I have grown up eating the bottle gourd only in two forms – sweet (bottle gourd halva) & savoury (as a side dish in the famous Thel Piao – oil & onion style) so it was definitely a delightful experience to be able to enjoy it with clams too. Enjoy this curry with some piping hot rice and some mango pickle on the side if you wish. This recipe is a keeper for all clam lovers like me!
Kube Ani Boblyachi Khodi (Clams & Bottle Gourd Curry)
Preparation time: 15mins | Cooking time: 20mins | Serves: 3-4
- 80-100 clams / cockles / shell fish
- 500gm bottle gourd / boblem / sorekai / dhoodhi / lauki
- salt to taste
For the masala
- 6 long dry red chillies
- 4 peppercorns
- 2 tbsp coriander
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1 medium sized onion
- 3-4 cloves of garlic
- 1 level tsp tamarind paste or 1 marble size ball of tamarind
- 1/2 a coconut (or 1 cup grated coconut)
- salt to taste
For the seasoning
- 1 medium size onion finely sliced for frying
- 1 sprig (6-7 leaves) curry leaves/kadipatta
- 1 tbsp ghee or oil
1. Wash the clams in plenty of water and in order to reduce the quantity and clutter in the pan, cut each clam open and retain the shell which has the flesh. Discard the other. *See notes
2. Wash the bottle gourd well and cut into small cubes. Do not peel the skin.
3. Using a little water grind all the ingredients mentioned in ‘For the masala’ to a fine paste. Retain the masala water from the mixer grinder.
4. Heat some ghee in a pan and toss in the curry leaves and sliced onions and fry until the onions turn golden. Add the ground masala and fry on a slow flame for 4-5 minutes. Stir to avoid burning. Add the masala water that was retained and a little extra to achieve the desired consistency of the gravy and bring it to a boil.
5. Add the bottle gourd pieces, mix and cook covered on a medium flame till the bottle gourd is almost tender.
6. Add the clams and bring the curry to a boil, check salt, reduce the flame and cook on a medium high flame till the bottle gourd and the clams are cooked. *See notes
7. Serve hot with rice
1. If you are in Mumbai, then it is important to open the clams, clean them and pre boil them. This is because most clams are filled with sand or dirt. You can place the clams in a steel bowl and place the bowl in the deep freezer for 30-45mins. Remove and pour room temperature water on them and keep aside. They will open up on their own after which you can rinse thoroughly and discard the empty shell from each clam.
2. If you pre cook the clams then you can add them at the very end of the process – after the bottle gourd pieces have cooked.