"Clams / Kubbe / Shell Fish Curry With Coconut And Cashew Milk" ..... My very own concoction of kubbe curry that has really excelled in taste with the addition of Cashew Milk .... A very versatile milk that adds thickness and creamy texture to the curry ..... Goes very well with Naan / Pulav / Roti ..... Yumz ....
There are many types of clams found all over the world. Also known as Kubbo (in konkani) Cockles / Marwai (in Tulu a native language of many in South Kanana) / Teesriya (In Marathi). These are really healthy and delicious. But as it is a little bit tedious to eat people do not prefer them much. These are available in plenty in and around Mangalore being on coastal side. Mangalore is a place where you get plenty of fish almost all varieties. But somehow I grew up without eating much of this fish. My father never preferred it I guess being diabetic. But it was cooked often at my Aunt’s place and I did relish them a few times at her place. Marriage and settling in Mumbai did not change much of eating habits as hubby was a lover of fish items. Staying in Thane City in the outskirts of Mumbai, initially I stayed at a place very close to fish market and those days fish was often cooked at home. Shifting of home changed things a little bit. In my new vicinity it is available only on certain days of the week and they bring only certain types of fishes. So I rarely prepared them. Things however, have changed now and we do get to enjoy most of the varieties of fishes now in my vicinity too. A few days back I got some large sized clams and my joy knew no bounds. So here is a dish prepared with certain changes of my own. My very own curry with the addition of cashew milk that gives the curry a creamy texture with delicious aroma and taste.
Clams : About 25-30 large sized
For the Masala :
Coriander pd 2tblsp
Jeera Pd 1 tblsp
Fennel pd 1 tblsp
Cinnamon ½ tsp
Green Cardamom : 4-5
Methi Seeds : ¼ tsp
Garlic Cloves : 4-5
Kashmiri Red chilli pd : 4 tblsp
Tamarind : Small marble sized.
Coconut : ½ cup + 2 cups
For Cashew Milk : Cashew nuts : ½ cup.
Onions 2 large chopped fine
Garlic 8 -10 chopped fine.
Salt to taste
2 tblsp of oil
You will need about 3-4 cups or 25-30 large sized Kubbe / shell fish / clams for this curry. Clean the kubbe / clams in plenty of water. There is always sand in these and are tedious to clean. There are 3 ways of opening the kubbe / clams.
The First Method is to cut open the clams with a sharp knife. But you have to be careful in doing it as you may hurt yourself if not aware of handling it properly. You can watch some You tube demo for the same which will help you to exactly understand the method of preparing the clams. Retain the shell in which the flesh is stuck and discard the other one.
Now the Second Method is the easier one which I followed earlier. Just put the whole kubbe / clams in a broad vessel and add one cup of water. Put it on heat, the minute the water starts to get hot and before reaching boiling point the shells crack up. Immediately remove it from fire and allow to cool properly. When able to handle the shells remove the empty shell and discard them. Do not throw away the water in which the kubbe / clams were cooked. Pass it through a fine sieve or cloth (I use cloth) to strain off the sand particles if any. This cooked water can be used while grinding the masala and also if necessary to add to the cooking curry. Just do not add more water while cooking the shells or else the water will go waste as we do not need much of it. One cup for 3-4 cups of shell fish is more than enough. Just rinse the retained shells and use it in cooking. Simple.
The Third and the Easiest and Best of all Methods..... Which I discovered recently. This is the method I follow now as it is very easy without any hazels the only hitch being you will need time of say about 24 hours. Just wash the kubbe / clams / shell fish in plenty of water. Drain off all excess water and put them in a thick plastic / polythene and fold over tightly. Put this in deep freezer over night or for a day. Remove the frozen shell fish and put them in a wide dish and pour room temperature water to the vessel to brim level. Cover and keep it aside for an hour. When you check later on you will find that all the shells would have opened up by themselves. Wash in plenty of water taking care to see that you rinse off all the sand that is within the shells. You may retain this as it is or remove off one of the shell that is empty and use them. Rest method as per the requirement of the recipe. This I came about accidentally recently, when i stored it freezer and put it into vessel as said above. When opened I saw that the shells has opened up well.
For preparing the cashew milk : The basic method of preparing the cashew milk remains same as mentioned before. Soak half a cup of good quality cashew in one cup of water. Keep it covered aside for 2 hours. After 2 hours put the cashews along with the water it is soaked in into a blender and grind it to a fine paste. If you find it grainy, do not fret, continue the blending and you will get a smooth paste. See to it that you do not add much water while soaking for the very own reason. If you have keep away some of the water in which the cashew was soaked and grind and you can add the same now or else add in one more cup of water and blend all together again …. You will get about 2 cups of good thick and creamy cashew milk. This is the cashew milk which you can add on to many recipes. If desired or in short of time you can always prepare this ahead and put it in the fridge for later use. Remains good for 2-3 days.
For preparing the ground masala : Grind to a fine paste with half a cup of water Coriander pd, Jeera pd, Fennel pd, haldi pd, Cinamon, Cardamom, Methi Seeds, Garlic Cloves, Kashrmiri Red chilli pd, ½ cup of coconut and Tamarind. Add in more water only if necessary.
When the paste is fine add in the remaining 2 cup of coconut and further ground to a coarse paste. Just take a round or two in the ground. The masala should get mixed well but remain coarse at final stage.
Remove the masala and add it to the clams in a large wide vessel. Always use wider vessels for cooking fish. As they should not topple on one another. Wider vessel helps even distribution of the fish and lets cook evenly and will not overcook. Mix well the masala with the shell fish. Add in salt to taste and some water to get to a thick consistency.
For Tempering : Heat the 2 tblsp of oil, when hot add in the chopped garlic, when it turns slightly off colour add in the finely chopped onions and mix well. Fry till evenly browned.
Pour the tempering over the masala that is mixed with clams. Mix the tempering and the curry well and put it on heat on medium flame. Bring to a boil. Add in more water if necessary only.
Once the curry comes to a boil, lower the heat to minimum and simmer for some time say for 5-10 mins.
Now add in cashew milk and mix well. Bring to full heat and immediately remove from fire and keep it tightly covered aside.
The clams curry with coconut and cashew milk is done and ready to be served. This is best served after 2-3 hours. As the shell flavours and juices mix in with the gravy and give it an different taste.
Just reheat and serve hot with some less spicy pulav or roti. Goes very with roti / naan as this curry has thick and creamy consistency.
I served it with less spicy Gaja / Carrot Pulav. And both the dishes went on very well and complimented each other beautifully. So go ahead and prepare this awesome shell fish / kubbe curry and enjoy with family and friends with accompaniment dish of your choice.