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Mussels with Garam Masala

['1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil', '1 medium onion, chopped', '1 fennel bulb, trimmed and finely chopped, reserving fronds', '4 garlic cloves, chopped', '1 teaspoon garam masala (Indian spice mixture)', '1/4 teaspoon hot red-pepper flakes', '1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes in juice', '2/3 cup well-stirred canned unsweetened coconut milk', '4 pounds cultivated mussels, scrubbed', '1 cup basil leaves, finely chopped', 'Accompaniment: naan or crusty bread']

Heat oil in an 8-quart heavy pot over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Cook onion, fennel, garlic, garam masala, red-pepper flakes, and 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper, stirring occasionally, until onion and fennel are tender, 12 to 15 minutes.
Add tomatoes with juice and coconut milk and bring just to a boil. Add mussels and cook over medium-high heat, covered, stirring occasionally, just until mussels open wide, 8 to 10 minutes. (Discard any that remain unopened after 10 minutes.)
Chop about 2 tablespoons reserved fennel fronds and stir into mussels along with basil.

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