One common aspect between Singapore and me is the love for Crab. But instead of trying hand at the Singapore’s ever-popular Chili Crab, I go with something that I loved back home – the eternally popular Kerala Crab Roast. During my Bangalore days, I was the privileged one when Crab is cooked at home, as my mom and sister never enjoyed the effort of cracking the shells and digging out the meat. The story is pretty much the same even now. My husband is allergic to shellfish and my little one does not fancy much of seafood. Well, at times solitude is bliss 🙂
Authentic seafood and meat recipes from Kerala will have abundant usage of coconut, dry roasted whole spices, shallots etc. Here the crabs are simmered in a creamy paste of roasted coconut and spices. As I mentioned, the spices used here are whole and dry roasted with the freshly grated coconut. You just need to make sure you don’t burn them while roasting; just go on until the coconut turn brown (details in the recipe below).
So here’s a recipe for a tantalizing crab roast from my mom’s kitchen!
You need –
- Fresh crab – 3-4 medium size, cleaned and washed.
- Shallots –thinly sliced, I cup
- Minced ginger – 1 teaspoon
- Minced garlic – 1 teaspoon
- kudampuli/ Gambooge – 4 nos (Soaked in 1/2 cup warm water for 15 mins)
- Garam masala powder – 1 teaspoon
- Coconut oil – 1 teaspoon
- Curry leaves – 2 twigs
- Salt to taste
For the spice paste –
- Grated coconut – ½ cup
- Whole coriander seeds – 1 ½ tablespoons
- Whole dried chilies – 4-5 or as per your palate.
- Whole black pepper – 1 teaspoon
- Fennel seeds – ¼ teaspoon
- Turmeric power – ¼ teaspoon
- Curry leaves – 1 twigs
In frying pan, dry roast all the ingredients under “for the spice paste”. Make sure the coconut turns to brown but does not burn. Make sure you are frequently stirring. Once done, put the mixture into a blender and blend to a smooth paste with water as required. Set aside.
In a heavy bottom pan, heat the oil. Add the shallots, ginger, garlic, remaining curry leaves and fry till translucent. Add the spice paste and sauté for a few minutes. Add the kudampuli/ Gambooge with the water and bring to a gentle simmer. Now add the crab, salt to taste; cover and cook till done. Sprinkle the garam masala and mix well. Continue to cook till the gravy is thick and coats the crab pieces.
Turn off the heat and serve with rice.