Mussels with mustard seeds and shallots

4 lb 8 oz/2 kg live mussels, scrubbed and debearded
3 tbsp canola oil
½ tbsp black mustard seeds
8 shallots, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tbsp distilled vinegar
4 small fresh red chiles
1¾ cups low-fat coconut milk
10 fresh or 1 tbsp dried curry leaves
½ tsp ground turmeric
¼–½ tsp chili powder


1. Discard any mussels with broken shells or any that refuse to close when tapped with a knife.
2. Heat the oil in a large skillet or wok with a lid over medium–high heat. Add the mustard seeds and stir them around for about 1 minute, or until they start to pop.
3. Add the shallots and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, for 3 minutes, or until they start to brown. Stir in the vinegar, whole chiles, coconut milk, curry leaves, turmeric, chili powder, and a pinch of salt and bring to a boil, stirring.
4. Reduce the heat to very low. Add the mussels, cover the skillet, and leave the mussels to simmer, shaking the pan frequently, for 3–4 minutes, or until they are all open. Discard any mussels that remain closed. Ladle the mussels into 4 deep serving bowls, spoon over the broth, and serve.

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