Tuesday, 13 September 2011



Ingredients for the Stuffing:
1)    Fresh mussels – 50 Nos.
2)    Par boiled rice – 2 kg.
3)    Shallots – 100 gm.
4)    Grated coconut – from 1 medium sized coconut
5)    Cinnamon stick – 4 inch long piece
6)    Cloves – 4 Nos.
7)    Fennel – 2 tea spoons
8)    Cardamom - 1 pod
9)    Salt – 2 tea spoons

Ingredients for Frying:
1)    Chili powder – 2 tea spoons
2)    Turmeric powder – 1 tea spoon
3)    Salt – 1 ½ tea spoons
4)    Cooking oil – 100 ml.

To Cook:
Wash the mussels thoroughly. You can rub them on a block of rough stone or use a steel wool scrub to clean the outer shells of dirt and barnacles. Using a flat paring knife, open the mussels one by one. It is easier to insert the knife through the flat side of the mussels rather than the curved side. Twist the knife and carefully open the mussel. Cut away the beard inside which the mussel uses to anchor itself to the rocks. Hold in open position under running tap water and wash away all the dirt. Set aside.

Pour boiling water in the rice and soak for 1 hour. Drain and wash thoroughly. To prepare the stuffing, take the cinnamon, cloves, fennel and cardamom seeds and dry grind them to fine powder. Peel the shallots, remove the root bases and put in the food processor together with the rice. Add the grated coconut, powdered spices and the salt. Add a few drops of water and grind. The dough should be neither too grainy nor too smooth. Also, it should not be too watery or too dry so that you can roll it in your hands for the stuffing.
Now take a mussel in your hand, keeping the open edges around an inch apart. Stuff it fully with the dough and exert a slight pressure on the edges to tighten it. The gap of the edges would be around ½ inch now.

Put the stuffed mussels in the steamer for around 45 minutes. When you open the lid, you find that the mussels have separated from the shells and are firmly sticking to the stuffing. Throw away the shells.

To Fry:
In a small bowl, put 2 tea spoons of chili powder, 1 tea spoon of turmeric powder and 1 ½ tea spoons of salt. Put in just a little water to make a thick sauce. Take the stuffed mussels and brush the sauce on.
Put a thick bottom non-stick pan on the stove. Pour the cooking oil and put in just enough stuffed mussels as can be comfortably accommodated with space to turn over. Roast slowly on a low flame with lid closed. Turn over to caramelize all the sides. Lift out and serve hot, this gourmet delight.

1)    If you are not eating all the mussels at one go, you can freeze the stuffed mussels before brushing the sauce on. They can be stored in frozen condition for a long time.
2)    Traditionally, the recommended sauce for brushing is not used, but dipped in hot chili powder and fried. The heat proves to be too much for many, especially children. Hence the sauce.
3)    If you do not like much heat in your snack, you can use Kashmiri chili powder in place of the regular hot chili powder.

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