Spiced Mussels in Tamarind Broth

Tart tamarind and toasted spices lend a simple flourish to fresh-from-the sea mussels in this recipe by Reza Mahammad
By Reza Mahammad
Spiced Mussels in Tamarind Broth
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Effort: easy


For the spice mix

  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds


  • 4 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 onions, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 0.5 tsp mild chilli powder
  • 1 tsp tamarind, concentrate
  • 250 ml fish stock
  • 0.75 tsp sugar, or to taste
  • 1 pinches freshly ground black pepper
  • 450 g live mussels, in their shells
  • 2 tbsp chives, snipped, for serving


1. Heat a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan over a moderate heat. Add the fennel and coriander seeds and toast for about a minute, until they give off a lovely spicy aroma. Tip the spices onto a plate and leave to cool before grinding to a fine powder using a mortar and pestle.

2. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a moderate heat. Add the onion and garlic, and soften, without colouring for about five minutes.

3. Sprinkle over the fennel and coriander powder, chilli powder and tamarind concentrate. Pour over the fish stock, and add the sugar and pepper to taste.

4. Bring the broth to a simmer before tipping in the mussels. Cover the pan and cook for about five minutes, until all the shells have opened. The broth should taste quite tart with just a hint of sweetness.

5. Add more sugar if you think it needs it. Serve the mussels straight away, scattered with snipped chives and surrounded by a moat of spicy tamarind broth.

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