November 30, 2010
Kerala Njandu Fry/ Crab Stir Fried with spices..
Back after a hiatus, and as usual there is a writer's block, staring into a empty post, wondering where to start. Where did I go? Well, took on a job and then went for a roller coaster ride for 3 months juggling home, family and work. I just couldn't surf all the wonderful blogs after getting home and now I have tons to catch up on..
Now the job is over, the weather has turned gloomy, the sun slinks away at 4.30 itself and you don't see your neighbors for days at end and there seems a general feeling of crabbiness. But its the festive season here(read shopping season) and though you would think who shops in this weather.. every body escapes to the mall where its brightly lit, filled with people and colors and sounds and whether you shop or not, the mood gets festive.
And furthermore, its the crab season on the West coast, so we will at least get some good crabs once in a while. If you like crabs, this is the season to try it.
The recipe and the fotos below are of the Calicut Crabs, from my last holiday, recipe courtesy of my Aunt. She makes the best nadan dishes..:) Calicut crabs are a medium sized ones so you don't have to cut it up. But I have been making this with the Dungeness Crabs and it is good! Just one crab is enough to feed two people lavishly. As to how to clean crabs, just google it and you will get tons of websites and even videos on it. If you buy the crabs live from the docks, like my siblings do, bring them in a tight bag, put a pot of water for boiling at home and dump them into that and cover and steam cook for 5 minutes. Then drain and cut up and clean.
I usually get the crabs from Costco when they have the seafood stand and its previously cooked (blanched) and so I just cut into smaller pieces and clean it before preparing it.
The cooking with spices gets the spicy flavor into the crabs instead of just being on the surface of the shell and then stir frying just caramelizes the shallots and spices. So the result is lickable spicy shells and then a sweet slightly flavorful meat inside.
You will need:
For the cooking:
10 medium sized crabs.
Red hot chili powder- 1 1/2 tsp
Turmeric- 1/2 tsp
Ginger- 1 inch piece
Garlic -4-5 cloves
Salt & pepper, to taste.
10-15 small shallots, sliced well.(about 2 cups)
Curry leaves- 2 sprigs
Coconut oil- 1/4 to 1/2 cup
Green chilies-2 slit vertically.
Mix the spices, ginger garlic paste, add salt and 1/2 cup water in a clay pot.Add the cleaned crab and mix. Cover the pot and let it cook on medium heat for about 5 minutes. Open and increase the heat and let the liquid evaporate. There should be no liquid remaining. Keep aside.
Heat oil in a wok/cheenachatti or pan and add the curry leaves and shallots. When the shallots wilt and start browing, add the green chilies and the cooked crab and all the thick gravy around it. Stir fry on medium high heat for about 6-10 minutes till all the shallots and the gravy darken and stick to the crab pieces.
Serve hot with rice or roti. (just crab is fine too.)
Clean crabs and divide each into 4 pieces. Place
into large pan, add all ingredients except coconut
milk, mustard powder, lime juice and salt.
Bring to a boil, add coconut milk and allow to simmer for 10 minutes. Add lime
juice, mustard powder and salt. Stir for a few minutes until flavours are married. Remove from heat and serve hot.