Nothing beats a good old-fashioned curry, made with freshly ground spices; especially when further enhanced by the flavors of sweet coconut and salty shell-fish. “Tisrya” or clam curry has been a delicacy in our family for generations, and now here’s an opportunity for you to bring it to your table. This recipe will be a guaranteed favorite – a curry you will savor until that last lick.
If you’re vegan or vegetarian, the baby eggplant and potato version is by no means a step-down. Our family loves that version too, although when clams make you drool, it’s impossible to compromise.
This Curry Celebrates the Nourishment of the Divine Coconut
In India, no religious ceremony is complete without an offering of the divine coconut! Coconuts are revered in several traditional coastal cultures around the world and used lavishly in their delicious cuisines and as medicine. Research has shown that some Pacific Island populations whose diets are rich in coconut (30-T60% of their caloric intake) are leaner, fitter and enjoy much better health than modern society, including positive/good cardiac health. In fact, the special saturated fats found in coconut oil -medium chain fatty acids in general but also specifically, lauric acid – are so beneficial and rare in nature, that not partaking in this goodness might be a mistake. I’m currently working on a very special “coconut oil for healing” blog (just for you), so be on the lookout next week!
This recipe used grated coconut: 1/4 cup of grated coconut contains 15 grams of oil and 3 grams of fiber. The fiber found in the meat may be very beneficial for people with Crohn’s, other inflammatory bowel disease, malabsorption issues or for those who experience diarrhea with coconut or MCT oil.
This Recipe Celebrates Clams
- Like all shell-fish, clams are a powerhouse of nutrients
- Excellent source of the thyroid essential minerals, iodine and selenium
- Excellent source of heme iron, which is much more readily absorbed by the body than non-heme plant based sources
- One of the best sources of vitamin B12
- Good source of other B vitamins and potassium
- Shell-fish have been shown to actually raise HDL (your good cholesterol) or not to have any impact on blood cholesterol levels, even though they themselves are high in cholesterol (it’s about time we bust the shell-fish and blood cholesterol myth )
- Great source of protein, which creates satiety
- They are delish
Recipe serves 6-8
Use all organic ingredients if possible for better flavor and hormonal health.
- 5 lbs of fresh clams in shell OR 2 lbs of baby eggplants and 2-3 medium sized potatoes
- 1 large onion chopped (1 cup)
- ½ cup – defrosted shredded coconut (you can find this in the frozen section of an Indian store) OR shredded dry coconut
- ½ teaspoon cloves
- 8 whole green cardamom cloves
- 1 large black cardamom
- 1 teaspoon whole peppercorns
- 1 inch piece cinnamon stick
- 1.5 inch piece of ginger
- 5 large garlic cloves
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 tablespoons coriander seeds
- 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
- 2 teaspoons red chilli powder
- 2 tablespoon coconut oil
- Natural sea salt
- Fresh cilantro/coriander leaves
Prep for Clams: Use a colander to thoroughly wash clams under cold water to get rid of grit and broken shell pieces. Add clams to a large pot. Add 8 cups of water and ⅓ portion of the ginger to the pot. Bring to a boil. The clams will open and the water turns milky white. Turn off heat and set aside to cool. When cool, remove half the shell of each clam and discard, leaving the meat in the other half. Set these “clams-in half shell” together in a bowl. Strain the water (now broth) into another bowl and set aside.
Prep for Vegan Version: Wash and slit baby eggplants from the bottom end, ¾ way to the top, into 4 quarters. Peel and cut potatoes lengthwise, like large fries.
Spice Paste Prep: Add 1 tablespoon coconut oil to a small pan and heat on medium. Roast the onion, coconut, cloves, green cardamom, black cardamom, whole peppercorns, cinnamon stick, remaining ginger, garlic cloves, bay leaf, coriander seeds and cumin seeds until lightly brown. Be careful not to burn the spices. Let these aromatic roasted spices cool. When cool, add to a good wet grinder or blender and grind to a smooth paste. Add a little water, but only if necessary.
Let’s Make the Curry: In a large pot (I like to use a dutch oven or an extra-large saute pan), heat 1 tablespoon of coconut oil on medium heat. Once heated, add the prepared spice paste and chilli powder and stir lightly to release colors and flavors. Then add 2 cups of the strained clam broth. For the vegan version, add 2 cups of plain water. Cook for 5 minutes on medium heat, then add the clams OR eggplants and potatoes (for vegan version) to the curry. Add salt to taste and cook covered for about 10 minutes on low heat for clams OR until veggies are cooked (vegan version). You can add more clam broth or water for a thinner curry. Garnish lavishly with chopped fresh coriander leaves. Devour.