Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Njandu Curry (Crab curry - Malabar Style)

Crab is something that I adore, but haven’t really got a great deal of knowledge about apart from relishing its intense and unique flavour. Iam not aware of the kind of crabs and never knew how to do the cleaning until I prepared it last time. It is a bit tricky to clean and prepare, I should say and it takes a while to prepare a crab.

I had prepared crab before this, but while preparing it this time, I watched couple of videos to make sure that I do things right. I then realized that I din’t do proper cleaning and I even dumped the large back shell into the gravy when I prepared the first time!! Check out this video here if you are not sure how to clean a crab. 

Now here is the kind of crab curry that my mom makes back home. It’s slightly dry or rather crabs smeared in spicy masala paste. I got the recipe from her the other day when I got hold of some fresh crabs from the fisheries. I bought three large crabs which weighed 1.5 kilos, and after I was done with the cleaning, it just weighed half the original weight!!Most of it had to be thrown away. Feel free to increase the amount of spices per taste. You can also add coconut milk towards the end if you wish.

Njandu Curry (Crab Curry)
serves 3 - 4

750g Cleaned crabs
3 Tbsp coconut oil
3 medium onions, 380g sliced thin – 3 cups
3 twigs curry leaves
2-3 green chillies, slit
2 medium tomatoes chopped, ~200g, 1 cup
salt – as required
3-4 teaspoons Kashmiri chilli powder
2-3 teaspoons coriander powder
½ teaspoon turmeric powder
1 ¼ - 1 ½ cups of water
¼ teaspoon garam masala

1. Heat oil in a large saucepan.
2. When hot, add sliced onion, 1 twig curry leaves, green chillies, salt and tomatoes. Cover and cook on medium heat until onions go soft and tomatoes are mushy and soft.
3. Add chilli powder, coriander powder and turmeric powder and stir well.
4. Add cleaned crabs, stir well, cover and ook on medium heat until steam comes through.
5. Add water and keep cooking on medium heat until the crabs are smeared in thick gravy.
6. Add garam masala and remaining curry leaves and stir.
7. Serve along with plain rice or chappathi, porotta etc.

1.You can add more spices if you want. I add a mixture of paprika and kashmiri chilli powder to balance the heat.
2. Also you may add coconut milk towards the end of cooking.

This post also goes to Kerala Kitchen event hosted by Jehanne who blogs at the cookingdoctor.

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