Clams / Shimpies in Coconut Gravy With Mini Steamed Rice Dumplings #FishFriday

The Mangaloreans call this mini steamed rice dumplings "Mutli".
The  Clams / Shimpies are called by various names like cockles, mussels, tisrya etc.

This was on my to do list for a long time. When this theme for Fish Friday Foodies was given by our Host Camilla of Culinary Adventures with Camilla "Out of the Shell and Into the Pan", was so happy that at last this recipe will be done.
This is a lengthy and lightly spicy coconut gravy dish, but, worth the effort. It makes a delicious meal.

Clams / Shimpies  requires a lot of washing and cleaning, since they are  often filled with sand and dirt.  Therefore  it’s really important to clean them thoroughly & then place them in the freezer overnight or  for at least an or two  hour, so that they open their shells,  then you can clean them properly before steaming/cooking them.   

What I did, brought them from the market,  soak them in a big bowl filled with water for 10 to 15 minutes and  then rinse  them  4 to 5 times in fresh water. Then store them in a container and kept it in the freezer overnight.  
Then next day they had opened a little.  Take each clam and remove the meat from one side into the other one.  Discard the empty shell.  If in case any of them are not open take a knife and carefully press on to one end of the clam and it will easily open.
 See the beauties ..gems of the sea
70  to 80 Clams / Shimpies - washed,  rinsed, sand and grit removed. 
Retain only one shell (kerl) of each clam while discarding the other / empty one.
For the Gravy
To roast in a teaspoon of Oil

4 Bedki  Red chillies 
4 Kashmiri  Red chillies 
1 Tablespoon Coriander seeds
4  Black peppercorns
1 Teaspoon  Cumin seeds
1/4  Teaspoon  Mustard seeds
1/4 Teaspoon Turmeric powder
5 Grains Fenugreek seeds4 Cloves Garlic
1 Cup Freshly Grated coconut 
1 Small Onion roughly chopped
1 Small Ball of tamarind or as per taste
1 Teaspoon Oil
Other Ingredients
3  Shallots - sliced
4 Cloves Garlic - smashed lightly
A Sprig Curry Leaves
1 Small Curry Spoon Oil

For the Mutli /  Mini Steamed Rice Dumplings

1 Cup Idli Rawa - soaked
Salt to taste

To make the  Mini Steamed Rice Dumplings /
Wash the idli rawa and soak it  in water  - till the level of rawa only for two  to three hours. 
Grind it  to a fine paste with salt to taste, using no water as far as possible. 
The batter should be thick ( see pic) 
Transfer the ground batter  in a soft  thin muslin cloth. 
Steam it without lid. 
Every 3 to 4 minutes, remove the cloth filled with batter and knead it, by folding the cloth. Then again place it to steam, remove and knead,  till it forms a soft dough.  It took total 7 - 8 minutes to be done.  If your batter is watery then it may take more time.
Once slightly cooled take the warm dough out of the cloth,  just lightly moisten your hands with water and knead it to a soft dough.
Make marble size balls and flatten them lightly into small circle and 
press to make a little depression with you thumb. 
Place them in steamer 
with lid and steam for 15 mins after the first steam is released.  
Allow them to sit for a while the gravy is getting ready.

To make the Gravy

Heat a pan  with a teaspoon of oil and roast the following one by one – dry red chillies, sliced onion, coriander seeds, peppercorns, garlic, cumin,fenugreek , mustard seeds  & grated coconut. 

Remove & allow to cool, 
then add tamarind and turmeric powder,  
grind   all these ingredients to a fine paste. Keep aside
My prized possession - my Mud  pan or mud vessel (which we East Indians call it a treezal). 
Heat a  oil in a big pan (large enough to accommodate the gravy+mutlis+clams). 
When the oil is hot, fry the sliced onion till golden brown.  

Add the ground paste and fry well. Add the masala water (after washing the mixie) and bring it to a boil.
Cover and cook for few minutes  or till oil surfaces.  
Now add the clams / shimpies and add  water  enough to make a thick gravy consistency,  
cover let them cook
Taste for salt then add the add in the mutlis.  
Cover and cook for 7 to 10 minutes on low flame. 
Or untill oil surfaces.
Turn off flame and allow  mutlis / mini steamed rice dumplings to soak in the gravy for  5 minutes.  
Enjoy these hot!
Real comfort food.. yum.. delicious.

Labels : Seafood/Fish, Clams, Shimpies, Mangalore, Coconut, Spicy, Fish Friday, Dumplings, Karnataka

Sneha's Recipe
Sneha's Recipe

Happy Home-maker and culinary enthusiast.


  1. The flavors sound incredible, Sneha! <3 P~

  2. These look amazing, Sneha! Thanks for joining me.

  3. What an interesting method of harvesting the clam meat! This sounds so delicious!

  4. These remind me of steamed idli which is the closest I've had. I love those with tomato or coconut chutney. I am very interested in trying these. I am sure I would enjoy them a lot.