Curried Mussels

Make this dish as spicy as you like. I find that about five hot long green chiles is about right for my taste.

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • Green chiles to taste
  • 1 cubic inch ginger root
  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1 tablespoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne
  • 2 stems curry leaves
  • 1 small can peeled tomatoes
  • 1 cup white wine or dry vermouth
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream or coconut milk
  • 2 gallons live mussels

Chop the onion, garlic, and chiles and sauté in the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat for several minutes until softened. Chop the cilantro and add half to the pot with the dry spices. Continue cooking for several minutes more, stirring occasionally. Crush the tomatoes and add to the pot with the curry leaves, wine and cream. (May be prepared in advance to this point.) Cook for several minutes more. Raise the heat to high, add the mussels, cover the pot, and cook until the mussels have opened. Cover with the remaining cilantro and serve the mussels with their broth in bowls with crusty bread.