November 30, 2010

Kerala Njandu Fry/ Crab Stir Fried with spices..

Calicut Crabs washed and ready to go.

Crabs simmering in the spices.

The Final Product..A mass of legs and hands..

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.

To fry:
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.)

Cooking Method:
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.


Happy Cook said...

I think there is so much drool just seeing the pic, oh how i wish i had this . DROOL DROOL DROOL :-)
Nice to see you posting a recipe.

Sathya Sankar said...

Crab fry looks delicious and mouthwatering !

Ann said...

oh my - crabs really frighten me, not sure how to handle all those pieces ;-(

BongMom said...

Where are you ? Long time no see.

Crabby is not how a crab tastes. Delish

Biny Anoop said...

wow thats awesome....give to me i will finish it u.

Anonymous said...

Where do you find such fresh crabs, i am assuming that you are from NJ, If so will you please let me know the store name, so i can go grab.
Thanks in advance

notyet100 said...

wow tis looks so yum,..:-)

Foodie Ann said...

Perfect...looks delicious...:)

Sumi said...

delicious crab..its been a long time I had crab because of the cholestral scare..but I think its time to try some, that too for this cold weather ..yummy yum

Bharathy said...

Yet another traditional recipe!..:)
Looks Delish, as always!
Hope you had a wonderful celebration for eid :)

Myra said...

Been a long time!! i have missed U x
lovely recipes....a

Indu said...

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sra said...

You're back after a long time, how's the new job? I get tired eating crab, with all the cracking and then not much meat to show for it! Have never eaten it at home (or anyone else's).

Bharathy said...

No, mallu girl, i dont use any dal powders for thorans :)
..nor our mezhukkupurattis..

Playing with the powders is all with tamil dry fries...mainly for a change :)

Mallugirl said...

finla, i am busy wiping down my screen from all that drool!

sathya, thanks..

ann, yeah, they are frightening, but try it and u will become a fan.

Sandeepa, delish is right.. i knew u wud lov it.will mail u in detail.

biny, sure, that's what i told my aunt when she sent it over.:)

Shruthi.. i get them from costco.. and sometimes from the Farmer's Market on RT 1 south.

Mallugirl said...

notyet 100.. u like crabs? thot u don't like fish.

foodie ann, thanks! and it tasted good too.:)

sumi, yeah, i get good ones so rarely so i don't think abt chol. when i do.

bharathy.. well..eid came and went on a working hols here!!:((

myra.. aw.. nice to hear that!

sra... u shud eat the dungeness crabs.. there is so much meat.. u will get ur fill.

Sarah Naveen said...

I love love love crabs..but i am still scared to clean it and make it .....arenkilum undakki thannal santhosham :)
..My family have some relatives in Alappuzha and that is the only place we have a beach near by..During my childhood, when ever we make a trip to Alappuzha , my mom pester my dad to take us to the beach for our sake, but the truth behind it was they sell a lot of fresh crabs near beach and she can buy tactful !!!....

Kitchen Boffin said...

it's my favourite.. my mom used to make it the same way...seeing ur pic, i feel like i must get on the next plane and go home to taste it again :)

PreeOccupied said...

Oh this looks like the mother of all spicy crab recipes. I love crabs and can eat them- platefuls.