This is a recipe that I came up with off the cuff. In essence it captures the flavours of the Anglo Indian style crab curry from my childhood that my grandmother would lovingly prepare, tweaked with a couple of choice ingredients.
With crab you really aren’t going to get heaps of flesh, so using it in a curry is ideal since the shell flavours the gravy, imparting all the juices and goodness without any bit going to waste.
The plumper and fresher the crabs the better tasting the curry. So choose fresh crabs and prepare them the same day. For this recipe I used blue swimmer crabs which worked beautifully. Although not the largest of crabs the meat is super sweet contrasting the robust gravy.
- 1 kg Crabs, bodies halved and pincers removed
- 1 large Onion, quartered
- 5-6 Garlic Cloves, whole
- 1 inch Garlic, roughly chopped
- ½ tsp Fennel Seeds
- ½ tsp Coriander Seeds
- 1 tsp Garam Masala
- 1 tsp Turmeric
- 1 tsp Kashmir Chilli Powder
- 1 tsp Coriander Powder
- ½ tsp Clove Powder
- 1 ½ tsp Salt
- Good splash Coconut Vinegar
- 1 tbsp Fish Sauce
- 1 tin diced Tomato
- 1 tin Coconut Cream
- 1 bunch Fresh Coriander, ½ finely chopped and ½ picked leaves to garnish
- Lemon, to finish
Rinse the crab bits and set aside.
Add the onion, garlic and ginger to a food processor and make into a fine paste.
In a large pot add vegetable oil and bring up to heat before adding in the fennel and coriander seeds. Allow them to pop and rattle a little before putting in the processed mixture stirring continually.
After about 5 minutes in the pot add in the masala powders, salt and stir through before adding the coconut vinegar and fish sauce which will deglaze the pan in a sense. Pour in the tin of tomatoes, mixing it in well and then wait for it to simmer. When the gravy has begun to simmer have a taste to check the heat, flavour intensity and seasoning. Adjust it accordingly should you need more salt, spice or chilli. Once you have corrected your taste add in the crabs and stir through to coat. Put on a pot cover and set a 15 minute timer, ensuring the heat is on low.
Check the pot once the 15 minutes is over to see how well the crab is coming along. Add in the coconut cream and stir through. Cover again and let it cook for another 10 minutes.
At this stage the gravy should be bubbling away and smell rather fragrant. Check the crab to check it has cooked through (the flesh has coagulated within the shell). Simply turn it off the heat, stir in the chopped coriander and serve over white rice. A good squeeze of lemon and garnish with the picked coriander and you are ready to rock and roll…