Mussels are readily available along India’s coastline. This dish, xinaneao recheado, is a Portuguese inspired recipe from Goa.
It is not particularly hot, although mussels ae strong enough in flavour to bear a higher level of spice. This dish is balanced in flavours, with good contrast between the mussels and the spices.
We usually serve this as an entrée, or starter, but it could be served as a main course by increasing the quantities. Also, the recipe as presented here has the mussels removed from the shells, cooked, then placed into half shells for presentation. It could well be prepared in the whole shells, which would require a little more liquid added to the recipe and a slightly longer cooking time.
As a starter, we usually three mussels per person. Given there are four serves specified, you will notice that the recipes asks for two extra mussels. Every time I prepare mussels, I find that one or two that won’t open and must be discarded. I cannot stress how important it is to prepare the mussels as described to make sure you only have good mussels.
You will notice a dinner roll in the photo above. This is pav – a feature of Goan cuisine. Bread rolls like these are another part of the Portuguese legacy.
- 2 tbsp coriander leaves coarsely chopped
to prepare mussels
Wash mussels well.
Boil a litre of water and, once boiling, add the mussels. Within a few seconds the mussel shells will start to open. Remove each opened mussel and set aside. Discard any mussels that have not opened after a minute or so.
Drain mussels well. Open the mussel shells and remove the beards from the mussels.
Using one half of the shell, scoop out the mussel meat from the shell and set aside. Retain 12 half shells to serve the mussels. Clean and wash these shells well.
Heat a pan over medium heat and add oil. When hot, add the onions and fry for five minutes until they are soft and translucent, but not coloured.
Add the green chilli and recheado masala, mix well and fry for two minutes.
Add the mussel meat and salt. Cover and cook for five minutes.
Remove mussels from heat. Place one mussel in a half shell and cover with a little masala.
Garnish with coriander and serve.
- Make sure that mussels that you buy are completely closed and not cracked or chipped.
- This recipe specifies mussels removed from their shells, cooked, then served on half-shells. You could equally cook them in the complete shells. If doing so, add 100ml of water after the masala and cook for another two minutes.