4.7/5 rating (7 votes)

Cockle Curry

Khubbe Masala

  • Heat Hot
  • Serves 4
  • Prep 5 mins
  • Cook 15 mins
Cockle Curry

A wonderful south Indian cockle dish made with a spiced coconut masala and roasted spices

Hari says

Cockles and clams are a well loved ingredient of the coastal regions in India.

It's a great pass time for families to go to the beach and collect them from the sands at low tide, remember you want to choose the biggest cockles as they are the really meaty ones. In the port city of Mangalore they are known as 'khubbe' and are taken home in buckets of seawater, washed and left to soak in clean water so any residual sand is removed.

Cockles are usually prepared with a few simple roasted spices and they tend to be cooked out of their shells. This is my version of a cockle dish from this region that's cooked in a spiced coconut masala. The masala is thick but not as dry as the traditional version and I like to cook the cockles in their shells because it makes the whole eating bit more of an experience. This will make enough for four people to share, try it with some thick naan to soak up the masala flavours. Oh and if you really love your seafood you can make recipe this with a mixture of cockles, clams and mussels - yum!

  • Ingredients
  • Method
  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 2 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 onion, 1 quartered the other sliced
  • 6 large garlic cloves
  • 4 cm chunk of fresh root ginger, roughly chopped
  • 20g tamarind paste
  • 2 red chillies, chopped
  • 60g coconut cream (more for a more creamy sauce)
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • 1.5kg fresh cockles, cleaned
  • salt to taste
  • large pinch of coriander, chopped
  • 1 lemon


  1. Roast the coriander and cumin seeds until they become fragrant then remove from the heat and grind to a powder.
  2. Blend the quartered onion, garlic, ginger and chillies to make a smooth paste.
  3. Heat oil in a large pan and add the sliced onion and cook for a few minutes until it's translucent.
  4. Stir in the onion paste and fry to cook off all the raw ingredients (about 3-4 minutes).
  5. Sprinkle in the ground spices, tamarind paste, turmeric and coconut cream until it's all melted into a sauce. Cook for a few minutes until its aromatic.
  6. Add the cleaned cockles over a high heat, add 2 -3 tbsps water. Put the lid on the pan and cook for 3-4 minutes, shaking the pan until all the cockles have opened. Remove from the heat and discard any that haven't opened.
  7. Cockles are quite salty so taste them before adding any more seasoning. If you want a bit more of a sauce add a splash of hot water.
  8. Squeeze over half a lemon and add the coriander to serve.

Nutritional information

Typical values* per Serving
Fat (g)10
of which saturates (g)3
Carbohydrates (g)23
of which sugars (g)0
Fibre (g)1
Protein (g)52
Salt (mg)82
*Based upon calculated values, supplied by myfitnesspal.com. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated.

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Comments (2)

  • Matt


    14 September 2019 at 20:02 |
    This recipe came out wonderfully. My wife and I thought it was perfect. We used a teaspoon of sambal in place of the chilis and regular full fat coconut milk and it worked great. I used this guide to clean the cockles: https://www.justonecookbook.com/how-to-degrit-clams/


    • Hari Ghotra

      Hari Ghotra

      29 September 2019 at 14:36 |
      Hi Matt So great to hear that you tried this - it's not one that is commented on very much so really happy to read your comments. Thanks for sharing the guide too!


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