Clams Masala Wraps

1 May

Clams Masala WrapsMy husband recently surprised me with Chef Maneet Chauhan’s first cookbook: Flavors of My World. In this book Chef Chauhan takes principal recipes from 25 different countries and gives them her own magic touch with spices and flavors she grew up with. It’s a magnificent collection of recipes that have been nurtured with big bold flavors. I intend to cook my way through this book to savor all these mouth-watering International dishes that have been married with the spices that I love.

If you grew up in India, you may appreciate why Flavors of My World’s – Masala Coke Cuba Libre recipe resonated with me and brought back so many memories of my childhood. A chilled Coke (or even Indian Thums-Up) mixed with some chaat masala was the perfect accompaniment to any spicy meal. Chef Chauhan makes a grown up version of this by adding in some rum. Occasionally, in my growing culinary quest I am guilty of momentarily forgetting simple tastes that I so adored as a little girl. The Masala Coke Cuba Libra brought me right back to those flavors.

Red Onion and Radish topping

In my opinion a Masala Coke has always been the perfect complement to any fiery coastal Indian seafood dish – especially my mother’s Clams Masala. My recipe is a modern day rendition of my mother’s Clams Masala creating a wrap out of it and adding in some crunch and tang with the red onion and radish topping. Pair it with a chilled Masala Coke and you could momentarily migrate to the Western Coast of India….. just until the very last bite!

Clams Masala Wraps
Time: 30 minutes
Yield: 4-5 wraps

Ingredients:
Red Onion and Radish topping ingredients:
½ a small to medium sized red onion thinly sliced
4-5 red radishes cut in thin half moons
1 ½ tablespoons cilantro, chopped
1 tablespoon of distilled white vinegar
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
½ teaspoon lime zest
1/8 teaspoon red chili powder (use ¼ if you want it spicier)
¼ teaspoon table salt

Clams Masala ingredients:
½ cup fresh or frozen shredded unsweetened coconut (See note)
2 tablespoons of vegetable or canola oil
A pinch of asafetida (See note)
1 -2 green chilies, seeded and diced
18-20 curry leaves (See note)
1 cup red onion, diced
2 teaspoons ginger paste
2 teaspoons garlic paste
2 small tomatoes, diced
¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
2 teaspoons of coriander powder
½ teaspoon red chili powder
1 teaspoon Garam Masala (See note)
3 cups of de-shelled fresh or canned whole clams (See note)
¾ – 1 teaspoon of tamarind paste
Salt to taste
4-5 whole-wheat tortillas

Notes:

  • If using frozen shredded coconut, make sure it’s fully defrosted.
  • Asafetida is available in all major grocery stores as well as at Indian, Bangladeshi and Pakistani stores.
  • Garam Masala is found in major chain grocery stores and Indian grocery stores. If you do not have store-bought Garam Masala, you can easily make and bottle your own. Here is an easy Garam Masala recipe.
  • This is one recipe where it is okay to take the easy way out and buy canned whole clams to save yourself a lot of work. But if you are using fresh clams make sure you clean them very well. Here is a good guide to cleaning and de-shelling clams: http://www.piscatorialpursuits.com/cleaningclams.htm
  • This is a spicy dish, so feel free to leave out the green chilies if you want to make it less spicy.
  • You could also serve these as tacos!

Method:
1) In a medium bowl toss together all the ingredients of the onion and radish topping and set aside. Doing this upfront provides time for all the flavors to blend well together.
2) In a small non-stick skillet toast the shredded coconut over medium-low heat till it turns light brown. Set aside.
3) In a large non-stick skillet heat the oil over medium heat. Add the asafetida and cook for a minute. Now add the curry leaves and green chilies and cook for 1-2 minutes until the curry leaves start to turn color.
4) Add the onions and cook stirring frequently until the onions are soft and golden. About 7-8 minutes. Now add the ginger paste and garlic paste and cook for a minute stirring frequently.
5) Add the diced tomatoes along with a pinch of salt. Cook the tomatoes stirring frequently and breaking them down with a wooden spoon. Cook until the tomatoes break down completely and the oil separates.
6) Add the toasted coconut along with the dry ground spices and cook for another 1-2 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons of water and mix everything well.
7) Add the clams and cook everything together until the clams are well coated and the water almost dries out. Be careful not to overcook the clams as they will turn rubbery if overcooked.
8) Turn off the heat and add 3/4 teaspoon of tamarind paste and salt according to taste. Be careful to first taste and then add salt as the clams can be slightly salty. Taste and add more tamarind paste or salt if required.
9) In a slightly warmed tortilla (microwave for 20 seconds) add some of the clams masala and then top with some of the onion and radish topping. Roll up the wrap, secure with toothpicks and cut in half and serve immediately.

Meal ideas:
Serve these wraps with one of these salads for a complete meal:
1) Thai Pomelo Salad
2) Green Mango and Shrimp Salad

For a refreshing drink with these wraps try Chef Maneet Chauhan’s Masala Coke Cuba Libre.

4 Responses to “Clams Masala Wraps”

  1. Jahnvi May 1, 2013 at 6:27 pm #

    This looks wonderful. So, do you usually use canned clams? Any other substitutions for the clams?

    I was inspired by your recommendation of Maneet Chauhan’s book as well and just received my copy yesterday. The recipes look really interesting and I cant wait to try them out. I find however that her recipes lack some substitution recommendations and sometimes enough detail (for eg: her tandoori chicken recipe says add tandoori masala – I wish she would elaborate on how she makes tandoori masala etc etc since I find that most recipes online pretty much taste the same and lack that authentic “tandoori” taste…

    • neharmorarji May 1, 2013 at 9:17 pm #

      Jahnvi,

      It really depends – if I am making a dish that requires the de-shelling then I tend to cheat and used the canned kinds. Trader Joe’s has great ones. You could make this with shrimp or boneless chicken pieces.

      I think the book’s target audience may not necessarily have all the spices to make a tandoori masala from scratch and also may prefer to buy one spice vs.a lot of spices. Then again I agree with you that a Tandoori chicken made with all the spices from scratch will taste way better than one made from a boxed tandoori masala.

  2. foodisthebestshitever May 2, 2013 at 3:06 am #

    Damn yeah

  3. Eva Taylor May 2, 2013 at 7:02 am #

    I read about asafetida a year or so ago, but forgot how to spell it, thanks for the reminder. Interesting recipe.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: