Friday, August 28, 2015

Crab Masala with Coconut | Nandu Masala | Thenga Aracha Njandu Curry

I had crab only once in my childhood during one of the visits to my chithi's home. Since mom have not tried it in home I don't show much interest towards it. Also, I don't even remember how crab tastes because I was very young when I tried it.  After we shifted to our new house in Chennai, I have seen fish lady's roaming near my home selling crabs that is very fresh and straight from the nearby seashore. 

I told my neighbor akka that I wanted to try it once. Her name is Kalpana, Happy fondly call her as 'Kappaka'. :) She is from Pondicherry and a very good cook. Already I have posted her Chicken Fried Rice recipe in this space. She is kind enough to help me, the next weekend we bought it and she cleaned the crab and gave the recipe as well. It turned out very well , after which I have tried it twice or thrice. Now I am confident enough to handle crabs in my kitchen :) This recipe will be a treat for seafood lovers. Onto the recipe:
Ingredients:
Crab - 7 to 8 (Medium sized) 
Onion - 2(Big sized)
Tomato - 2 large 
Curry leaves - few 
Coriander leaves - To garnish
Chilli Powder - 1 tsp 
Coriander Powder - 1/2 tsp 
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp 
Ginger garlic paste - 1.5 tsp 
Salt - as required 
Oil - 1 tbsp  
To Grind: 
Coconut - 3/4 Cup 
Whole black pepper - 1 tbsp 
Jeera - 1.5 tsp 
Fennel Seeds(Sombu) - 1.5 tsp 
Green Chilli - 2
Method:
1. Clean the crab well in water and set aside. I got my crab cleaned, so I just washed it few times and used it. If you get it with the whole hard shells, remove the hard shell and clean it. If your crab is big sized chop it into two pieces. Chop the onions and tomato finely. Grind the items under 'To Grind' to a smooth paste by adding little water. 
2. Place a wide big kadai on flame (I got this aluminium kadai shown below just for making crab). Add some oil and allow the curry leaves to crackle. Then saute the onions until it turns golden brown. While the onion is cooking, add the ginger garlic paste and required salt. Now add the ground masala paste and saute until the raw smell leaves. Then add the chilli, turmeric and coriander powder. Mix everything once and finally add the tomato. 
3. After the tomato mashes add the crab and gently mix it once for the masala to coat. Then pour 1.5 cups of water for the crab to cook.
4. Bring it to boil and cover it with a lid. Cook it until the water content reduces and the crab turns orange in color. The color change indicates that the crab is cooked. Switch off the flame and serve it after garnishing with chopped coriander leaves.
Serve it hot with steamed rice and rasam. I usually have it alone without any main dish, because eating crab itself is like a project for me :)
Points to remember:
  • I usually make crab masala very spicy, so adjust the green chilli, whole black pepper and red chilli powder as per your preference.
  • The orange color in the crab indicates that the crab is cooked properly. 
  • I made it as semi dry masala with very little curry. You can increase the water if you prefer to have more curry.
  • I have used the crab as a whole since it is medium sized. If it is bigger, chop it into two pieces.
Warm Regards,
Happy's Cook - Divya

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