Curry Mussels

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Nordic cookbook history was written in 1974. That year a bunch of foodie friends published a cookbook that would become one of Scandinavia’s most popular, Carl Butler’s Cookbook. With folded corners, patches of pie dough, tomato and French mustard and an unmistakable scent of herbal spices and garlic it can be found in hundreds of thousands of Swedish, Finnish, Danish and Norwegian homes. The book put for the first time coq au vin, moussaka and paté on our tables.

For all Scandinavians who like me love this cook book it took 17 years before we could buy the continuance in the book shops and it was simply called “Carl Butlers Kokebok – Fortsettelsen” (Carl Butler’s Cook Book – The Continuance). This recipe is from that book – Ted

Carl Butler writes about this dish: I had this dish for the first time in a Japanese/Chinese restaurant in France. It is neither oriental or western in style, but rather the Japanese chef’s version of the classic French moules marinière, mussels as fishermen’s wives serve them. An excellent cultural collision.

4 servings

40-50 mussels, preferably fresh
1/2 bottle dry white wine
1 onion
2 branches of celery
1-2 garlic cloves
4 medium tomatoes
1/2 dl olive oil
1-2 tablespoons curry, depending on
how hot you want your mussels


[1] Brush the mussels and remove the beards with pliers. Rinse them several times in water. Throw away those that do not close when you tap them lightly on the table. Peel and finely chop the onion and garlic and cut the celery into small pieces. Dip the tomatoes in boiling water for the skin to crack, peel them and cut them into small pieces.

[2] Heat 0,1 pt of oil in a large pot on fairly high heat. Add the onion, garlic and celery and fry them for a few minutes without browning. Stir in the tomatoes, curry, 1/2 teaspoon salt and a little freshly ground pepper.

[3] Let it all simmer for a few minutes with stirring. Pour in the wine. When it boils, add the lid and lower the heat. Simmer slowly for 10 minutes. Check seasoning. You may need a little more salt or curry.

[4] Turn up the heat until it boils again and add the mussels. Back on with the lid, shake the pan occasionally during the cooking. After 5-6 minutes, it is ready. Discard mussels that have not opened. Pour into a bowl and serve in deep plates with white bread touse to  soak up the good juices.