Clams In A Spicy Curry

This is another winter/monsoon favorite of mine. I love the way the rich fiery curry warms you up on a cold day. It is a little more laborious than my other recipes but I guarantee its worth the effort. This recipe uses a special spice powder which can be used for many other recipes, it is called Malwani Garam Masala, and can be kept refrigerated for up to 6 months. It has an earthy flavour and adds the necessary heat required for this sauce.

Ingredients

For the malwani garam masala dry roast and grind to a fine powder the following ingredients.

50gm coriander seeds

30gm cumin seeds

30gm poppy seeds

30gm white sesame seeds

10gm black peppercorns

3-4 large bay leaves

3-4 star anise

30gm fennel seeds

10gm cloves

2 large cinnamon sticks

5gm mace

15 pieces of black stone flower (dagad/badal phool)

10 Triphala dry inner kernel (optional)

6 Black Cardamom pealed and seeds removed

Remaining Ingredients

Half Kg clams

Salt to taste

100 gm dry roasted coconut

1 large onion sliced and lightly browned in a little oil

15 mint leaves

5-6 curry leaves

3 teaspoons of the malwani garam masala

1 teaspoon turmeric powder

2 teaspoons red chilli powder

2 medium tomatoes chopped

3 Garcinia Indica (Kokum) or 1 tablespoon lime juice

Chopped coriander for garnish

Method

Wash and de-beard the clams. Then bring a large pot of water to boil and drop the clams into it. Let it stay on the heat covered for 2 minutes.  Discard the clams that haven’t opened after this.  Save the water to flavor the gravy. Remove the top shells of the clams and keep the bottom one on.

Grind together to a fine paste, the fried onion, roasted dry coconut, mint leaves, tomatoes and all the dry spices (i.e Malwani Garam Masala, Turmeric, Red chili)

Heat oil in a wok and add the above spice paste. Keep stirring till it leaves oil from the sides. Add the curry leaves and the clams with a little of the clam water saved earlier. Let it simmer for 10 minutes. Remember clams are naturally salty so check for slat and add more if required. The gravy should have a thick consistency. Now add the garcinia or lime juice and turn off the heat. Garnish with fresh chopped coriander and serve hot with rice. If you wish to mellow down the spice, you could skip the red chili powder

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