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Curried Coconut-Seafood Soup
© Marcus Nilsson

Curried Coconut-Seafood Soup (Seafood Rassa)


Hemant Oberoi uses seafood from India's West Coast for this bouillabaisse-like rassa. A cross between a soup and a curry, the rassa is spiked with coconut milk and laden with mussels and shrimp. Steamed basmati rice or warm naan—or both—are key for sopping up the rich, thick broth.

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  1. 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  2. 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  3. 1 large carrot, finely chopped
  4. 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  5. 1 large jalapeño, seeded and minced
  6. 1 1/2 tablespoons minced peeled ginger
  7. 2 tablespoons finely shredded fresh curry leaves (see Note)
  8. 2 teaspoons Madras curry powder
  9. 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  10. 1/4 teaspoon ground fenugreek
  11. 1 1/2 cups fish stock or water
  12. One 14-ounce can unsweetened coconut milk
  13. 1 tomato, finely chopped
  14. Salt
  15. 1 pound mussels, scrubbed and debearded
  16. 3/4 pound medium shrimp, shelled and deveined
  17. 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  18. 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  19. Steamed basmati rice and warm naan, for serving
  1. In a medium enameled cast-iron casserole, melt the butter. Add the onion, carrot, garlic, jalapeño and ginger and cook over moderately high heat until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the curry leaves, Madras curry powder, turmeric and fenugreek and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the fish stock, coconut milk and tomato and season lightly with salt. Cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until slightly reduced, about 15 minutes. Add the mussels and shrimp and cook until the shrimp are opaque and the mussels have opened, about 3 minutes; discard any mussels that don't open. Stir in the cilantro and lemon juice and serve with steamed rice and naan.
Make Ahead
The fish soup can be refrigerated overnight. Rewarm; add the cilantro and lemon juice before serving.
Fresh curry leaves, which resemble small bay leaves and have an aromatic flavor, are available from kalustyans.com.

Suggested Pairing

Zippy, lime-scented, dry Riesling is a good match for both the rich coconut milk and the exotic spices in this dish.