Kasundi is spicy tomato relish which goes well with these easy-to-make chickpea battered mussels. Serve as starter accompanied by a cold glass of ale when you have you friends over for meal.
1½ cups chickpea flour (besan)
½ tsp baking powder
3 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
½ tsp turmeric
½ tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2kg mussels, debearded and cleaned
1 telegraph cucumber, halved lengthways, deseeded, diced
½ cup mint leaves, roughly chopped
1 lime, shredded rind and juice
salt (extra), to taste
white pepper, to taste
¼ cup plain flour
vegetable oil (extra, for deep-frying)
kasundi, to serve
1 To make chickpea batter, sift chickpea flour, baking powder, cumin, coriander, turmeric, cayenne and salt into a bowl. Combine oil and 1¼ cups warm water in a jug. Add to flour mixture and whisk until well combined and smooth. Stand for 30 minutes.
2 Meanwhile, put 3 cups water in a large, deep saucepan over high heat. When boiling add half the mussels and cover. Cook, shaking pan occasionally, for 5–10 minutes or until mussels open. Remove with a slotted spoon and put in a large bowl. Repeat with remaining mussels. When cool enough to touch, remove mussels from shells. Set aside and allow to cool.
3 Meanwhile, to make cucumber salad, combine cucumber, mint and lime rind and juice in a bowl. Toss until well combined. Season with salt and white pepper.
4 Put plain flour in a small bowl. Pour oil (extra, for deep-frying) into a deep saucepan until one-third full and put over medium-high heat. When oil is hot lightly dust mussels with flour. Dip 4–6 mussels at a time into batter and add to hot oil. Deep-fry for 2–3 minutes or until golden. Transfer to a wire rack. Cook remaining mussels.
5 Serve mussels with cucumber salad and kasundi.
KASUNDI (HOT INDIAN TOMATO CHUTNEY)
1 Heat ¼ cup vegetable oil in a medium-size saucepan over medium heat.
2 Add 1 diced brown onion and cook for 3 minutes or until soft. Add 2 crushed garlic cloves, finely chopped small red chillies, ¼ cup purchased korma paste, 1 tbsp black mustard seeds and 2 tsp turmeric. Stir until well combined. Add 1.2kg skinned, roughly chopped tomatoes, 1 cup white sugar, ½ cup white wine vinegar and 2 tsp salt.
3 Stir until well combined and sugar is dissolved. Bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer for 20–25 minutes or until liquid is reduced by half and chutney becomes thick. Allow to cool slightly.
4 Spoon into a sterilised jar. Secure lid. Store in fridge for up to 1 month.
Note: this chutney is great with barbecued sausages, steak and chops and char-grilled chicken breast.