Instead of our yearly jaunt to Goa we decided to go to Varkala and Alleppey this time.Both the places were a food extravaganza! We devoured buckets of butter fish and prawns , literally fished out the minute before from the sea. We even experienced a very local way of fishing where the fisherman lay a long net in the sea and tether it to the beach overnight.In the morning like magic you pull the net out and voila!the sea has blessed you with tonnes of its treasure. It was all most like the game we used to play as kids at birthday parties called “tug of war” but with 20 burly man pulling with all their might on one side and the sea on the other.
In Alleppey we spent a day meandering through the backwaters on a houseboat. The houseboat had a fixed food menu but we could buy fresh seafood on route from a small shop on the banks of the backwaters and ask the cook to make it for us.We obviously chose few gigantic prawns and decided to experiment with the crab.It was the cheapest fairly “Exotic” Seafood available and even though we had doubts on how the cook would make it we decided to buy them.This was smack in the middle of my whole 30 program and I welcomed as much variety aI could possibly get!
It was an amazing experience!We were literally taken for a lipsmacking culinary ride of the holiday! The cook prepared the soft crab in a spicy malabar masala and we were left smacking our fingers instead of concentrating on the poker game.Since then I have itched to cook crab on my own.
Last I made crab was more than 3 years ago , recently back from Singapore and dying to try my hands at Singapore Chilli Crab. Looks like I have a pattern.Thank God for all the iclouds and google pics , I was able to unearth this picture from sept 2013 for you guys.Look at the color!sigh! Seeing this picture I want to make this again sometime.
I used normal brown medium-sized crabs from Star Bazaar ,cleaned and cut along the middle into two.I promptly froze them in the same package and took them out last night after 14 days. I had procrastinated making them cause I know the kitchen smells of crab for a day after cooking it and not everybody enjoys the smell.The brown crabs didn’t smell as much as the blue ones I used for the Singapore chilli crab.The shell is also not as hard the blue crabs.
The recipe is inspired from mexican flavours but it’s a versatile curry which can be tweaked to be Indian or Thai by switching a few ingredients.If you remove the jalapeno and add indian chillies and tamarind the curry will be indian. Replacing jalapeno with bird-eye chillies and adding a little minced lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves will give it a Thai twist.
The recipe is whole 30 and Paleo complaint.It can be served with cauliflower rice or white rice if you are not on a diet.
Serves: 2 portions
- Brown Crab-2 medium
- Honey or Sugar-1/2 tbsp(Only if the mango is not sweet enough.Skip if on Whole 30)
- Cumin-1 tbsp
- Jalapeno-2(I freeze mine)
- Chilli powder/paprika-1/2 tbsp
- Ginger-1/2 inch
- Red chilli halved-1
- Coconut milk-200 ml
- Medium Tomato-1
- Olive Oil-1 tbsp
- Make a coarse paste of the onion,red chilli,garlic and ginger.
- Heat the oil in a deep Pot or a pan.Add the onion paste.Saute for 5-8 minutes till light brown.
- Blitz the tomato into a puree and add it to the pot once the onions are the right color.
- Add the cumin,diced mango,jalapenos,paprika and season with salt.Cook for 5 minutes.
- Add half cup of water and crab into the pot.Cover with a lid and cook for 5 minutes on medium flame.
- Pour in the coconut milk at this point.Bring it to boil and cook without the lid for another 10 minutes.
- Garnish with cilantro and serve