This saffron mussel stew is a veritable bowl of warmth–from the ginger, turmeric, and chilies to the steaming mussels themselves. If you’ve never had Indian-inspired shellfish, now’s the time!
This is a super simple dish to make, perfect for a fall evening when the weather is getting cold and you feel like something warm and spicy to comfort and soothe you. Grab a nice loaf of crusty bread to mop up this curry.–Monica Bhide
LC MMMM MUSSELS NOTE
This utterly simple, Indian-inspired recipe bathes mussels in a savory saffron broth spiked with ginger, garlic, peppers, and curry. No complaints here. It may just be our most preferred mussels treatment…um, right after moules frites.
Saffron Mussel Stew
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 medium red onion finely chopped
- 1/2-inch piece ginger peeled and finely chopped
- 3 or 4 garlic cloves finely chopped
- 20 fresh curry leaves
- 2 or 3 small green Serrano chiles finely chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 2 teaspoons ground coriander powder
- 1 1/2 cups homemade chicken stock or canned chicken broth
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1 pound mussels on the half-shell such as New Zealand Greenshell Mussels
- Table salt
- A few strands of saffron
- In a deep saucepan, heat the oil over high heat. When the oil shimmers, add the onion, ginger, garlic, curry leaves, and green chiles. Saute for 4 to 6 minutes, until the onion begins to change color.
- Add the turmeric and coriander. Mix well and saute for another 30 seconds.
- Add the broth and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and add the cream. Remove from the heat and allow to cool to room temperature.
- Transfer to a blender and blend to a smooth consistency. If you like an even smoother texture, pass the mixture through a sieve. I prefer not to do so.
- Return the sauce to the saucepan and bring to another gentle boil.
- Add the mussels and cook, covered, for about 10 minutes, shaking the saucepan occasionally.
- Add salt to taste and the saffron threads and mix well. Serve hot.
Note: If using whole fresh mussels, you will need 1 1/2 pounds. Soak in cold water for an hour. Discard any that open up. Remove beards and rinse well. Then pat dry and proceed with the recipe.
Originally published April 20, 2009