Skip to main content

MUSSELS CURRY & FRY (Neeli Hinga Udda, Phanna Upkari)

We made this curry on the previous day of Deepavali. The technique is the same as previously described for prawn. However the addition of fresh mussels totally alters the flavor, and the resulting dish is extremely tasty.

Also, I have added the recipe of two other dishes, Phanna Upkari (bit spicy) and Rawa Fry. These are authentic GSB specialities, especially the hinga udda curry is something like a hallmark dish of Konkanis. I learnt all three from my Aunt who's nothing short of a master-chef, and shall briefly outline the technique here.



PRELIMS: The de-shelling and cleaning is the bit that takes the maximum time and energy. The gross appearance can be very off-putting for the uninitiated, and can prompt you to just throw it away. The shells are closed tight, and are attached to sea rocks via weeds, which extend deep into the shell to attach to the fleshy portion. I was reminded of Davy Jones'  grotesque crew from the Flying Dutchman.

Initially, just soak the whole shells in water with salt for about an hour. Try clearing as much weed as possible, and then cook on low flame in water and salt. Once it comes to a boil, cover and heat on low flame, till the shells open up. At this stage, there'll be a distinct smell that tells you it's done. Wait for it to cool, and then slowly de-shell the mussels. Pull out the weed carefully too. The lower part on the smooth surface needs to cleared off as well, since it's full of black matter (don't want to imagine or know what that is). After de-shelling, rinse thoroughly with water to get rid of traces of sand, else the curry will be grainy and difficult to relish.
HINGA UDDA

What you need: Coconut (1), Chillies (small, about 25-28), Tamarind, Hing/Asafoetida, Coconut oil (1 spoon)

Masala (gravy): Grated coconut + a small sized chunk of tamarind + chillies = Finely ground masala
[This is a measure for about 100 medium sized mussels]

Method:
Heat the cleaned mussels with a little water and salt for 2-3 minutes, and then add the masala. Bring to a boil and heat for sometime on a low flame. Since the mussels have already been boiled, it won't take much long. Once the curry starts bubbling on low flame, add hing water (asafoetida; again, more than what one would consider "normal"). Stir for a while, add a spoon of coconut oil, cover the vessel and heat for a minute. That's it. 
The aroma that emanates when you open the vessel for lunch will leave you drooling. Best had with steaming hot par-boiled rice (the redder, the better) and curd.

PHANNA UPKARI
(Phanna = Tadka)

What you need: Chilly Powder (1-2 teaspoons, depends on how spicy you want it to be), Hing water (2-3 teaspoons, thick), Tamarind water (3 teaspoons, thick), mustard seeds (1 teaspoon), pinch of turmeric, salt, coconut oil, Curry leaves (optional)

Method: Heat oil in a pan, add the mustard seeds and roast till the splutter fully stops, then add the curry leaves. Now add the required amount of chilly powder, and roast on low flame, for about half a minute. Be very careful at this stage as it can just char and turn black. Next, add the tamarind water, and the hing water. Mix lightly. Add the salt. The masala should now be spicy and tangy.

Now add the cleaned mussels, and mix well. The mussels have to be very dry. If required, you can sprinkle some water to prevent charring. Cook on a low flame, till the masala is spread uniformly all over. You needn't cook for a very long time as the mussels have already been cooked. Finally, the color should be dark brown to black, owing to the hue lent by the tamarind. 


RAWA FRY

What you need: Chilly powder, Rice Flour, Turmeric powder, Hing powder/water, Tamarind, salt

Masala: 2 spoons of chilly powder + 3/4 spoon of rice flour + pinch of turmeric + 4 spoons of hing (asafoetida) water or hing powder + tamarind water/juice of one lemon + salt.
Add the required amount of water, and make a thick, smooth paste.

Marinate the mussels with this paste and set aside for about an hour. Deep fry after that. 
Perfect!

The Final Outcome



Comments

Popular posts from this blog

A Slice of the Western Ghats: AGUMBE

Agumbe is a tiny village in Shimoga district, and part of the eco-sensitive zone of the Western Ghats, the lifeline of the coast. The region receives very heavy rainfall, and is also referred to as the Cherrapunji of the South. The region has lush beautiful rain forests, and is also home to a number of unique flora and fauna, indigenous to the zone. The enigmatic King Cobra also resides in the in the thick rainforests.

A summer sunset

A quick post! Over the past few weeks, I haven't been able to dedicate much time to this space, owing to more pressing matters, both personally and professionally. However, I'm making it a habit to write down in my journal as often as possible, so as to make a record of my thoughts, which have been quite interesting. 
With this post, I hope to resume writing posts at-least twice a week, starting today! This picture was taken in my village in the Summer. It was a clear evening, and the sky was spotless. The setting sun against the horizon made of various palms made for a very pretty picture. The tiny glistening lake looked nice too.

See also:Summer Activity: Mango Picking!Summer Sky

(Find more pictures of the sky from across the globe, HERE)

A Slice of Rural Mangalore

FortyShadesMore!
Last evening we'd been to our village for a Spirit Worship ritual. The drive was quite smooth, save for a particular moment where I braked all of a sudden, to save a small snake slithering slowly on the tar road. I got quite a shouting for it! In the past few days, the village had seen showers, and everything had turned green. Patches of grass were seen by the road, and the parched countryside looked hungry for more. There was a peacock strutting rather proudly in the middle of the road. 
By the time we reached the village, dusk was falling and the sun had disappeared behind the trees that make the horizon at the edge of our fields. There were lot of heavy clouds too, and the evening light filtering through them looked glorious. As the sun went down, the colours kept changing. In a span of just fifteen minutes, I lost count of the number of hues that appeared; it was as if there was an artist sitting on the other side and secretly painting the sky! Below are a few p…