Try This Kallumakkaya Fry Recipe That'll Delight All Seafood Lovers

Kallumakkaya fry, a local Kerala seafood dish is a mouth-watering delicacy. Made of mussels and an exciting mix of spices, this dish is a must-try. Follow this kallumakkaya recipe to try this delicacy in your kitchen.

Published On Mar 03, 2024 | Updated On Mar 08, 2024


Kallumakkaya fry is a popular seafood dish in Kerala and other regions. A delectable mix of juicy mussels, coconut and spices, this dish continues to be a favourite among seafood lovers. Although the prep time takes a while, the resulting dish is such a burst of flavours that you will be receiving compliments from everyone who tastes your try of kallumakkaya fry. Kallumakkaya refers to a type of mussel commonly found on the shores of Kerala. The shellfish are cleaned, prepped and then used to make some of the freshest seafood dishes full of mouth-watering aroma and flavour. Paired with crispy coconut slices that bring a crunch to the dish, kallumakkaya fry is popular for a reason. Kallumakkaya fry is popularly a fried snack, with a stir-fry variant also equally popular. Also known as Kerala Mussels Fry, the delicacy is usually served as a side dish or with rice, to counter its rich flavours.

To make a piping hot serving of kallumakkaya fry, or Kerala Mussels Fry, these are the ingredients that you will need:

  1. One kg mussels or kallumakkaya (cleaned)
  2. Onions
  3. Garlic
  4. Ginger
  5. Spice mix (turmeric powder, chilli powder, coriander powder, black pepper powder, garam masala)
  6. Salt (to taste)
  7. Water
  8. Vinegar (optional)
  9. Tomatoes (optional)
  10. Curry leaves
  11. Coconut slices
  12. Cooking oil (preferably coconut)

Follow this easy kallumakkaya recipe step-by-step to make this flavourful seafood delight

  • Clean the mussels 
    The most important step of the whole recipe is to properly clean the mussels. It is very important to clean them of the dirt and grime that they may have stuck to the shells. To properly clean the mussels, first check that the shells are closed and crack-free. Then, proceed to de-beard mussels and scrub the shells. Leave them submerged in a bowl of water for a few minutes to ensure that they are fully clean.
  • Boiling the mussels 
    After checking over the mussels and ensuring that they are all clean, put on a pan on the stove, fill it with water and boil the mussels until the shell starts opening. Take off the heat once the shells have opened up nicely and strain away the water. You can also choose to de-beard mussels after this point as the opened shells will make it easier. De-shelling is the process of removing the unwanted piece of meat sticking with mussels inside the shell.
  • Re-boiling the mussels 
    Take fresh water in a pan, sprinkle in some turmeric powder and salt and boil mussels for five to ten minutes. Switch off the heat and strain the mussels. Scoop out all the meat and set aside to cool.
  • Preparing the fry mix 
    While the mussels are cooling off, take a fresh pan and pour in a little oil. Add finely chopped onions, tomatoes, crushed ginger and garlic and the fresh tomato slices. Also, add the curry leaves. You can crush and then put in the curry leaves for a boost of flavour and aroma. As the mix cooks, add your prepared spice mix and sautee to properly roast the mix.
  • Adding in the mussels 
    When your mix has cooked for some minutes, add in the cooked mussels to bend them into the spices and the flavour. Be careful not to cook it for too long to avoid overcooking the meat. If you want to make this seafood delicacy even more spicy, put in sliced green chillies.
  • Finishing touches
    Add on fresh curry leaves and a few finely cut coconut slices as a garnishing to bring in more flavour. Give it a quick mix and take off the heat. Serve with lemon wedges as a snack or with steaming white rice and enjoy.


While this dish has always been made with coconut oil, nowadays, vegetable oil, olive oil, etc. are also used to make this dish. You can use any oil you prefer without worrying about the taste getting affected.

Yes, it is very important to debeard mussels before cooking them. De-bearding is basically the process of removing the inedible pieces of the blackened large intestine part of the mussel meat from the rest of it.

If you want to experiment with the dish further and look for different ways to prepare it, you can make the deep-fried version of kallumakkaya fry. In this, you have to prepare a marinade of the spice mix along with some water and apply it to the mussels. After 15-20 minutes of margination, heat some oil in a pan and fry the pieces until crispy.

Photo: Instagram/sanjayramchandran