23 April 2020

Kakka Irachi Ularthiyathu / Kerala style Clams Roast /Nadan style clam roast recipe


Kakka irachi ularthiyathu meaning Clam roast Kerala style is a well-known seafood speciality of Kerala .Clams have a chewy texture to it and the Kerala spices like pepper,fennel ,coconut pieces (optional) take this bland tasting clams ,otherwise, to a next level.To love this Kerala style clam recipe ,you should be a fan of spicy foods though . In Malabar regions they are known as "Elambakka" . Every region in Kerala have their own versions of yummy one-of-a-kind clam recipes .


  • Clams are cooked mostly in coastal regions of India especially Bengal,Kerala,Konkan and Karnataka.
  • Clams are shellfish . Even the smallest clams have a heart,kidney,mouth,stomach,joints,valves and a nervous system .( Whoa ,never underestimate the common look of a clam man !!😎 )
  • According to conserve-energy-future.com, "Clams health benefits include they are low in fat,great for males’ fertility, great for collagen synthesis, contain lots of vitamin b12, provide iron, helps regulate blood pressure, loaded with protein, great for thyroid health, good for your heart, an excellent source of choline, and rich in riboflavin."
  • Clams when bought or freshly caught,they smell like ocean .They are usually closed or should close when tapped.If they are open before cooking/boiling ,that means they are dead/khallas/kaatu poyii. ~ conserve-energy-future.com
  • In western countries,clams are usually steamed,boiled,fried lightly or grilled with hardly any spices.


Since we were in North India for a long time before settling in Kerala ,we never got this clam there.So,when I think of my fond childhood memories related to clams,I remember my two lovely aunts (though all my aunts are cooking experts!) ,epecially Appachi/Papa's sister and Kunjmol kunjamma/Amma's sister ,the most.These two aunts lived in different places in Kerala and what was common between them was their home located on the banks of  beauty-full backwaters .

My place ,Alleppey is known for it's surreal natural beauty,the backwaters and they are popularly known around the world as "Venice of the East !!".I love nature,I love backwaters a lot !


The palm trees/coconut trees swaying tall and free ,the lush green paddy fields playing with the wind gently ,herds of cutely looking ducks swimming together as if they are glued to each other ,the nanga-punga (innocent naked) kids standing in a queue to dive together with a huge splash ,the simple local people busy in catching the fresh catch/fish of the day from the backwaters and doing other daily chores,boat rides,ferries,foreigners and other tourists enjoying the famous houseboats of Kerala in awe .

For me it's like I am in a totally different world that is calm ,quiet and serene.Now,imagine having houses alongside these backwaters .These houses are not mostly big mansions kinda,in fact,they are very simple,single-storey building and they have so many stories to tell.


Needless to say,I looked forward to go to my aunts places whenever we visited Kerala during summer vacations .For me,good people + good view + good food = Good mood !! Usually when we buy clams from market, they are mostly boiled to remove the shell and the meat are sold thereby.


However,at my aunt's place I saw the local people/neigbours diving right into the backwaters and bringing the fresh catch of the day,the zillionnnnns of clams clinging together,a few open (Resting in peace /RIP) and a few closed,resting in fear.

Then neighbours would equally divide among them and then at everyone's respective homes or at one place,they are boiled in water and when the shells open up,the water discarded ,the women would sit around them to gossip about their husbands,kids,relatives,neighbours except them (I got tad inspired I think)😁and that definitely give them an extra boost to remove those small n-number of clam shells super-duper fast.It is a messy tedious process but they all enjoy it !! I witnessed a few scenarios at my aunt's place like this and that always made me smile out loud (Quite entertaining in local style !)πŸ˜€


Needless to say,I used to look forward to my aunts lip smacking spicy clam roast.Fast forward,NOW,we do get clams here often at our place and mother makes them often too.So,here is a very simple clam roast kerala style /nadan kakka irachi roast recipe .

Kakka/Clams - 250 gm
Turmeric powder - 1/2 Tsp
Red Chili powder - 1/2 Tbsp
Water as needed

Coconut oil - 4 Tbsp
Mustard seeds - 1/2 Tsp
Onion,large,chopped - 1 No.
Tomato,large,chopped - 1 No.
Green Chili,chopped - 2-4 Nos.

Ginger - 1 1/2 inch long
Garlic - 10 Nos.

Spice powders :
Red Chili powder- 1/2 Tbsp
Coriander powder - 1 Tbsp
Pepper powder - 1/2 Tbsp
Fennel powder - 1/2 Tbsp

Salt to taste
Curry leaves,a few

How to make kakka irachi /clam roast Kerala style :
  1. Clean the clams/Kakka irachi well under water .
  2. Pinch the side in such a way that the black dirt/grit inside will pop out.
  3. Repeat with all clams then wash them under water for 3-4 times until all dirts are gone .
  4. Drain the water and keep the cleaned clams aside.
  5. Transfer the kakka/clams,turmeric powder,red chilli powder and little water into a pan and bring everything to boil.Don't add too much water.
  6. Then reduce the flame and cover it with a lid until the clams are well-cooked and all water gets evaporated.
  7. Put off the flame and keep it aside.
  8. Heat a kadai or a pan with enough oil and splutter some mustard seeds.
  9. Add the chopped onion and saute until they turn transparent.
  10. Add chopped tomato and saute until they turn soft and mushy.
  11. Add green chilli slits and saute well.
  12. Add all the spice powders and saute until they are well-mixed for like 5 minutes.
  13. Add the cooked clams to it and saute for a minute or two.
  14. Add a few curry leaves and mix well.
  15. Add salt to taste.Mix well.
  16. That's it tasty spicy clam roast Kerala style / Kakka irachi is ready to eat!
  17. Serve hot with boiled rice ,not that spicy curries ,any side dish ..that's my style !! or as you wish :).
  1. Adjust the spiciness by adjusting the red chili powder and green chillies.Pepper powder is what makes this recipe tasty.So,try not to add less.
  2. Make it more yummy by adding coconut bits after spluttering mustard seeds until they turn slight brown in color. Also ,if you want to make it more spicy ,add broken dry red chillies after that.
OR,watch this step by step video to prepare kakka irachi ularthiyathu .Hope it is helpful.Pls follow the subtitles in English .

 So,if you are a big-time seafood lover like me,then do try my clam roast Kerala style .You may eat it just by itself ,it is that yummy.We Alleppey people are well-known for our varieties of tasty spicy seafood recipes.

Other good thing about my place Alleppey is that ,in Kerala,this is the only place as of know I think that has got great relaxation rules for lockdown . Well,jahan mein wahan Corona ko bhi rona hota hai..eehaahha πŸ‘ΏπŸ˜ŽπŸ˜‰πŸ˜‹πŸ™...Dheere dheere poorey planet Earth se bhi isko gayab kardoongi ..huh humse hai muqabla πŸ’ͺπŸ‘Š

I am concerned ,will people take advantage of this sober lockdown rules here and mess things up ?Hope all will still Stay at home ..Prevention is better than cure!!..There are so many medical professionals,our police personnels etc who wish they could stay home with their family but are fighting day and night like God-send warriors for OUR safety and the eradication of this deadly virus.So,to help them indirectly /as a gratitude ,let's do our bit and find creative ways to stay at home with family or even alone  ...A BIG SALUTE TO THEM !Praying for them for more power and for all to fight together. Corona is an ET/a deadly alien ,it's time to put our invisible capes on and just stay inside AT LEAST and go out when there is no other choice only ! No pain,no gain !!

Mann mein hain vishwas,hum hongey kamyab ek din....πŸ™Œ