This Goan-style delicacy is my all time favorite seafood dish.  Goa is the smallest state on the west coast of India known for its fresh seafood.  I may have said this before in various posts, but I’ll say it again – I could probably be quite content living on an island enjoying fish and vegetables on a banana leaf for the rest of my life :).

I’ve made this curry in two different ways in the past.  You could either use dry spices in a coconut broth or you could grind up a paste with shredded coconut and other spices to form a paste.  Today’s recipe calls for the first method.  These are without question, finger-lickin’ good!  You ought to have seen me, scooping up the delicious coconut broth with a shell and literally slurping it down.  I’m glad I was able to enjoy it all in the comfort of my own home 🙂

To accompany this deliciousness I just sautéed some baby bok choy and heated up some naan and dipped it in that gorgeous gravy.  Oh my word, you have to believe me, just heaven on a plate!

Goan Style Mussels


  • 3 tablespoons peanut oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • 7 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon tamarind paste (or 2 teaspoons lemon juice)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 14 oz. can coconut milk
  • 2 pounds mussels, cleaned, beards removed


  1. Heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat.  When oil is shimmering, add onions.  Stir often with a wooden spook, and cook for about five minutes, or until onions turn translucent.
  2. Add ginger and garlic.  Continue stirring, and cook for one minute, until very fragrant.  Then add cayenne pepper, paprika, turmeric, cumin and coriander.  Cook for 10 seconds, and then add tamarind paste, salt and coconut milk and two cups of water.  Stir well, and bring to a simmer. Cover saucepan, and reduce heat to low.  Let simmer gently for 20 minutes.
  3. Increase heat to medium.  Add mussels, cover again and let simmer vigorously for about 5 minutes, or until mussels have opened up.  Discard any mussels that don’t open.
  4. Serve mussels and sauce with naan or white rice.

The garlic, ginger, cayenne pepper, paprika and the earthiness of cumin, coriander and tamarind gave this dish a thumbs up! It’s a fairly simple dish and comes together in no time. Thank you Madhur Jaffrey!

15 Replies to “Goan-Style Mussels”

  1. This Goan mussels curry is a treat anyday, but especially so during a snow storm. It is sure to chase the winter blues away!
    Did you use fresh mussels, Loretta?
    I am going to post the chunky soup I made during the snowstorm! What a crazy day it was yesterday- heavy wet snow so bad that the plough guy could not come -we ended up digging ourselves out.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes Sandhya, I love any kind of shellfish. I do use fresh mussels when we have company over, but I also always have frozen mussels and shrimp in the freezer for a quick meal. Love oysters too, but not sure I’ve ever tried them curried 🙂 How awful that you had to dig yourselves out, I always worry about putting our backs out if that were to happen. I’m sure as I write this, you are probably looking at the weather outside and wondering when you have to clear your driveway and paths. I do feel for you all, but then Boston is just so beautiful in the summertime.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. yes Loretta, we enjoy the spring and summer so much here in Boston. It looks like winter wonderland outside now. Luckily we did not lose power this time so we were fine. Thanks so much for your touching words of concern dear friend.
        I love shellfish too. I have frozen little neck clams in the freezer that I am eager to try. shrimp is a huge favorite of mine too.


  2. Oh Loretta, you’ve outdone yourself!! That curry must be so good with the mussels. Even though they aren’t on my prescribed list of appropriate seafood, lol!! 🙂 Still, I’m a sucker for anything with tamarind, coconut & ginger!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahh I do remember that you’re not a seafood lover perse, are you Mollie? But you’re absolutely right, with those ingredients, you could just skip the mussels and slurp that gravy with a spoon ha! ha! 🙂


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