Stuffed Mussel Fry

Stuffed Mussels Fry/Arikadukka/Kalumakkai Nirachathu

What is Arikadukka/Kalumakkai Nirachathu ?

Arikadukka/Kallumakai Nirachathu is the name given to stuffed and fried mussels in the Northern Malabar region of South India.. These yummy mussel snacks are stuffed with a mix of rice powder, spices and shallots and then steamed with shell and later fried.

Stuffed Mussel Fry
Stuffed Mussel Fry

Where to buy fresh Mussels from ?

If you live in the coastal area, seafood should never be a problem, for those of us living far way from the coastal land our only option to seafood is either the frozen or the farm raised ones.

The backstory

The Korean Market with its fresh supply of seafood cast a spell on me, each day as I drove back from work. Determined to dig at seafood this week, I entered the market this evening full of zeal to pick up Mussels & Mussels only!’

Armed with a bag filled with seafood of all kinds, king fish, crabs and mussels, I left the market happy half hour later.It is not like we get fresh seafood everyday, when we do, we bring home the best!

Cleaning the mussels in my kitchen sink with . a colander, I was filled with nostalgia. Back in Dental school during our school breaks, my friends who came back from the Malabar coast, brought us this delicious stuffed mussel fry called Arikadukka/Kalumakkai Nirachathu. I had never tasted a prep like that until my student days, needless to say it became one of my favorite foods of all time.

The cold winds blew heavily outside, snow was on the ground, decades have passed since those days, yet my heart was with the mussels traveling all the way down the malabar coast .I wanted to recreate the magic & the memories in my kitchen in the midwest.

No easy task that. A laborious process indeed, yet my heart was in it, so I did not feel it was labor intense.I remember how we friends would gather in our dormitory rooms together when the delicious food arrived, amidst laughter & chatter we would share the bounty with relish. Surprisingly, they were all with me, the laughter, the cheer, the joy all of it, in my kitchen as I cooked the mussels step by step.

Enjoy my stuffed mussel fry , by following the step by step procedure listed below. You will come asking for more, that I can bet on! If not, when you get a chance to travel to India, along the malabar coast, ask for Arikadukka’s, you will understand what I mean when i say they are addictive!

Stuffed Mussels Fry/Arikadukka/Kalumakkai Nirachathu

Stuffed Mussels Fry/Arikadukka/Kalumakkai Nirachathu

Recipe by Maya Shetty
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Prep time


Cooking time




Total time




  • For the stuffing
  • 20 -25 Mussels

  • 2 cups Rice powder

  • 1/2 cup Coconut Flakes Fresh grated

  • 5 -6 Green chilies

  • 1 Onion Large (fine sliced)

  • 1/2 inch Ginger

  • 3 cloves Garlic

  • 2 tbsp Fennel seeds

  • To taste Salt Go easy on the salt with seafood, they already have salt in them from the sea

  • For the batter
  • 2 tbsp Chili powder

  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric powder

  • to taste Salt

  • 3 -4 tbsp Water

  • For deep frying
  • 1/2 cup Canola Oil


  • Soak the fresh mussels in a bowl of water & clean them thoroughly, a few times under running water. The outer shells can be cleaned with a brush .At this time, the shell needs to be cleaned of any debris or deposit, along with peeling of the little sticky beard along the outer shell of the mussel. Please discard any mussel that is already opened, since this indicates a dead one & is not to be cooked.
  • Next boil the mussels in a large bowl of water, making sure all of them are immersed completely.
  • Meanwhile prepare the stuffing & and keep the stuffing ready, to stuff into the opened shells of the mussels once they have cooled down a little.
  • The stuffing is prepared in three steps- a.Boil 2 cups of water & then to this gently mix the rice powder , stirring occasionally, along with salt to taste, so it is a uniform thick mix & is not runny.Remove from stove & keep it aside.b.Make a fine paste of the onions, green chillies, fennel seeds, coconut, garlic, ginger & set aside.c. Now mix the blended paste along with rice powder & keep it ready for stuffing into the opened mussels.
  • Once the shells of the mussels have cooled down, stuff the mussels with rice paste mix , making sure the shells are still intact around the stuffing.
  • Then steam the stuffed mussels in batches of 10-12 , for 15 minutes until the mussels are well cooked within the rice stuffings.
  • Now gently remove from heat & set aside to cool. When cooled you can gently peel the shell off the stuffing.
  • Next in a deep bowl, prepare the batter, for the outer cover. Coat each stuffed mussel with the batter mix & gently drop it in hot oil & deep fry or shallow fry as per your desire. You can use an air fryer to completely skip oil for health conscious reasons if you so decide.
  • Enjoy your yummy, stuffed mussels or Arikadukka, with a yogurt dip.


  • 1. It is a laborious procedure, so do not undertake when you are hungry, short on time or have kids running around, just the stress of remembering the steps will tire you. 2.When you drop the mussels into hot oil, sometimes they show their love by opening up wide, so please do not stand with your face over the oil pan while you are cooking  if using a deep frying pan.3.When you pack the stuffing make sure you tuck in the mussels, within the stuffing & not along the outer shell, simply to avoid the yummy mussel slipping out of the stuffing.4.Do not be health conscious about fried food , just for this one day, after all you have worked hard to get it right, you MUST not stop with just two .                                                      5.I will bet  on the fact that the taste and the memory will linger much after the last Arikadukka is done and the effort in making it will be  totally worth it !

Nutrition Facts

  • Amount Per ServingCalories1621
  • % Daily Value *
  • Total Fat 147g 227%
    • Saturated Fat 34g 170%
  • Cholesterol 46mg 16%
  • Sodium 1513mg 64%
  • Potassium 1458mg 42%
  • Total Carbohydrate 60g 20%
    • Dietary Fiber 26g 104%
    • Sugars 17g
  • Protein 28g 57%

  • Vitamin A 100%
  • Vitamin C 64%
  • Calcium 29%
  • Iron 72%

* The % Daily Value tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

Winter is the best time for seafood. Go on try out some recipes with mussel meat, they are filled protein and are super delicious !

Sharing below , my previously published and top listed sought out recipes using mussel meat, for your interest :

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