Mussels are readily available along India’s coastline. This Goan mussels dish, xinaneao recheado, is a Portuguese-inspired recipe from Goa.
It is not particularly hot, although mussels are strong enough in flavour to bear a high 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, and then placed into half shells for presentation. It could well be prepared in whole shells, which would require a little more liquid added to the recipe and a slightly longer cooking time.
As a starter, we usually serve three mussels per person. Given there are four servings specified, you will notice that the recipe asks for two extra mussels. Every time I prepare mussels, I find that one or two 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.
- wide pan with lid
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 it 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 it aside. Retain twelve 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 eight 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 the 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 shells. If doing so, add 100ml of water after the masala and cook for another two minutes.
This feature is only available to subscribers.