Creating a blog was out of the question for a long time for me, as measuring everything in the kitchen was like biting into an eggshell. I enjoy cooking and don’t want to waste even a slightest bit of enjoyment in that small world of mine. But little did I know that everything will change, when my husband came home with the Oscar nominated film ‘Julie and Julia’( a real life story) where Julie Powell (part played by Amy Adams) challenged herself to make all the 524 recipes from Julia Child's cook book ‘Mastering the Art of French Cooking’ and blogging all her experiences (The Julie/Julia Project). It was an inspiring movie. A few days later when we were discussing this casually with a friend of ours over tea…everything changed dramatically…..” How about you making at least half of it in one year? Not French but your own. 262 recipes that will inspire others and present it as a blog?” For a minute my mind traveled faster than light… With an experience as a helper in my mother in laws kitchen for 6 years followed by a three year everyday struggle to satisfy the palate of my foodie husband, if I cannot do it then why should I cook? But on the other side with an experience in English literature extending no more than expanding outline stories in English grammar class when I was 18 and two small kids that come in handy at times, will a commitment for the next one year work? Anyway my ‘cook's ego’ didn’t allow me to say no...

So my friends …here I am opening my recipe book, trying to perfect and present 262 recipes in the coming 365 days….A Challenge that will of course tastes good. Come.. Have a walk with me along my journey.. Cheering and inspiring….Forgiving and tolerating…Testing and tasting….for ‘A Tasty Challenge’

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Monday, November 1, 2010

Mussels fry (Kakka Irachi fry)

Recipe No: 110
Even though a sea food, I like to cook this more like a meat using Garam Masala. It is a time consuming job to get Mussels cleaned so if you can get already cleaned ones then this dish will be a breeze. If you can get only fresh ones please read the notes section to learn how to clean it properly.
Ingredients                                            Serves 5
To Marinate
  • Cleaned Mussels………....1 ½ Cups (It will be semi cooked if you follow my way of cleaning)
  • Red Chilly Powder……….1 Teaspoon
  • Coriander Powder…….....1 Teaspoon
  • Turmeric Powder………..1/2 Teaspoon
  • Garam Masala Powder…3/4 Teaspoon
  • Pepper Powder……………1/2 Teaspoon
  • Salt……………………..……..1/2 Teaspoon
  • Ginger Garlic Paste.……..1 Teaspoon
  • Lime Juice…………..……...1 Teaspoon
To Saute
  • Oil…………………………………..2 Tablespoons
  • Cardamom Pods……………....5 (Crushed)
  • Ginger and Garlic crushed...2 Tablespoons
  • Onion thinly sliced…………….2 Cups
  • Curry Leaves…………………...2 Sprigs
  • 1/3 Teaspoon of Garam Masala powder, 1 Teaspoon Coconut Oil and a sprig of Curry Leaf for sprinkling on top at the end.
Method of Preparation
  1. Marinate the Mussels with all the ingredients mentioned in the marinade section of the recipe. Use a tablespoon of Water if the marinade is too dry. Keep it aside for 30 minutes.
  2. Heat Oil in a pan on medium high heat and add crushed Cardamom pods and saute till fragrant.
  3. Add crushed Ginger and Garlic and saute for 30 seconds and add the sliced Onion and Curry Leaves. Saute till it is golden brown in color.
  4. When the Onion is golden brown add the marinated Mussels and lower the heat to medium and fry the Mussels for about 10 minutes. The raw smell of all the Masalas used should be gone and the Mussels should be coated well with the Onion mixture. Add more Salt if necessary.
  5. Just before switching it off add some crushed Curry leaves, a teaspoon of Coconut Oil and 1/3 teaspoon of Garam Masala powder.
  6. Mix well and serve hot with Rice.
  • To clean the fresh Mussels: Take off the thread like thing that is present at the end of each shell. (This is used by the Mussels to attach them to a support in water.) Wash it 2 or 3 times and put it in a pot and add 1/4 Cup of water. Let it boil until the shells open up. Once the shells are opened take it off the flame and let it cool. When cooled, take the Mussel flesh out of their shells.  At the back of the meat there is a small round portion of waste. Press it with your fingers so that the waste is removed. After doing this to all of the Mussels wash those 3 or 4 times to get rid of any left over sand particles.
  • While cleaning, look for Mussels whose shells are opened. When you find one, tap the shell a few times. If the shell closes  it indicates that it is still alive and is perfectly okay to use. If the shell is not closing, then it indicates that the Mussel is already dead. Get rid of those as we don't know when it died.
  • It will take around 5 pounds of Whole Mussels to get 1 ½ cups of clean Mussel flesh.

Make it, enjoy the deliciousness and 
serve it to your family with love...


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