Mussels, known as Kadukka or Kallumakkai in Malayalam is a popular seafood in Malabar region of Kerala. This is something that makes me really home sick. The mussels that we get in Calicut(my home town) are the best and I miss all the yummy dishes my mother makes with it. Mussels can be fried, curried, pickled, stuffed, or you could even make biriyani. I am glad that I could find some mussels here in UK, but they are smaller in size.
It is preferable to buy uncooked mussel with the shell from markets. One tip that my father gives is that the you should buy only those mussels with the shells tightly shut. To clean the mussel, the shell needs to be srcubbed to remove dirt and then boiled/steamed. When the shell opens up after boiling, you need to remove the mussel flesh and clean them thoroughly. It requires lot of patience especially if the mussels are small. I could get only cooked and de-shelled ones here, so I had to do a little bit of cleaning and the mussels are ready to be prepared.
This is a delicious thoran recipe, which is best made with small size mussels.
Cleaned and de-shelled mussels - 300 gms
Shallots - 6 to 8
Ginger - 1 inch piece
Garlic - 4 to 5
Green chilly - 3
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Coriander powder - 1/2 tsp
Jeera/Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
Shredded coconut - 3 to 4 tsp
Pepper powder - 1/2 tsp (optional)
Curry leaves - a sprig
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Oil - 1 tbsp. I used coconut oil as this is a kerala style recipe.
1. Clean and rinse the mussels thoroughly. Roughly chop them and keep aside.
2. Crush shallot, ginger,garlic and green chillies together. I just did a pulse in the mixer.
3. Heat oil in a pan and splutter mustard seeds. Add the crushed ingredients and curry leaves and saute till you get a nice aroma.
4. Add turmeric and coriander powders and saute well. Add the mussels and salt and stir fry for a few minutes. As the mussels are pre-cooked it wont need much time.
5. Take jeera and coconut in a bowl and mix it well with your fingers. Add this to the mussels along with pepper powder and stir well to combine.
Serve with hot rice. It tasted great with Red rice(Matta rice) and Kachiya moru.