Fresh Mussels Cooked in a Coconut Milk, Turmeric, and Lime
Nik Sharma is one of my many favorite cookbook authors. Both of his cookbooks are superb. This recipe comes from his first cookbook “Seasons” and it is excellent . If you’re a fan of mussels, this one is an interesting take – Turmeric and Lime Mussel Broth.
Coconut milk is infused with a little garam masala, fresh turmeric, fresh ginger, makrut lime leaves and a few other ingredients. One of the most important elements is an entire cup of minced shallots, sautéed in a little ghee to which the other ingredients are then added. Those shallots play a pivotal role by adding their inherent sweetness to balance out the briny mussels.
I realize there are some ingredients here which aren’t readily available outside of South Asian markets. I know I’m lucky to have a great one near me. Even if you’re unable to find fresh makrut lime leaves or fresh turmeric, this recipe will still be successful. I would substitute a few strips of lime zest for the makrut lime leaves and use about a teaspoon of ground turmeric in place of the fresh.
The only part of cooking mussels at home that isn’t particularly appealing is the necessity of scrubbing them. There’s no way around it. Rinsing them in cool water won’t get the job done. I have a little scrub brush I use for scrubbing mussels and clams and while it takes a little while, it assures there will be no grit in your lovely broth.
The recipe calls for 2 pounds of mussels, but I used 3 pounds and it turned out beautifully. I swear I think I could eat my weight in mussels, but this broth had us all practically licking our bowls. I served bowls of plain Japanese rice alongside our big bowls of mussels and I couldn’t have been more satisfied. Nik Sharma has a brilliant way with flavors. None of them smack you in the face. They’re subtle and perfectly combined. This recipe proves my point.
Here is a link to the recipe: https://www.independent.ie/life/food-drink/recipes/food-writer-nik-sharmas-recipe-for-turmeric-and-lime-mussel-broth-37493612.html
Somehow I missed this recipe when you first posted it (and also apparently overlooked it in Nick’s book). We LOVE mussels at our house and, although I love making them with white wine or (my latest favorite) hard cider, I am always looking for a good mussel recipe that doesn’t involve alcohol. I know it cooks off, but some people just shouldn’t even be around it and I like to respect that.
Cynthia, I fully understand what you’re saying. You’ve gotta try this recipe. I’ve never made anything of Nik’s that isn’t sensational and this one is no exception. I loved finding a new flavor profile for mussels, too. I hope you enjoy it!