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Clams in coconut masala (Tisre/Khubbe/Kalva sukke)

Clams are used widely in Konkani cooking. ‘Aghanashini’ river flows at our native. During the low tide days, people stand in knee high water and pick up the clams. While using for cooking, the clams are opened carefully and the soft meat inside the shell is used in a variety of dishes. Usually one of the two shells is kept intact for some clams. I do not know why the shells are used, but when we were kids we always fought with each other to get the shells :D. It was a competition to see who got more shells.

There are many types of clams used in cooking. We used 3 types of them. First one is called ‘Tisre’ in Konkani. It looks like this and has many lines on the shell. Second type is called ‘Khubbe’, which doesn’t have the lines. Some people eat the first type and do not eat the second and vice versa. (Some more information about these types can be found here).The third type is called ‘kalva’, these are found in big stones near the sea shore. Any of the three types of clams can be used for this dish.

Few days back, Kalpita sent me a very sweet mail. She had asked to post ‘Tisre sukke’ here. When I searched in the nearby Chinese store, I found the cooked ‘Kalva’ in the frozen section. There were many types of clams available in that store. All of them were too big. Usually the big ones cause stomach pain, so I almost left the hope of getting the good ones. Then I saw ‘Fresh water cooked clams’ in the frozen section. They looked like

See Mahek’s version of Tisre sukke here.

Clams 3/4 cup
Coconut 3/4 cup
Onions 1/2 cup
Coriander seeds 1/2 tea spn
Oil 1 tea spn
Tamarind 1/2 tea spn
Potato (Optional) 1 small
Red chillies 5-6

It is lot of fun if few of the shells are left intact while using for cooking. My mom never adds potato to this dish, but few people like it with potato.

Heat oil and fry coriander seeds. Grind them with chillies, tamarind and coconut to a smooth paste adding very little water.
Heat remaining oil and fry onion till they turn slightly brownish. Add potato cut into cubes, clams and fry for a minute. Add 1/2 cup water and cook for around 10 mins.
Now add ground masala, salt and cook till all water is absorbed and a dry dish is got.
Serve hot with rice as a side dish.

Serves : 3
Preparation time : 20mins

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{ 28 comments… add one }

  • Preeti July 3, 2006, 9:18 am

    I have fond memories of trying to open the stones/rocks to get kalwa maas, as a kid in my mom’s native-Shirali. I’m not sure if my mom asked me break open rocks to get to the yummy stuff or to just keep me occupied.

    I’ve been craving this food for a long time, but had no guts to bring home some, from the chinese store. Your tip on finding the frozen stuff has sure renewed hopes!Thanks a bunch!

  • kalpita rege July 3, 2006, 10:37 am

    thanks a lot. have been on a hunt for prawns, shell-fish and crabs for quiet some time now but have failed miserably. will go again this week and begin the hunt. will post u a reply asap. and wow i almost ate the pic ;)

  • Puspha July 4, 2006, 3:43 am

    This sounds so delicious.

  • Sumitha Shibu July 4, 2006, 7:13 am

    This dish looks delicious,are clams and mussels the same? Do you know what it is known in Kannada or malayalam Shilpa?

  • Anupama July 4, 2006, 8:17 am

    Hi Shilpa, Can I try you clam recipe with prawns also as I love prawns.

  • Shilpa July 4, 2006, 8:34 am

    Thanks all. Sumitha, it is called as Belchu or maruvayi or moLi in native Kannada. But I do not know what are they called in bookish Kannada :(. I am very sorry about that. Please have a look at the links I have mentioned in the mail, you might get an idea. Massels are big compared to clams.
    Anupama, I have never tried this dish with prawns. May be you can give it a try.

  • mamta July 7, 2006, 9:05 am

    hey shilpa,
    its a superb dish,it makes me think of my mamale ghar and her dishes,thank u so much ,i will surely gi ve it a try.once again thank u soo much .

  • Nad July 24, 2006, 8:13 pm

    Do you guys know what do they call “kalwa” in english. Do stores carry them in United States ?


  • Shilpa July 24, 2006, 8:16 pm

    Thanks Mamta.
    Nad, as I mentioned, they are called as ‘ fresh water clams’, I found them in Chinese store here in US.

  • gollu November 28, 2006, 1:28 pm

    Thanks.. Does anyonen know if you can get these in pittsburgh PA

  • Preeti December 20, 2006, 11:51 am

    Hey anyone knows the redipe for “Tisrya Maasache Wade” which is nothing but vade made out of shelled clams? My granny used to make it 25 years ago (shes no more & I fondly remember her for this dish)though rarely as shelling them to get just the meat was a tedious task, so we mostly had Tisryache Ambat, but would love to see this recipe.

  • Amanda April 4, 2007, 11:39 am

    hi, Just came across your website today. Great to see some good Konkan food. We are from Goa and many of your terms are familiar. Kalva are oysters. We call mussels shinanio. Tisreo are the large smooth clams and the tisreo as you say the smaller ridges ones. I love all seafood (part of being Goan, I think).

    Great recipes here!

  • Joseph Britto April 14, 2007, 11:15 am

    Dear Sirs,
    I came across your lovely website. I come from Cuncolim, Slacete, Goa. I now live in the U.K. I have lots of memories when mu mum used to cook for us, specially, Tisrio(clams) and Kalwam(Oysters) I shall be very grateful if you could kindly let me know how to make a nice caldine of Kalwam(Oyisters). We buy frozen very large oyisters from Chinense shops. They are not completely fresh, but may have been harvested for a quite sometime, and frozen. But they are O.K. Ambot tick does not come out nice but caldine may be quite tasty. Also we get frozen(not fresh) clams. I tried to fry some onions, and then add these clams, put some water and green chillies. Threy open up after a while, but when you try to eat them, they are full of grit(sand). Don’t know how to remove the sand. Please kindly give me some idea.
    I hope to hear from you.
    Kindest regards

    • Azra January 13, 2014, 5:44 am

      Hey Shilpa
      , I look into your site often, I just passed by this recipe. I come from Kundapur and we have a slight variation for Kubba sukka. We add ground( roasted bolied rice, red chilly and bit Garlic) powder, right after the onions and green chillies. After its cooked, then we add coconut. You should try this variation, its addictive.

    • Akshay December 25, 2014, 12:47 pm

      You Boil them,they will automatically open up and the sand will also be removed

  • Shilpa April 14, 2007, 8:06 pm

    Welcome to Aayi’s Recipes Joseph. Usually we wash the clams very well before cooking. That takes care of the sand. If possible, wipe each clam with a damp cloth. Thats all we can do to avoid sand. I will see if I can get any more tips.

  • Ketan Shroff June 19, 2007, 3:23 am

    Amazing is not the word; I am definitely going to try the other recipies and I will get back on the same

  • Chetali September 13, 2007, 10:04 am

    This is an awesome recipe!!Back in Goa we also add wedges of raw mango i.e ambli to tisrya sukke and it tastes great!!!

  • surekha March 17, 2008, 2:07 am

    hi shilpa,

    I had read this recipe in TI long back and forgot to take it down. After a long time I got motivated by your recipe, tried and the result is simply great!. My scare whether the rest in the house would like or not changed in to a joy when they relished it by licking fingers. Thank you so much to bring back the authentic taste. And yet one more thing. Please get me the recipe of crab masala made in Hotel Dadar Gomantak the dark colour of which is a suspense with me.If you can get it I will be really grateful to you. Infact I had asked about this in recipe request and you have not responded so far. The name of the dish is “crab masala” . Looking forwad for your reply,


    Shilpa: Surekha, I am sorry, I don’t have recipe. I have never been to the Hotel you have mentioned and have no way to find it out. If it was a popular name, I could have found out, but dishes specific to one hotel cannot be found out easily.

  • Arati June 14, 2008, 1:22 pm

    Hi Shilpa,

    This is the best foodsite I have ever seen.You and your Aayi are really doing a great job.I am a Goan and the mere words like Tisryo,Kalva and Shinani drive me crazy.Please tell me where you can get kalva in the US.I will be indebted to you.

    Shilpa: Its available in Chinese store at our place under the name clams.

  • sssfo March 25, 2010, 6:37 pm

    Hi Shilpa,
    Yet another mouth-watering recipe on ur site.I recently bought a huge double pack of canned clams from Costco.(I live in CA).I have been wanting to make a curry I had at a friend’s place but she doesn’t want to share the recipe.She’s a Konkani & she only told me that she just put some random masalas (?!?!) and did it.(And the curry was yummy-I had it with rice).Would you happen to know how this curry is made?It was flooded with clams & it was kind of like a thick curry/side that u wud probably eat with rotis.I am dying to make about a tonne of it & eat it at home but I am stuck zeroing down the recipe.Please HELP!!!

  • Sharmila April 15, 2010, 4:26 pm

    I’m going to try this recipe soon. I find that frozen clam meat gets a bit rubbery when cooked. Canned baby clams are far better to cook with, they did not get rubbery last time I used them. Maybe I am not using the correct cooking method for the frozen clams.

  • Sadie October 1, 2010, 10:10 am

    I would rather use canned tisre then get them from the chinese store..more quality control with the canned stuff from polar

  • Seafood Recipes April 11, 2012, 1:09 am

    Yes it is very tasty and looks very different.Thank you sharing with us.

  • Norma March 22, 2014, 8:37 pm

    Lots to share, Lots to laugh about!!! LOTS to reminice about.
    Im an anglo, in the US tooo long, but fond memories of going through a cashew irchard to take a bath from the well ouside thbathe hut with avtiny copper lota!!!! Yeah! a product of at least 8 bording schools but tge only ones I remember msy were ‘tonaklav’ and the ‘great cashew weekly escapade’ Had tons of goan (Goa HolyCrossConvent 11th Birthday here) and konkan (Belgaum St. Josephs Convent my 4th birthday was here) friends, NEVER asked for the names but enjoyed the food ‘sheet-kodi’ brought back tears and memories! I’m hooked, clams here I come! BTW mussels?=Kalva? and remember to get tender meats don’t cook the hell outa them. Old (not fresh I mean) guys get tough and rubbery. Clam juice is big taste in seafood, to avoid the gritty sand I found that steam to one bubble the shellfish pops open. Its a multi-step from here. 1 gently rock the pot of popped shells, 2. take the shells out of the broth, 3. now strain the broth in muslin or coffee filter. 4. Throw the broth back into a clean pan and boil and reduce quantity. In the mean time follow your recepe with the shell fish
    add the reduced broth to your final dish and bringvtp a rolling boil. That one was for “how to keep the sand outa dish” ;) enjoy, we will meet again

    • Shilpa March 22, 2014, 10:43 pm

      Mussels are kalva are not same. Kalva is found in rocks along the coast line. The rocks are broke open to get the meat

  • Ajit Desai July 11, 2014, 2:31 am

    Even i enjoyed picking up clams from the Creek in Devbagh, Malvan.

  • purush manjunath February 20, 2015, 8:58 am

    Adding roasted boiled rice gives clams sukka a yummy taste.:-)

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