Creamy masala mussels

A big pot of steamy mussels in a creamy masala sauce is the perfect dish to share. Make sure you have a nice loaf of crusty white bread to break off and dip into the delicious curry sauce.

Sedgwick’s The Original Old Brown is celebrating its 100-year birthday and they asked me to jump on board. They got an overwhelming number of stories and recipes from people who loved their sherry style wine; they decided to make a commemorative book. I adore cooking with sherry and Old Brown, and as any self-respecting South African will know, is part of our heritage. Most people I know have one or other story to tell and I have family members that won’t go on a fishing trip with out it. I can recall a few fireside parties in my misspent youth with a bottle in hand and finding the sweet nectar quite delectable.

I’m now all grown up and love to cook with it, so choosing what to make was a difficult. The robust flavour sits comfortably with chocolate and caramel so I was hugely tempted to make the chocolate mousse or the birthday cupcakes that feature The Original Old Brown in the cake, the filling and the caramel drizzle. In the end I settle d for the creamy masala mussels, which sounded perfect and delicious. I’m also a big fan of a pot of saucy mussels. It also occurred to me that this is a perfect dish for summer or winter. Its not a heavy dish, but the spicy, creamy broth is unbelievably comforting too.

Creamy masala mussels

Creamy masala mussels

Top tip – when buying a kilogram of mussels, always buy a few extra to compensate for the few that might not open. The heat level is mild, so if you want more spice, add chilli or a hotter curry. Personally it was spot on for me. This is the perfect dish to throw together last minute, and despite its simplicity will always impress.

Creamy masala mussels

Recipe – feeds 2 as a main or 4 as a starter

  • 1kg/ 2 lb mussels (beards removed and cleaned)
  • 30ml – 45 ml / 2-3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 celery sticks finely chopped
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 15ml / 1 Tbsp garlic, minced – about 2 – 3 cloves
  • a sprinkle of salt and pepper
  • 30ml / 2 Tbsp garam masala or mild curry powder
  • 180ml / ¾ cup Original Old Brown (medium cream sherry if you are not in SA)
  • 250ml / 1 cup fresh cream
  • fresh lime wedges and coriander leaves to serve

Heat the olive oil in a large heavy based pot with a lid and sauté the onions and celery until soft and translucent – about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and a lilght seasoning of salt an pepper and cook for a further minute or so. Add the curry and give it a good stir.

Add the sherry and the mussels and put the lid on the pot. Cook for 5 – 7 minutes on a medium to high heat giving the pot a good shake every now and again.

Open and remove any mussels that didn’t open. Add the cream and heat through.

Serve with lime wedges to spritz and fresh coriander leaves.

This post is proudly sponsored by Sedgwick’s The Original Old Brown and they are giving away a hamper that includes a bottle plus their ‘100 years of stories’ book. Leave a comment on my Facebook page and stand a chance to win. Open only to South African readers.

Creamy masala mussels


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  1. Ursula B

    Oh Sam…how right you are…sherry just brings out the best in all cooking….far prefer it to wine..

  2. Sam

    Its a secret little ingredient weapon I tell you and Im using it more and more. Much more intense flavour.

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