth, lime, ginger, and cilantro

The Process

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.

Chopped onion, red pepper, and garlic
Chopped onion, red pepper, and garlic

Update (12/26/2020)

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

This is a re-written version of a recipe I found at Recipes From a Pantry. I prefer to link back to the original recipe rather than rewrite them here, but the original recipe no longer appears on the blog.

Course Main Course
Cuisine African
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 450 kcal


  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper finely chopped
  • 2 tsp ginger minced
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 3/4 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1/4 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp red chili flakes
  • 14 1/2 ounces canned petite diced tomatoes undrained
  • 14 1/2 ounces chicken stock hot
  • 13 1/2 ounces coconut milk
  • 1 1/4 pound mussels cleaned
  • tamarind or lime juice to taste

To serve:

  • freshly chopped coriander (cilantro)
  • rice


  1. Heat the vegetable oil in a large saucepan. Add the onion and bell pepper, and saute for 8 minutes or until soft.

  2. Add the ginger, garlic, and spices, and fry for an addtional 30 seconds.

  3. Add the diced tomatoes and chicken stock. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  4. 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.

  5. Remove from heat and add the tamarind or lime juice to taste. Serve over rice and garnish with chopped coriander (cilantro).

Recipe Notes

This recipe was originally posted at Recipes from a Pantry.

So how was it?

Clear & Accurate Directions
Accurate Time(s)
This recipe is what I consider a perfect curry. It has a rich, flavorful sauce that enhances the flavor of the mussels without overpowering them. The chopped vegetables, especially the red bell pepper and onion, add some texture and crunch. Served over plain white rice, this mussel curry recipe makes a filling and satisfying meal that's ready in about 40 minutes. My only critique is the directions mention cloves while they are not listed with the ingredients. But even without the cloves, this recipe is a must-try for anyone who enjoys a seafood curry. Oh, and be sure to make plenty of rice. You'll have leftover sauce, and it makes a fabulous lunch the next day.
I'm Candice, and I'm The Hungry Pinner. I created this blog to share my love for cooking and my experiences with the MANY recipes I've found on Pinterest over the years. Join me as I blog my way through those recipes to find out if they are worth trying yourself.


  1. The recipe is unavailable on the website though. People have even commented on the page but Bintu has yet to answer. Now I’m stuck with a tonne of ingredients I can do nothing with. It really is best practice to check your links before posting a blog.

    • Hi Toni,
      I do apologize, but I promise the recipe was there when I originally posted. Fortunately, I always save the recipes I make, and I have updated my blog post to include it. I hope this is in time for you to use those ingredients.


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