Crab curry is a delicacy, and a pain to get to the meat but worth that time and effort. Growing up I knew crab as poor man’s food. Though in the recent years it has gained immense popularity to be included on menu for fine dining. I believe crabs should be prepared using minimal ingredients so that the crab is always the star of the dish.
Crabs are my ultimate go to comfort food and remind me of my Aaji’s (Grandmother’s) unconditional love and warmth. Being her first grandchild, I was always loved and protected by her over all my cousins. I have vivid memories of me going to the Dongri fish market with my her to select fish for the day. The smell of fish never bothered me then as a kid and neither does it now. My vacations were always spent at my maternal and paternal grandparents’ place. Over my stay with her, she would always make sure to feed me crabs least once. She cooked crab in so many ways including stuffed crabs, different varieties of crabs like moottes to soft shelled crabs and in different masalas, so that every time you eat a curry made by her it will tickle your taste buds.
For this curry you need live crabs. It’s a laborious process to clean the live crabs, but worth the time. When the crabs are cooked they create their own stock which imprints its flavor into the curry. If you had steamed the crab all the flavorful stock would be lost with the water. You can make this crab curry on the days when you and your family have time on their hands to sit at the the dinner table to enjoy their meal with conversation. Do not buy dead crabs. Dead uncooked shellfish tend to develop bacteria faster and may give you food poisoning.
This is one of the simpler and easier crab curries. The dry coconut paste which we are going to use will give it a smoky taste and unique blackish color.
Yield: 6 servings
crab cleaning: 15 minutes
Cook time : 20 minutes
I have discarded the small crab legs.
You will need:
You will need:
- 6 Crabs, cleaned
- 1 small chopped shallot
- 6-7 cloves of garlic, Crushed
- 1/2” garlic and 1 green chili crushed together
- 3 tbsp oil
- 2 tbsp of Agri/Koli masala (if you don’t have Agri masala, see below) https://sugarandspiceallsnice.wordpress.com/2020/07/10/agri-masala-chili-spice-mix-powder/
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1tsp paste of ginger, green chili and cilantro
- 1 tsp rice flour ( optional)
- 1/4 tsp asafoetida
- salt as per taste
- Cilantro for garnish
- 2-3 tbsp of watan (dry coconut paste) Below is the link of my watan recipe.
- 1-2 Kokum /Garcinia indica(optional)
How will you proceed:
- Clean the crabs. Watch above video.
- In a large sized pot, add oil and set it on medium flame.
- Add crushed garlic, crushed ginger and chili and asafoetida, sauté for a minute.
- Add chopped shallots. Sauté till translucent, about 2-3 minutes.
- Add Agri masala, turmeric and crabs stir well. (If not using Agri masala add the spices from notes below)
- Place a deep plate on top of the pot, add water in the plate and cover.
- Once you see steam in the plate with water, add that hot water to the crabs, stir and add new water to the plate.
- Cover and let the crab cook. Will take about 10 minutes.
- Once the crabs are cooked add watan (dry coconut paste) and simmer for 7-8 minutes.
- Add salt as per salt. I sprinkle rice flour in the curry, acts as a thicking ingredient. You may skip it completely. Garnish with cilantro.
- The crabs are ready. Serve with steamy rice or roti.
If you don’t have Agri masala, use
- 2 tbsp of chili powder
- 1 1/2 tsp of coriander powder
- 1/2 tsp of jeera/ cumin powder
- 1 tsp of garam masala