Wednesday, 4 March 2009

MIDYE DOLMASI ( Stuffed mussels with aromatic rice )

This is a  very popular Turkish traditional meze dish. it is sold by street vendors in cities and sea side resorts all over Turkey. It is a common site to see people stopping to buy the mussels, squeezing with lemon  and enjoying them  as a snack. Normally It is made with fresh mussels strength from the sea, cleaned and cooked, but I had some greenshell New Zealand mussels ( my favorite ) in the freezer to use and result was very good and it worked very well with this dish.  Serves 2.

  • 10  large frozen mussels, defrosted
  • 1 small onion, chopped finely
  • 2 tsp of olive oil
  • 2 tsp pine nuts
  • 2 tsp currants
  • 1 level tsp cinnamon,
  • 1 tsp mix dried herbs
  • pinch of mix spice
  • 1/2 cup rice ( about 60 g )
  • 2 tsp tomato paste
  • 1 cup hot water
  • fresh chopped herbs ( parsley, dill )
  • Salt and ground black pepper.

1) Clean the shells with a brush, pull out the though beards. Wash the mussels, drain and set aside. 
2) Make the  rice filling. Brown the chopped onion in a pan with oil. Add pine nuts, currants, spices and dried herbs, stir.
3) Add rice and mix until well coated. Add tomato paste, hot water, salt and bring  the rice to boil. Once boiled, turn the heat to low and cook the rice with the lid on for 10- 12 minutes.
4) Transfer the rice on a plate and let it cool. Add the fresh herbs and mix.
5) Stuff each shell of the mussels with a  tsp of the rice filling then close the shells and place them into a steamer. Place the lid tightly and bring the water to boil. Then steam the filled mussels for  15 minutes on low heat.
6) Leave the mussels in the pan for a few minutes then transfer them onto a serving plate. Serve with lemon wedges.

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