I am finally sharing the recipe to my all-time favourite tamil dish: crab curry (in tamil it's called 'nandu curry')!
I would have gotten around to posting this much sooner, but my mother kept dodging my request for months. So finally after some extensive nagging and annoying, I finally convinced her to teach me. Again, just like any other dish there are many variations to making crab curry, this one is made with a bit of a thick gravy. I deem it to be a celebratory dish - I absolutely LOVE it!
P.S. I'm the official designated professional crab eater at home (clearly something I'm very proud of, otherwise I wouldn't feel the need to share lol).
- blue crab - 4 cut into quarters with claws pulled off
- canola oil - 2 teaspoons
- black mustard seeds - 1/8 teaspoon
- onion - 1 diced
- green chilli - 1 finely chopped (without seeds)
- garlic - 5 cloves finely chopped
- curry leaves - 20
- ginger - 1 tablespoon crushed and finely chopped
- fennel seeds (perunchirakam) - 1 teaspoon
- salt - 1 teaspoon
- jaffna curry powder - 1 and a 1/2 teaspoon
- fenugreek (vendhayam) - 3 teaspoons
- tomato sauce - 4 tablespoons
- tamarind paste - 1 and a 1/2 tablespoons
- water - 1 cup
- coconut concoction
- jeera/cumin (natcheerakam) - 1 tablespoon
- shredded coconut - 4 tablespoons
- black pepper seeds - 1/4 teaspoon
- garlic clove - no peel, cut in half
- water - 1/2 cup
Spices that aren't used in ordinary Canadian cooking that you'll need:
Have your crab cut and ready to cook. Each crab needs to be cut into quarters with the claws pulled off. (You might notice that the thin arms aren't in this picture, that's because my mother likes to keep them aside and use it for a seafood stew she makes. You can totally include it in your curry if you like.)
Set a small pan on the stove on low heat and roast 1 tablespoon of jeera/cumin (natcheerakam) along with 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper seeds. After 2 to 4 minutes of roasting while ocassionally stirring, once you get a whiff of the roast, add 4 tablespoons of shredded coconut and 1 garlic clove cut in half. Roast for another 3 to 4 minutes, then blend with 1/2 cup of water in the blender.
Set a pot on medium heat, pour 2 teaspoons of canola oil. As soon as the oil heats up, sprinkle in 1/8th teaspoon of black mustard seeds, 1 tablespoon of finely chopped ginger along with 5 cloves of finely chopped garlic. 30 seconds later, add about 20 curry leaves, one full diced onion, 1 finely chopped green chilli, 1 teaspoon of fennel seeds (perunchirakam), 3 teaspoons of fenugreek (vendhayam) and a minute later add the crab pieces along with 1.5 teaspoons of Sri Lankan roasted curry powder (adjust as per your spice threshold), and add about 1 teaspoon of salt.
3 minutes later squeeze out the liquid from the tamarind pulp and pour it into the pot with the water (discard pulp & seeds). Add 4 tablespoons of tomato sauce, the blended coconut concoction (once your pour it in you will have some remaining coconut pulp in the blender; pour another 1/2 cup of water into the blender to catch the remainder of the coconut concoction, mix and pour into the pot). 2 minutes later, reduce the heat to low, cover pot with lid and let simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. The gravy will condense and thicken up and that's it guys; that's yummy, delicious crab curry. Serve with rice and your favourite side veggie curries. Warning: eat with discretion, you're bound to get a cut or two if you're not careful.