Spicy Clams or Mussels, Indian Style

Indian-Style Mussels (Photo by Urban Mixer/flickr)

Serves 4.


1.5 kg/3 lb fresh clams or mussels
3 tablespoons oil
2 medium onions, finely chopped
1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger
3 fresh red chillies, finely chopped
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste
150 g/5 oz/2 cups grated fresh coconut
3 tablespoons freshly chopped coriander leaves
juice of 1 lime or lemon


If using mussels, they will probably need more attention than clams. Scrub the shells of any mossy patches, and pull the 'beard' off each mussel. Discard any that are not firmly closed.

Heat oil in a deep pan and on low heat fry the onion, garlic, ginger and chillies until onions are transparent, soft and starting to turn golden. Add coriander, turmeric and salt and stir for a minute or so, then add the clams or mussels and cover the pan with a well-fitting lid. Continue to cook on low heat for about 7 minutes or until they open. Shake the pan from time to time. Discard any that do not open.

Put all the clams or mussels as well as the spicy mixture and their juices into a deep bowl and sprinkle over the coconut, chopped coriander and lime juice. Start eating immediately.

Recipe excerpted from Encyclopedia of Asian Food by Charmaine Solomon (Periplus Editions, 1998)