Mussels in Tomato Sauce

Midyeli pilâki

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

Classic Turkish Cooking

By Ghillie Basan

Published 1995

  • About

This is a cold dish, most often cooked in the summer, and it can he made with any amount of mussels. Bread is always needed to mop up the tasty sauce.


  • 25-30 mussels, shelled and cleaned
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 small carrot, diced
  • 1 small potato, diced
  • 1 stick celery, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tomato, skinned and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon concentrated tomato purée
  • bunch of fresh parsley, dill and basil, chopped
  • ½ pint/300 ml water
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

To garnish

  • a little extra parsley, chopped


  • Heat the oil in a pan and soften the onion and garlic in it. Stir in the carrot, potato and celery and cook for 2-3 minutes. Stir in the vinegar, sugar and salt and add the tomato, tomato purée and herbs. Pour over the water, mix well and bring the liquid to the boil. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 25-30 minutes until the vegetables are tender and the liquid has reduced (if the mixture gets too dry, add more water). Add the mussels and cook gently for a further 5-10 minutes. Season to taste and leave to cool in the pan. Garnish with parsley, and serve with wedges of lemon and bread.