Kakkairachi fry- Mussel fry Kerala style

Though I grew up in the Middle east, I had not tasted mussels in my childhood. I am not a sea food lover maybe that's also coz my dad made us eat fish almost every day. And my sis happens to be a sea food lover and we tend to love the opposite poles since the beginning so if my sis liked sea food technically I am not supposed to be one. Unfortunately I married a seafood lover and I have started making more of sea food. My hubby had never tasted mussels. Back where he lived, in the city of lakes- Bhopal, they never had mussels it seems or his mom never cooked them so my dear mom got us some mussels frozen all the way from Cochin.

Ingredients for Kakkairachi fry

Mussels- 1/2 kg boiled
Shallots- 100 gm
Garlic- 100gm
Crushed chilli- 1 tsp
Chilli powder- 1 tsp
Curry leaves- plenty
Turmeric powder- 1 tsp
Garam masala- 1 tsp
Salt- to taste
Coconut oil ( can be substituted with any other oil)


People have different theories regarding the cleaning of mussels. I have seen people boil and then deveining the mussel. This reduces it to have its size and is a painful process. My aunt told me we would have a stomach upset or tummy ache if we did not devein the mussles. But over the year my mom came across women who cooked it without deveining and we tried their way. It was a respite as it saved time and till date we never had a tumm ache. Clams and mussels are rich in calcium so many even suggest not to devein them and lose calcium.

So once you boil the mussels the look like the pic below.

Crush the shallots and garlic. In a pan heat oil and saute the crushed garlic and shallots along with curry leaves. I love the aroma especially when it's done with coconut oil. Shallots and garlic crushed is a common ingredient in many dishes in Kerala especially while cooking non vegetarian cuisines. I find the use of shallots very different from onions and especially for some dishes where I don't compromise over shallots.

When the shallots and garlic turns golden brown add the turmeric, crushed chilli, chilli and gram masala powders. Saute for 5 minutes and add the mussels. Fry them till they turn crispy. Add salt and cook well. This happens to be the only sea food recipe I use garam masala for and it tastes awesome.

My dad always said the toddy shops in Kerala served the best mussel fry and I don't disagree though I never could understand what magic they created in their dingy kitchens. But I guarantee this recipe would not disappoint you either. So go ahead and try something new with sea food.

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