Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Crab Masala

Do you all know that Maryland is famous for its Chesapeake Blue Crab? That does not mean we eat a lot of crab all the time. It is a very rare affair. I tend to read too much about sustainability and end result I do not buy crab that often.

When we made a trip to DC over the summer we stopped at the Fish Market there and purchased crabs with the express purpose of making some crab curry. My friend had sent me the recipe for a crab curry about 2 years ago. I have been procrastinating not because I did not want to cook it but because I did not get around to buying crab and the time finally arrived after she made friend made a trip here and admonished me not giving her recipe a try.

If you purchase fresh crab here is a post on how to clean. Also save the claws to make this tasty soup.

Saute the spices for the masala paste in a tsp of oil. Set aside.
Saute the onions and garlic till the onions turn translucent. Take the blended spices first in a blender and without addition of water blend to a powder.
Add the coconut and powder it too. Then add the sauteed onions and adding about a tbsp of water blend to a smooth paste.
In a wide mouthed saute pan add the oil and season with cumin seeds. Add in the onion and green chilies and saute till onions are translucent.
Add in the tomatoes and salt and when it becomes mushy add the ground spices and saute for 2-3 minutes.
Add in the cleaned crab pieces and let cook till the crabs are fully cooked and the masala is coated and most of the moisture is evaporated.

As for this crab curry it is a combination of my friend's recipe and mom's. Once the crab is cleaned and ready for use cooking the curry is very similar to cooking any other non-vegetarian recipe.

Crab Masala
Preparation Time:20 minutes
Cooking Time:20 minutes
  1. Crab pieces - how to clean a crab? (About 10-12 crabs)
  2. 1/4 cup finely chopped onions
  3. 1/2 cup tomaotes
  4. a few strands of coriander leaves
  5. 4-5 slit green chilies
  6. 2 tsp of red chili powder if required
  7. salt to taste
  8. 3 tsp oil
  9. seasonings: cumin seeds
  10. For the Masala Paste
  11. 1 tbsp coriander seeds
  12. 1 tsp cumin seeds
  13. 6-8 red chilies
  14. 2 tsp poppy seeds
  15. 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
  16. 2 inch piece cinnamon stick
  17. 1/2 cup chopped onions
  18. 5-6 garlic cloves
  19. 2-3 tbsp grated fresh coconut

  1. Get the ingredients for the masala paste ready. In a tsp of hot oil saute coriander seeds, cumin seeds and the red chilies and when the coriander starts to turn color. Set it aside.
  2. In the same pan saute the poppy seeds, add it to the other sauteed spices. No saute the coconut. Set aside separately.
  3. Add a bit oil if required and saute the onion and garlic till the onions starts to get a bit brown.
  4. In a blender without adding any water, powder the coriander, cumin, chilies and the poppy seeds. Add in the coconut and run the blade a couple more times.
  5. To this add the sauteed onions and garlic along with a tbsp of water and blend to a smooth paste. Set aside.
  6. In a wide mouthed pan add the remaining oil and season with cumin seeds. Add in the onions and slit green chilies and saute till the onions become translucent. Now add in the tomatoes and salt and saute till it becomes pulpy.
  7. Add in the ground masala paste and saute for 3-4 minutes.
  8. Add in the cleaned crab and cook for 15-20 minutes till the masala is well coated and the moisture has evaporated. Add the red chili powder and more salt if required when the gravy is bubbling.
  9. Serve over steamed rice.
  • Note:If cleaning the smaller crabs are a problem, use snow crab legs for the curry.

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