Serving
(click to enlarge)

Bean Sprouts, Celery & Cockles
India - Andaman Islands
  -   Kai Kootu
Serves:
Effort:
Sched:
Do ahead:  
4 side  
**
3 days  
Yes

I find this makes a fine cold vegetable salad or warm side dish for a Western menu. In India a Kootu would be served hot as one of the accompaniments to the rice. The clams are more a flavoring than a feature ingredient.



1/2
5
1
3
3
2
1-1/2
1
1/4
#
oz
cl

oz
oz
T
t
t
Bean Sprouts (1)
Onion, red
Garlic
Chilis, fresh (2)
Celery
Baby Clams (3)
Oil
Mustard seed, blk
Salt

Prep   -   (3 days / 10 min work)
  1. Sprout your BEANS (see Note-1). Rinse well.
  2. Slice ONION in quarters lengthwise and slice thin crosswise. Crush GARLIC and chop small. Mix.
  3. Slice CHILIS into thin strips. I prefer to blast them with my propane torch and wash the skins off first - your choice.
  4. Slice Celery crosswise thin.
Run     -   (15 min)
  1. In a spacious sauté pan heat Oil over moderate flame and fry Mustard Seeds, stirring until most have popped, then stir in the Onions and Chilis. Fry stirring until soft.
  2. Stir in Bean Sprouts and Celery and fry stirring for about 1 minute.
  3. Stir in Clams and Salt. Simmer covered for about 8 minutes, stirring now and then.
NOTES:
  1. Bean Sprouts:   As you can see from the photo, the Indian approach to bean sprouts is quite different from how the Chinese do it (the ones in the photo are actually just a touch over-sprouted). Flavor and texture are both rather different. To get this effect, take 1/3 cup of mung beans per 1/2 pound of sprouts (they shouldn't be too old) and sprout them as you would any other seeds. This takes about 3 days max. When they are sprouted enough you can hold them for a day or two in the refrigerator. While the beans shown in the photo are Mung Beans, same as for Chinese sprouts, In India they sprout many different beans and peas this way.
  2. Chilis:   This count is based on red ripe Fresnos and will give the dish a very moderate chili bite. Red or green chilis of your choice and quantity to your taste. For details see our Chili Page.
  3. Cockles / Clams:   The pattern recipe calls for 1/4 pound cockles in the shell. Well, we don't have cockles around here, even in the frozen seafood sections of the huge Asian markets - closest they get are Manilla Clams - and they are absurdly expensive for the amount of meat you get. I have chosen to use frozen Baby Clam meat which is easily and affordably available in the frozen seafood cases at the Asian markets. If necessary, you could use canned baby clams, though the flavor may not be as good. My recipe probably has more meat then the pattern - I don't have yield figures on cockles yet.
  4. U.S. measure: t=teaspoon, T=Tablespoon, c=cup, qt=quart, oz=ounce, #=pound, cl=clove in=inch, ar=as required tt=to taste
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