Spicy crab curry – in a pinch

17 Jul

When it rains, I craaaave crabs. Even when it’s quite dry, I pine for the spicy crab curry we ate at home in Calcutta on rainy afternoons especially during the monsoons. So I couldn’t resist the temptation when I found packs of rock crab claws being sold at Market Basket cheap. Dang it, I would make myself a crab curry. My treat.

It didn’t take long and it wasn’t complicated and despite it being the wrong kind of crabs and wrong kind of weather, it ended up being the right kind of taste. Here’s my vaguely remembered, slightly simplified recipe, step-by-step.

1. Buy crabs. These were the rock hard kind that I cracked in advance but thinner shells work better.

2. Add a spoonful each of salt, red chili powder and turmeric powder and mix well. More chili if you want it to be more spicy – I know I do.

3. Peel and dice a potato or two and toss in with the crabs and masala.

4. Grind up the ingredients you’ll need for the curry — red onions, ginger, garlic, green chilies.

5. Heat some oil in a wok and lightly toss the spice-coated crab and potatoes pieces on high heat for a couple minutes and put aside.

6. Add the ground paste to the oil with some whole garam masala – cardamoms, cloves, bay leaves and cinnamon stick – and toss until the paste is brown.

7. After oil separates, throw in the crabs and potatoes and toss well. Add a sprinkling of salt and sugar.

8. After it is fairly dry and beginning to stick, add a tumbler of hot water and cook on low heat. Throw in some split green chilies and frozen peas for taste and heat.

9. After a bit of boiling and splattering, serve hot on white rice. Ta-da, you just made some delicious Bengali kakrar jhaal. Eat up.

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