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Mussel, Cockle and Clam Masala


  • 25ml/1fl oz vegetable oil

  • 1.5kg/3½lb or 3.9l/7pt mixed mussels, clams and cockles

  • 85ml/3fl oz water

  • For the Masala

  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds

  • 1 tsp cloves

  • 2 tbsp cumin seeds

  • 350g/12oz onions, finely chopped

  • 8 large garlic cloves

  • 50g/2oz fresh ginger, chopped

  • walnut-sized knob of dried tamarind pulp (seeded)

  • 1 tsp turmeric powder

  • 3 fresh red chillies

  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar

  • 3 tbsp coconut cream

  • For the Garnish

  • 2 tbsp fresh coriander leaves, chopped

  • You will need a large pan, preferably a wok, to cook this dish.


  • 1.

    In a frying pan, dry-fry the coriander seeds and cloves over a medium heat for a few minutes, then add the cumin seeds, heating them for another 30 seconds. Grind in a clean coffee grinder or mortar, then put this mixure with the remainder of the masala ingredients into a food processor and blend to a paste. If the masala paste is too stiff add a little vegetable oil to loosen it.

  • 2.

    Fry the masala in the vegetable oil until the spices separate from the oil.

  • 3.

    Wash the mussels, clams and cockles and toss them in the masala paste then cover with a lid and, shaking from time to time, steam cook until the shells open. If you feel the mussels haven't produced enough liquid add a little water. The recipe contains no salt as mussels are salty, but taste to check the seasoning. Throw in a generous amount of chopped coriander and serve in bowls.

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Posted by JacquiReport
I tried cooking this using a gas ring outdoors.Just great for a spicy pick me up on a cool Winter afternoon shared with friends!