Malata: Eating Mozambique

by Karen on Friday, November 5, 2010

Post image for Malata: Eating Mozambique

This week’s dish is as obscure as it gets.  I always love cooking dishes I’ve never had nor heard of, but the problem with some recipes is that it involves ingredients that aren’t local to me.  For malata, the ingredients are basic and of course squash you can get anywhere right now.  I know what you’re thinking, squash and clams??  Well, I’m not sure the clams do much for the squash, but the squash really adds a lovely sweet flavor to the clams- they were delicious!

– 4 dozen littleneck clams
– 1 lb of butternut squash, cut into 1-inch cubes (use a sharp vegetable peeler to peel the skin and split the squash lengthwise and scrape out the seeds with a spoon)
– 1 cup of peanuts
– 1 medium yellow onion, diced
– 4 clove of garlic, minced
– 3-inch knob of ginger, peeled and minced
– 4 birds eye chilies, minced
– 4 sprigs of thyme
– 4 cups of spinach, rinsed
– 1/2 cup of clam juice
– 1/2 cup of white wine
– 1/3 cup of peanut oil
– pinch of kosher salt
– 2 limes, cut into wedges

In a large pan, on medium-high heat the peanut oil and saute the onions, garlic, peanuts and butternut squash.  Cover and stir occasionally for 10 minutes or until the squash starts to become more tender.  Add the ginger and chilies and stir for a couple more minutes.

Turn the heat up to high and add the clams, clam juice, wine, thyme and salt.  Stir to evenly incorporate the clams, cover and let it simmer for about 10 minutes or when all the clams finish opening up (discard any that aren’t open).  With tongs, pick out the clams and set aside in a bowl.

Toss in the spinach and incorporate until wilted.

Place the clams back in the pot.

Serve with a wedge of lime and enjoy!

(Recipe adapted from The Soul of a New Cuisine: A Discovery of the Foods and Flavors of Africa)


Stephanie M at Together In Food November 5, 2010 at 9:18 am

Huh, I never would have thought to combine clams and squash; thanks for sharing this unique recipe. It looks absolutely beautiful.

Valerie November 5, 2010 at 11:17 am

This was very new and very delicious. Such an unusual combination of flavors that every bite was a little surprise. I could have eaten a hundred more clams!! 😛

Gellygoo November 5, 2010 at 12:47 pm

Clams and squash…I’m having a hard time
imagining what it tastes like. From the looks of it, it looks delectable! And the colors are beautiful!!

Ellie (Almost Bourdain) November 7, 2010 at 2:20 pm

Very interesting dish. Thanks for sharing!

Lan November 17, 2010 at 12:32 pm

this looks beautiful and based on the recipe ingredients: interesting. i am unsure of how i feel about the combination of the peanuts, clams, spinach and squash. but the presentation is absolutely arresting.

Carolyn Jung February 3, 2011 at 10:00 am

I would have never thought of peanuts in this. But I bet they add a great textural surprise. A truly lovely dish.

Karen February 5, 2011 at 10:44 am

Thanks– yes an unusual addition but definitely works!

Marian February 14, 2011 at 3:36 pm

What’s the serving size of this recipe?

Also, suggest any good side dishes that would pair well?


Karen February 15, 2011 at 9:56 am

It serves about 3-4. I think some flat bread or rice would go well with it. If you do make it please let us know how it turns out, we’d love to hear from you. Thanks!

Emma December 1, 2013 at 2:51 pm

What a mix, but looks fantastic. Must be delicious and healthy.

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