|Another traditional recipe that I miss which was a frequent dish in our house at least twice a month. Every house had a chapra (frame) of basale (spinach) growing in their garden and we could pluck it anytime we wanted to cook it. Fresh and green and oh so delicious. Cooked with fresh clams and freshly ground coconut and other condiments, this is a lip smacking, simple delight.
500 gms of Indian spinach or basale, cut into finger sized pieces discarding the tough stems; 1/2 cup Indian Dhal (Tur dhal or yellow lentils); 1 kg clams; salt to taste.
Masala: Grind 1/4 cup grated coconut; 3 tsp coriander seeds; 1/4 tsp mustard; 2 pinch cumin seeds; 6 black pepper corns; 1/4 tsp turmeric powder; 4 flakes of garlic; 1 tsp chilli powder; 1 onion. Consistency should be a thick, smooth paste.
Seasoning: 1 sprig curry leaves; 1/4 tsp mustard; 2 flakes crushed garlic; 1 tbsp oil.
Wash clams in running water till all the grit and sand is removed and water is clear.
Pressure cook the spinach and dhal with 250 ml water for 7 minutes. Remove from stove. Open the cooker after 10 minutes cooling time and stir in the masala. Return to the stove and add the clams. They will open out within minutes. Simmer for 3 minutes. Add salt to taste. Remove from stove and keep hot.
Heat oil in a shallow pan. Add mustard and when it spurts, add the curry leaves. Stir for a couple of minutes and then add the crushed garlic. Fry till garlic is golden brown. Pour it over the cooked Spinach and Clams and serve hot with plain rice and home made mango pickle.
NB: Can use prawns instead of clams.
Learn how to cook a traditional Indian meal using recipes that have been inherited from my great-grandmother.
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