Clam Fry - Kakka Irachi Varuthathu

The backwaters of Kochi are a rich source of tasty fish, prawns and clams. Some of these tasty creatures  are specific to the backwaters of Kochi that extends to Alleppey, Kollam and Kumarakom. To name a few are pearlspot (Karimeen), mullet (Kanambu and Thirutha), mud crabs, prawns and these tasty clams.

All these are also a part of the 'Gods own country' tag. Uunfortunately these are facing a hard time because of the unscrupulous or rather unthoughtful developments that are clogged around Kochi. It seems some tourists choose Kochi or Alleppey just to eat the Karimeen which is turned into a mild fish moilee to suit their palette.

A major part of the backwaters was sold for real estate development when the Goshree Bridge was commissioned. The filling of backwaters continues without giving a thought on the environmental disasters that can ensue. 

The latest development strategy is Emerging Kerala. I did not really delve into the details, but just know that days after the announcement we are also going through hours of loadshedding (no power supply). The sun is shining quite well these days. So I think it is a coincidental indication that we should switch to Solar Power and save the earth ourselves.

Sorry for getting intp the contemporary news......coming back to the clams....these are collected by professional clam collectors by diving into the backwaters. They boil it and the shells are removed before it reaches the commercial place - the markets and individual sellers. 

Eating clams from hotels may not be a very good idea because it requires good cleaning. You can see a black portion of it in the fresh ones which is dirt. You should pinch it off or use a fish scissor to cut it off.

Recipe for Clam Fry (sometimes clams are mistaken for mussels)

Fresh Clams – 300 gms approx (if you are using canned clams use just 225 – 250 gms)

Ingredients to boil the clams
Ginger – ½ inch piece sliced into juliennes
Turmeric – ½ tsp
Green chilly – 2 nos
Curry leaves – 2 sprigs
Garlic – 4 cloves (optional)
Salt to taste

Ingredients to fry (this is not a deep fry)

Oil – 3-4 tbsp  (coconut or vegetable oil)
Onion – 2, julienned
Garlic – 6 cloves, chopped
Curry leaves, again – 1 or 2 sprigs (you can remove the curry leaves from the boiled clams)

Turmeric powder – ¼ tsp
Chilly powder – ½ , ¾ or 1 tsp depending on your taste
Pepper powder – ½ tsp

Salt to taste

The method

Clean the clams first by washing it in hot water twice and then by removing the dark / dirt as mentioned in the last paragraph above. Once done, rinse in cold water twice to get rid of any dirt sticking to the clams.

Place it in a heavy bottom pan or clay pot with water covering just half of the clams. Add all the ingredients to boil, and cook in medium heat for about 15 minutes or until it turns soft. There should be only about 2-3 tbsp water once the clams are cooked.

Heat oil in a wide, heavy bottom pan or cast iron skillet and add the onion and garlic. Stir it till it is translucent. Add the curry leaves and powders and stir for few seconds. Add the boiled clams and turn to high heat. Keep stir till the water evaporates from the clams. When water is almost fully evaporated from the clams cover the pan with a lid. The clams will give a bursting sound inside and turn firm. This is the consistency. Turn to low flame and carefully open the lid and stir so that all the clams get high heat and explode. Continue this till all clams turn hard as you see in the picture. Serve with rice. You won’t need anything else to have this.

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Sangeetha Nambi said…
Looks perfect...
Priya Satheesh said…
Love this but never tried at home....
divya said…
Looks soo lovely and Tempting..!!
Torviewtoronto said…
looks wonderful delicious curry
Mélange said…
Nice presentation Roshan..It's too tempting.I am seeing clam after a long time..Kothi varunnu.
yummy and tasty dear:)

Saraswathy Balakrishnan
Taste of Saras Kitchen
This looks perfect and yummy..
Priyas Feast said…
Never made clams..super tempting.Nice recipe,dear.
meigancam said…
Valuable information ..I am delighted to read this article..thank you for giving us this useful information. Great walk-through. I value this post.religious food
spiritual food
nevil raju said…
Can u help me please?
I was abt to cook fresh clams. Bt got stuck wit the idea whethr I should remove the brownish substance inside the flesh. I really need an advic thnkss
Roshans Cucina said…
Hi Nevil,

Yes , you have to remove the black / brownish grainy dirt from the clams before cooking it.