I’m lucky enough to live in an area where the simple question “Where do you wanna go to dinner?” can result in an hour long discussion. The culinary scene in Downtown Jersey City is amazing and getting more impressive by the day, so it seems. This recipe, however, was inspired by a restaurant on the other side of the Hudson; a restaurant that my boyfriend and I visit more often than we’d like to admit, for their endless variety of mussels and homemade donuts!
If you’re in the NYC area you need visit Flex Mussels. Start with oysters, share a few different kinds of mussels with friends, and end with their homemade donuts – you will not be disappointed. The recipe below is my attempt to recreate their “Bombay Mussels”, cooked with Indian curry, garlic, white wine, and coconut milk. It is packed with flavor, a little heat, and a ton of great texture. This is not your classic mussels with tomatoes and garlic – don’t be afraid of these delicious, bold flavors.
- 2 lbs. Mussels, scrubbed and beards removed
- 1 13oz can coconut milk
- 1/2 cup clam juice
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 3 Tbs. butter
- 1 large or 2 small onions (about a cup and a half), finely chopped
- 5 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- About an inch of fresh ginger, peeled and minced
- 1 Tbs. Curry powder
- 1 tsp. turmeric
- 1/4 tsp. garam masala
- 1 whole cinnamon stick
- 2-3 star anise pods
- 1/8 tsp. Cayenne pepper (optional)
- Fresh cilantro, sliced scallions for garnish
- Salt to taste
Melt the butter in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the onions, cinnamon stick and star anise. Season with salt and sauté about 4 mins. Add the garlic and ginger and sauté another 2-3 minutes. When the onions, garlic, and ginger begin to soften, add the curry powder, turmeric, garam masala, and cayenne pepper. Continue cooking over medium high heat, stirring occasionally.
After about 4 minutes, you’ll notice the spices sticking to the bottom of the pan. Pour in the clam juice and white wine and scrape the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to pick up all those spices. Allow the liquid to simmer about 3 minutes, then add the coconut milk and stir until well combined. Allow this to simmer about 8-10 minutes – you really want to cinnamon and star anise to permeate the broth.
After 10 minutes, dump in the mussels and cover until the mussels open, about another 8-10 mins. Lift the lid and give them a stir a couple times.
Garnish with a ton of sliced scallions and cilantro leaves.