Chilli Mussels

1 clove garlic, sliced finely

2 chillies, chopped finely

1 knob ginger

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 teaspoons mustard seeds

¼ cup reduced tomato puree, or 1 teaspoon tomato paste and 2 skinned, chopped tomatoes

1 kg mussels, steamed and removed from their shells – Save the mussel ‘milk’ and use about ½ cup for this dish, taking care to leave any sand behind.

small bunch of basil, leaves only


Fry the garlic, chilli and ginger in hot oil, taking care not to burn the fragile garlic. This is best done in a wok but can just as well be done in an open fry-pan.


Add the mustard seeds, and watch them sputter. Remove from the heat for a second, and ease in the tomato puree and reserved mussel milk, and stir through.


Return to a medium heat, and continue to stir, gently, until the oil and tomato amalgamate, and the excess liquid has all but disappeared.


Add the cooked mussels and stir gently on a medium heat, until the mussels are warmed through.


Remove from the heat, and work through the basil leaves. Serve with boiled rice, or pasta, or mashed potatoes, or polenta, or couscous.