2 kilograms Mussels (cleaned, scrubbed, de bearded)
¼ cup Basil Olive Oil
1 tsp Fennel Seed
1 tsp Cumin Seed
1 tsp Mustard Seed
1 large Onion diced
4 tablespoons Garlic diced
2 tablespoons Ginger paste
2 tsp Turmeric
Kosher Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
One package colored Cherry Tomatoes
1 can Coconut Milk
1 cup Chicken broth ( or half wine and half broth)
4-6 tablespoons Garam Masala ( mixture of black and white peppercorns, cinnamon, cardamom pods, bay leaf, cumin)
Heat up large skillet style pan with deep sides with Basil Olive Oil. When the oil starts to heat up, add fennel, cumin, and mustard seed. When the seeds begin to pop and become aromatic, add onion, ginger and garlic. Mix well and add a ¼ cup of chicken broth. Allow it to steam, turning the heat down to medium. Slowly add coconut milk to mixture. Begin slicing the cherry tomatoes and adding them to sauce, mixing them in so they are immersed in the liquid. Add carrot strips. Sprinkle Garam Masala over the sauce and gently whisk in, continuously till it is all gone. Add Kosher salt and pepper. Continue to cook on medium heat till the cherry tomatoes are well broken down. Add the rest of the chicken broth and stir. Take a spoon and test your sauce to make sure you have enough salt and spice. Feel free to add whatever you believe you need as everyone has a slightly different palate than the next person!
Now it is time to add the Mussels. Add them to you sauce, gently evening them out around the pan. Place a secure lid overtop. As the steam builds, the Mussels will begin to open. After about five minutes, remove from heat and lift the lid. Gently stir the Mussel mixture.
There are different ways for presentation to your family or guests. You can pour the entire skillet onto a large platter, so all can take from the same plate. Or, you can have individual bowls. I scoop the Mussels out evenly into 6-8 bowls and then pour the sauce with a ladle overtop.
Garnish your platter with fresh cilantro or scallions and lime wedges. Don’t forget your sliced Ciabatta Bread to soak up that amazing broth!