Living in Maharashtra for almost 5 years I developed my undying love for seafood. Being a Bengali I was taught to appreciate the fresh water beings. However it changed once I shifted out of my house more than half a decade ago and freshwater fish was hard to find near the sea. Crabs were beings I was a little scared of, they reminded me of the cartoon where their claws will be stuck to your nose and you would be maniacally running around for help!
I tried crabs at various Malvani and Mangalorean places in Mumbai and Bangalore and decided to start cooking it. After a few tries I decided I would stick to my Maharashtrian chutney and crab curry. Crabs are best to eat during July-August when the weather is still warm as its meat is light and sweet, with a hot curry served with steaming hot rice. So on a lazy warm Sunday afternoon this can be the meal you crave for after a long tedious work week.
Be a little careful while getting crabs from your local fishmonger. Never buy crabs which are dead or oozing liquids. Buy it from a fishmonger who is reliable. You can choose from a variety of crabs, even though I will prefer the blue sea crabs the mud crabs which you get in landlocked cities like Delhi are equally scrumptious. It would be easier for you to get the crabs cleaned by the fishmonger if you are inexperienced with the animal. I would also strongly vote against frozen crab meats. Yes, it does the trick and is easier to eat as most of it is deshelled but I would still suggest you to buy the fresh meat as the taste varies and is vastly inferior.
So once, you are done sourcing your crab you can give my recipe a try. It is simple. Nothing earth shattering, with a taste of the Maharashtrian chutney which I have raved about again and again.
- 1 kg of crabs
- 2 whole red chillies
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 sprigs of fresh curry leaves
- 2 tsp of mustard seeds
- 1 large onion diced finely
- 2 tablespoon of coarsely ground ginger garlic paste (better if done in a mortar and pestle)
- 2 tablespoon of chutney
- 200 gms of tomato puree
- 1 cup coconut
- 100 gms of fresh grated coconut milk
- Heat oil in a walk and let the curry leaves, bay leaf, mustard seeds and red chillies splutter for a minute on low heat.
- Put in the onions and cook till transparent.
- Add the ginger garlic paste and cook for two minutes.
- Pour in the tomato puree and cook till the oil separates from the mixture.
- Add the coconut and cook till all the water has been absorbed.
- Add the crabs mix with the tomato sauce and pour in about 3 cups of warm water.
- Cover and cook for about 10 minutes.
- Once it is ready just keep a scallop of fresh steamed rice ready with wedges of lemon and fresh green chillies.
Relax and savour the crab with both hands. Keep the spoon away for the day