Mussels in pineapple curry with coconut rice

Matt Tebbutt recipe

Preparation time
less than 30 mins

Cooking time
10 to 30 mins

Serves 4

By Mandy Yin
From Saturday Kitchen


For the coconut rice

  • 350g/12oz long-grain or jasmine rice
  • 290ml/10fl oz coconut milk
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • 1 pandan leaf (washed, dried and tied into a knot)

For the spice paste

  • 2 red chillies, roughly chopped
  • 100g/3½oz onion, roughly chopped
  • 2–4 lime leaves, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2.5cm/1in fresh root ginger, roughly chopped
  • 1½ tsp ground turmeric
  • 25g/1oz shrimp paste

For the mussels curry

  • 100g/3½oz pineapple, roughly chopped (see tip)
  • 4 tbsp oil
  • 100ml/3½fl oz coconut milk
  • 1½ tsp tamarind paste
  • 1kg/2lb 4oz mussels, scrubbed and debearded
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh mint
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh coriander


  1. Put the uncooked rice into a saucepan with a lid. Cover with water and wash the rice by swishing it around with your hand. Drain in a sieve, rinse under cold running water and drain. Repeat the washing process three times. Return the rice to the saucepan.

  2. Add the coconut milk and salt, and then add water so that the level of the liquid comes to the first joint of your finger when the tip of your pinky finger is resting on top of the rice. (It is essentially a 1:1 ratio.) Add the pandan leaf to the rice and put the lid on.

  3. Put the pan on a high heat. Bring the rice to the boil – this is one of the few times I would recommend that you watch a pan come to the boil. As soon as the pan comes to the boil, turn down the heat to its lowest level (move it to a smaller hob ring if necessary) and leave to simmer, covered for 25 minutes. Do not take the lid off or stir. Leave it alone to cook!

  4. Turn off the heat and leave for another minute or two. Then fluff up the rice with a fork, a pair of chopsticks or ideally a rice paddle. If you don’t fluff your rice once it’s finished cooking, the bottom will crisp up and the rice ends up rather solid without the desired fluffiness.

  5. To make the spice paste, blitz all of the ingredients into a fine purée in a food processor and then transfer to a bowl. There is no need to wash the food processor bowl before the next step.

  6. To make the mussels curry, blitz the pineapple into a fine purée in the food processor. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat and fry the spice paste until fragrant and the paste has become a darker shade of red. Add the blitzed pineapple, coconut milk, tamarind paste and 100ml/3½fl oz water. Bring to the boil and then reduce to a simmer for 5 minutes over a low heat. Discard any mussels with broken shells and any that refuse to close when tapped. Add the mussels to the pan, turn the heat up to medium, cover and cook for 5 minutes or until the mussels are open. Discard any mussels that remain closed. Garnish with the herbs and serve immediately. Serve the rice in a separate bowl.

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