Clams/ Mussels Masala (Tisrya Masala)- an authentic recipe from Goa

  • Prep Time : 10m
  • Cook Time : 15m
  • Ready In : 30m

Coastal food, needless to say, has a tremendous variety of sea food and the Indian coastline is massive- so you can imagine the variety of seafood that you can get there.

Goan cuisine is particularly rich in seafood. This delicious mussels recipe is an authentic Saraswat recipe and I bet its taste will linger a long time in your memory.


  • Clams/ Mussels- 1 cup ( cleaned with shells on- or just the meat)
  • Cinnamon- 1/2 inch
  • Coriander seeds- 1 tsp
  • Star anise- 1
  • Black peppercorns- 3-4
  • Cloves- 2
  • Onions-1, finely chopped
  • Fresh coconut, grated- 1/2 cup
  • Red chilli powder- 1 tsp
  • Turmeric powder- 1/2 tsp
  • Garam masala powder- 1/2 tsp
  • Tamamrind pulp- 1/2 tsp
  • Salt- to taste
  • Oil- 2 tbsp, ideally coconut oil

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Step 1

Heat 1 tsp oil in a small saucepan and fry the coriander seeds, cinnamon, star anise, pepper and cloves. Fry for a minute.

Step 2

Now add in half of the chopped onions and saute until soft ad translucent.

Step 3

Add in the grated coconut and saute until well browned.

Step 4

Transfer everything to a blender alongwith the tamarind pulp and make a paste when cool.

Step 5

Now heat the remaining oil in the pan. When hot, add the remaining onions.

Step 6

Add the clams/ mussels and mix well.

Step 7

Addd the salt, red chilli powder, turmeric, garam masala powder. Mix well ad add in 1/2 a cup of water. Bring to the boil, cover with a lid and simmer for 2-3 minutes with the lid on.

Step 8

Add the ground masala paste. Mix well and simmer for 2-3 minutes. DO remember not to boil on high heat after you add fresh coconut, because it separates.

Step 9

If you think the gravy is too thick, add in about 1/4 cup of hot water.

Step 10

Serve hot with white rice!


In this recipe, I’ve used mussels without the shell, however, you could use either Mussels or Clams with the shell. What you need to do is boil the mussels/ clams with the shell in a pan full of water and add a pinch of salt.

When they are cooked, the shells turn sort of pinkish – they change colour. Let cool, and separate the sheel, leaving the mussel/ clam meat stuck in one and discard the other shell. Adding the shell in this manner enhances the taste of the curry and is th etraditional way to cook Clams. You can add some of the water in which it has been cooked, to the curry to enhance the taste.


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