Kakka irachi / erachi ularthiyathu - Kerala Clams Roast

Hope all in US had a scrumptious Thanksgiving dinner , enjoyed and indulged in the mad shopping frenzy of Black Friday and relaxed on the weekend ! We had a blissful thanksgiving ... Oh boy , I am a happy successful host ...

The only thing that worries me after this long weekend is the guilt of eating too much , feeling heavy and total crap! I am trying to reset the button with meditation.....Thank god , the lent starts within days , wink ...


Curry Leaves - for vazhayila -pic 

.......She was there everyday except Sundays , with a wide mouthed aluminium vessel balanced on her hip covered with a thin polythene sheet , and underneath a reserved "kutti" of clams. She brought the smell of oceans with her...
She was in her late 70's , with a heavy body in traditional "chatta and lunki", salt and pepper hair , and tobacco stained teeth...We called her " Kakka Erachi Ammachi .
I never knew her name , didn't bother to ask anyone , until one day my mom mentioned to me about the clams lady's death. I came to know then , her name was "Kunjorotha".
Kunjorotha ... somehow I couldn't fit her into that name ... how could I know a person for so long and not know her name!
Kerala Clams Ularthiyathu-dry fry 002
She took the first bus from her rural kuttanadan village - famous for freshly caught clams -with a silver colored big " charuvam " full of the same , travelled to changanacherry everyday in the wee hours of the morning , to earn a livelihood.
Our house or I should say our long verandah in the back of our house was her last stop , where she would stay put for a light nap for a while , ate hot food my mom gave her , before she took the afternoon bus back home. On saturdays and off school days she used to tell us stories, old happy stories and sometimes sad , weeping and wiping her tears on the "lunki"..Thus I knew her grandfather " Kachan" and her husband " Thomman" used to work in the paddy fields owned by mom's family in Kuttanad.
Garam Masala for clams ularthiyathu 005
Whenever I make some kakka erachi here -which I started to do recently- it reminds me of her laughter and tears , her old stories , and my mom's generosity. I know my mom wasn't just paying her for the clams she brought everyday for us , but for her dinner too, though she never told us. Unknowingly mom was instilling in us some virtues ....

..how food is so tangled in memories ....and how those memories are snuggled somewhere in the cloudy corner of my mind, waiting to be collected by me!

Recipe for Thenga kothu itta Kakka Erachi Ularthiyathu/ Olathiyathu - Kerala style Roasted Clams with Coconut

Serves - 4
Total cooking time - 30 minutes.

Ingredients:-
Clams / Kakka erachi ( cleaned) - 1/2 kg
Vinegar or juice of fresh lemon - 1 to 1.5 tea spoon
Salt 
Bowl 1 - to crush
Garlic - 6-7 cloves
Ginger - an inch piece ( i use a thumb sized piece )
Green chili - 3-4
Fennel seeds - two pinches
Black Peppercorns  - 1/2 tea spoon

Shallots or onion chopped - 1 cup ( use pearl onions n shallots)
Curry leaves - a handful
Coconut cuts ( thenga kothu ) - 1/4 to 1/2 cup
( You can add a tomato too , if you want it to be tangy)
Red chili flakes - 1 tea spoon
Red chili powder - 1 tea spoon
Coriander powder - 1/4 to 1/2 tea spoon( optional)
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tea spoon
Garam masala - 1/2 tea spoon( home made)
Whole black pepper - 1/2 tea spoon
Oil - 2 tablespoon + 1 tablespoon

Method :-

Clean and rinse clams well. Bring to boil 3 cups of water , and  add clams to it . Let it stand on a medium flame for 3 minutes. Drain, rinse in cold water and drain again and keep aside.
Add Vinegar or lime juice and salt and keep aside while we make the masala.
Lightly crush all the ingredients in Bowl 1 in a coffee grinder , food processor or small jar of your mixie.
Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a pan and add chopped shallots and curry leaves. Saute till it is soft for like 6-7 minutes.
Add coconut cuts and fry for a couple of minutes.
Add the crushed mix and saute till the raw smell disappears and it turns to brown.
(Add tomato if you are using it now and saute till the oil separates )
Add red chili flakes , chili powder , turmeric and (coriander if using) and combine well, fry for a minute or two..sprinkle a table spoon of water if needed.
Add the clams , mix well , and cook covered on a medium flame for 10-12 minutes.( add a 1/4 cup water if needed)
Crush the black peppercorns.
Uncover the pan, add garam masala , crushed black peppercorns , some more curry leaves  and saute .
Drizzle a tablespoon of oil , saute till it turns dry and brown.
Serve warm.

Happy Cooking !

Sarah

57 comments:

vineetha said...

Beautiful story...it touched me ...mhmm...

Meena said...

YUm yum...brings back soo many memories of back home!! I'm such a novice when it comes to Kerala cooking!


Check out my INTERNATIONAL giveway for the COASTAL SCENTS 88 palette if you hadn’t done so already

http://www.dashysassy.com/2011/11/my-first-giveaway-is-here.html

http://www.dashysassy.com

Pavithra said...

Awesome pictures and nice writeup. Sure ur pictures mesmerize everyone Honey :)

Hamaree Rasoi said...

Delicious looking roast. Excellent looking pics. Simply stunning.
Deepa

Plateful said...

Your recipes and photos are simply mind-blowing, sweet Sarah!!

Plateful said...

Your recipes and photos are simply mind-blowing, sweet Sarah!!

faseela said...

wow......everytime favorite..........but rarely available here

Aarthi said...

looks awesome..Yummy dear..I love this..I love your writings always..You rock..

Do check my blog when you have time..
Aarthi
http://yummytummy-aarthi.blogspot.com/

Sayantani said...

clams are my husbands fav...he would love this.

Merry said...

Hi Honey

kakka erachi looks so yummy..Had a good time reading your childhood memories..

Can you tell me where we can by mussels here in US ? Would love to try your recipe..

Angie's Recipes said...

Never had clams prepared this way...that's really unique and delectable.

Reva said...

Wonderfully spiced clams.. I had this once but I can remember the flavour.. All the pics are just superb..:))
Sarah, U ROCK:)))
Reva

✪♜I.B.G.♜✪ said...

Hi, You are so gorgeous. Love your style and blog so much. If you visit and follow my blog, I will be very happy.

♥Love from Antalya, Turkey♥

http://antalya-magnificent-city.blogspot.com

Sarah Naveen said...

@ Merry..
hey i got this clams from Shoprite here..I don't know whether they have this store in CT..but all grocery stores i guess carry it, check in the seafood section , next to shrimp and scallops..
Clams and mussels area bit different right..Kakka erachi and kallumekka anennu thonnunnu..

Ganga Sreekanth said...

this roast looks super yummy n spicy

julie said...

They look very tempting,But never tried them at home..your clicks are tempting me to try it!!
Ongoing Event -Christmas Delicacy (15 Nov-31 Dec 2011)
Erivum Puliyum

Shema George said...

i luv kakka erachi....i am drooling here ..amazing clicks!!!
Lifescoops

Anonymous said...

Speechless n wordless both at same time !the write up is soo touchy ,gal u pictures anyways speak volumes! Love it ! Christy

divya said...

Slurp,salivating here, irresistible recipe....fabulous clicks...

Viki's Kitchen said...

Happy to know u had a wonderful thanks giving. That memory behind clams is very touching dear....yes, we sometimes forget to ask the names....fish sellers used to become part of our routine in India and I too associate those memories while buying the same kind of fish here:)
Never tasted clams till now...your recipe and picture tempts me to buy some:) Yummy!

Manju said...

The clams are so wonderfully spiced! Excellent pics as always..i liked that piece of wood, you've used as the background for the kariveppila!

Amina Khaleel said...

never heard of clams before... wonderful write up and fabulous pictures...

Asha said...

Yar... kothiyayittu irikkam mela... Can drive a boat in my mouth!!!!!!!!!!

Shabs said...

Beautiful pics and even more beautiful story , loved reading it . Good one Sarah :) .

Shabs said...

Oh I forgot one thing , my sis made your kuttanadan curry and loved it :) .

Muraligeetham said...

Beautiful pictures and excellent write up..loved reading ..keep it up sarah!!

Tina said...

ingane kothipikkalle mole honey..looks superb dear..its my fav..

Sharmilee! :) said...

Looks too good,perfect with rice....and lovely shots

TheYummyMorsel said...

I am not a calm eater but your pics have caught my eyes. Amazing capture.

Prathima Rao said...

A lovely write up Sarah...Very touching..And this dish looks interesting..Me being a veggie find it yummy!!!And fab clicks as usual ;)
Prathima Rao
Prats Corner

Phayas AbdulRahman said...

awwwwwwwww... yumm yumm yumm yummyyyyyyy.. shld i give my address to courier one portion..?? Slurpppppppp....

Jaleela said...

super filling for sandwich.

Treat and Trick said...

Great memories behind this recipe. Fantastic photos and looks fabulous!

Leya said...

The best thing about looking at this recipe for me is that I can make it without sweating about the cleaning part! I am going to the farmer's market next week and cleaned mussels are definitely on the list.
:) Thanks.

Indu said...

Stunning pics!
Loved the story of the kakka erachi ammachi!

Only Fish Recipes said...

wow...this is one wonderful clams recipe dear...your clicks are as usual mind blowing ! there's an award 4 u in my space...do visit my space n collect it :-)

Priya said...

Never cooked clams yet at home,ur roast makes me drool.

Suja said...

Makes me drool..adipoli..

anthony stemke said...

What a charming story Sarah, and the photographs were excellent.

I haven't had fresh clams in the shell for many years and your recipe is yum yum, makes my mouth water. I love the seasonings in your recipe.

Uma said...

..how food is so tangled in memories .... these are really true words. Touching writeup. Lovely recipe and lovely pictures.

Princy Vinoth said...

loooks beautiful.

Lyndsey said...

What a nice story, and such good memories of your mother's kindness. Food is such a good trigger for good memories. These clams look lovely and delicious!

Felicia said...

Touching story and a fascinating and tasty-sounding dish! Thank you for sharing this.

Jay said...

lovely story..fantastic writeup..:)
Tasty Appetite

Purabi Naha said...

What a lovely story behind these clams! Your mom is truly a darling! I loved this preparation and your photography.

createwithmom said...

delicious looking flavours looks wonderful

deepsrecipes said...

Sarah,
really,luv u for ur narration abt that Kakka irachi ammachi..:P
Nice story..And finest pics..
The dish looks mouth watering!

PrathibhaSreejith said...

Sarah, lovely pics and great write up. You took me back to my childhood memories too with many wonderful persons like this 'Ammachi' which I too remember when something relatively comes up.
Btw ur blog is just a fabulous space with lovely Kerala recipes and many more. your write ups shows your passion n ur space has a professional touch :)
Do visit my space too when you find time..
http://cook-ezee.blogspot.com/

Sarah said...

looks so good!!! btw, how do u clean them... i love kakka erachi but not quite sure how to clean them...

Sarah Naveen said...

Hey Sarah !, I got just the meat , like we get back home.
I then rinsed it many times in the warm water , squeezing the meat all the while , for a couple of times..Then boiled it for a couple of minutes and drained!
My mom used to squeeze out something from inside those rounds and some black lining around , but someone told her thats the good part and she topped doing it!..

Zareena said...

mmmm.... Amazing and marvelous clicks. Mouth watering pics. Though I wont eat kakka erachi, I am drooling over the clicks. Nice and lovely story too.

Izzy said...

Looks delicious! Hope you visit back :--)
Izzy xo
www.swmapedinflowers.blogspot.com

Erica said...

Wonderful post,Sarah! I love the recipe and your pictures are really beautiful!

sheena said...

hey...the photographs are amazing...which camera are you using?

Mama's World said...

Luv your site.. the pics ultimate!!!
http://gharkhana.blogspot.com/

Unknown said...

I have been a silent reader of your blog for sometime now.love reading your stories..kakka irachi is one of my favorites.my mom used to squeeze out something from it.so I used the canned chopped one that we get in US.

your pics are so mouthwatering that makes me want to try them out!!!
Awesome work and a huge thank u for being an inspiration to people like me..

amy vinu said...

Hi Sarah,I check this often not for the recipe but for the story,I too am from kottayam.as you have said I knew lot of such chedathis whose actual name we never bothered to ask.really missing all those virtues and those times



LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...