This easy Goan Clam Suke highlights fresh clams with simple spices. Great as a side or even as a main with some flatbreads or crusty bread.
A typical Goan meal will almost always have seafood in more than one ways. There’s the traditional fish/prawn curry, fish is also pan fried and served as a side-dish. A suke or stir fry is a dry dish that supplements a thali (plate). Add a side of greens/vegetable and you’ve got yourself a complete meal. Meat dishes aren’t usually a hero in our everyday meals.
This Goan Clams Suke is definitely what you should be making if you feel intimidated to cook with clams. You couldn’t find an easier recipe to start with. The simple spices don’t distract from the shellfish. The addition of kokum or tamarind paste brings a hint of earthy tanginess that lifts the briny goodness of clams.
The important thing to note is to make sure you use the freshest clams you can get. When cooking, the onion must still have a bite and shouldn’t soften too much. We typically use coconut oil to make this dish. If you don’t have access to it, any neutral oil will do. Clams cook very quickly so cook them on a low-medium flame. Make sure the spices are properly fried in oil before adding clams. Let the clams cook in their juices and add the coconut towards the end. It just helps bind and bring it all together.
Side note – if you have leftovers, turn them into a delicious buttery toasted sandwich!
Goan Clams Suke
- 1 kg Clams/Pipis
- 1 cup Onion (finely chopped)
- 1 Green chilli (sliced)
- 2-3 petals Kokum/Tamarind (use paste if unavailable)
- 3 tbsp Coconut (fresh grated)
- 1/4 tsp Turmeric powder
- 1/2 tsp Red chilli powder
- 1/4 tsp Black Pepper (freshly cracked)
- 1 tbsp Coconut oil (or any neutral oil)
- 2 tbsp Coriander leaves (finely chopped)
- Salt (to taste)
- To prepare the clams/pipis, use a small paring/turning knife and slide through to slit the clams in the centre. Pry open to have two shells separated (one with and one without the flesh). Discard the fleshless shell and continue this process until all clams are in half-shell along with their meat.
- In a pot, heat coconut oil. When hot, add the green chilli and the finely chopped onion. Fry until translucent (you don't really want it do develop any colour).
- Add the kokum (or tamarind if using) along with the turmeric,chilli and black pepper. Add just a pinch of salt to get things going. Remember to be cautious with how much salt you add as clams leech out a fair bit of salt through the cooking process.
- Fry the spices lightly until they cook out. Add the cleaned clams and cover and cook for 3-5 minutes depending on their size. Uncover and mix through, taste for seasoning. Turn off the heat and garnish with fresh grated coconut and chopped coriander leaves.
- Serve alongside a simple meal of steamed rice, some veg and either dal or fish curry. It can also be enjoyed with crusty bread or rotis/flatbread.