CLAM MEAT ROAST
When it starts to get warmer, the earthy aroma from my spice rack seems to tease my senses.Every country,every city has a distinct smell ,so it was with the coastal town of Mangalore in the western part of South India which is my native.The delicious seafood one gets to taste here is a memory you carry with you for a life time.
Last night it rained heavily here with lightening & thunder( yes April showers! ) that when I woke up this morning the air smelled of a coastal town ,needless to say seafood was on my mind today.Considering its the windy city of Chicago, the air always has a crispiness about it, what better way than to pair it with the earthy aroma of my spice box.So here I was, with my box of frozen baby clam meat,spices and all ready to take on this crispy Spring day.
My memories lingered on to my student days when we combed the coastline to find delicious seafood restaurants that fit our modest budget,yet never failing to find these hidden gems along the fishing villages that lined the coastline.I remembered stupidly happy carefree days when we devoured all the food in the plate without exercising any restraint,that it would have been safer to wear pajamas to these restaurants than tight jeans…but taste we did, the sensory essence of India served in a platter as clam roast, crab fry, spicy fish curry…you name it we had them all……and blissfully so!
I was determined to recreate that magic in my kitchen today,so here I am savoring my baby clam spicy roast for lunch, singing “Vande mataram( a patriotic song saying” I bow to you mother (India) with uncontrollable patriotism as my neighbors American flag flaps on…..its all about blending the spices, I feel as much at home here in a land that has adopted me, like I did in my mother land, people are people everywhere , just the food is different! Enjoy your lunch or dinner with this spicy baby clam meat roast which can be had with flat breads, rice or perhaps even as fillers in tacos or burritos.
Baby clam meat- 1 pack( 14 oz/400 g)
Onion- i big ( finely sliced) or can replace with 8-10 shallots
Fennel seeds- a pinch
Green chillies- 5-6
Tomato- 1 (finely sliced)
Garlic – 4-5 pods ( crushed)
Ginger- an inch( grated)
Turmeric powder- 1/4 tsp
Garam masala – 3/4 tsp
Chili powder- 1 tbsp
Black pepper ( 1 tsp- finely ground)
Salt- to taste
Vinegar/ fresh lemon juice 2 tbsp
Oil- 3 tbsp.
1.Boil 2-3 cups of water in a bowl & then add the washed & cleaned baby clam into it while simmering the flame & let them sit for 3-4 minutes on medium heat.Remove them from heat & wash them under running cold water by placing them in a colander.Set aside for a few minutes, till the water is completely drained.Now add the lemon juice or Vinegar to the washed clam along with salt to taste, mix well & set aside.
2.Meanwhile,in a wok, heat the oil ,to this add the fennel seeds when they splutter add the onions & saute for a few minutes till they turn light brown.
3.Now add the slit green chillies & the garlic & saute for a few minutes, when the raw smell disappears add the turmeric & chili powder along with the garam masala & blend them together.
4.Now add the ginger juliannes along with the clams that have been marinated in lemon juice & mix them all together in the wok, one can add a tablespoon of water at this stage if needed.Keep the lid covered & allow it to cook after adding the tomato slices.
5.In 5-10 minutes the clams will be cooked, let the water evaporate completely, since this is a dry preparation.Serve hot with flat breads or rice.Enjoy.