Seafood lovers will vouch for that fact that clams, a shell fish variety, makes for a delicious dish when seasoned with spices and herbs. A heat-y food just like chicken, clams too need to be cooked in ghee. Clams are best when bought after a full moon when they are fleshy. Open them up and scoop out all the meat into one half of the shell to enjoy its delicious flesh.
Shell fish are my favourite and among shells I love clams that are popularly known as tisrya in the fish markets in Mumbai andmarwai in Mangalore.
How do you buy clams? I go for the medium-sized, smooth-shelled ones because they are safer, fuller in meat and you have lesser bad clams in the heap. Ask the fisherwoman to clean them for you if you have difficulty with that.
You can also buy them and freeze for a couple of hours. This opens up the good clams so you can separate the shells easily. The bad clams don’t open and can be easily discarded. Look for spoilt clams even among the good set, just to be on the safe side.
Just a note and pretty much a ground rule among fish eaters, try not to buy clams in the rainy season. You don’t get the best and cleanest catch during that season.
Here’s a simple recipe for clams that my mom makes when clams are aplenty in the fish markets.
Ingredients: Serves 4
50 clams, cleaned as mentioned above. Keep soaked till ready to use.
Finely diced onions
1½ tsp chilly powder
1 tsp roasted and ground coriander powder
1 tsp roasted and ground cumin powder
½ medium-sized grated coconut
Salt to taste
1 tbsp ghee
Coriander leaves finely chopped to garnish
1. Fry the onions in ghee till they turn transparent.
2. To this, add the chilly powder, coriander and cumin powders.
3. Add the grated coconut and fry well.
4. Add the clams along with the water that was used for soaking.
5. To this, add the tamarind water and allow the clams to cook.
6. Taste one of the cooked clams for salt. Clams are already salty so you might want to check before adding some more salt as per your taste.
7. Allow some of the water to dry to ensure all the clams are cooked.
8. Serve the clams sukkha after garnishing with coriander leaves, and enjoy with plain white rice.