Remember one of the first charming scenes in ‘Ratatouille’ where Remy, the delightful rat tells his brother Emile about the art of “blending flavors and spices”? While drafting this post, somehow this scene flashed in my mind leaving a smile on my face and now while I am at it, I guess it’s quite appropriate for this particular recipe where the spices really come to embrace the seafood flavor in all its vigor. This is again my mother’s recipe, quite a juicy, spicy one to tickle and dance on your palate. As CJJ puts it, it’s quite an “explosion of flavours “ :)
Before I move on to the recipe, let me note that I first bought the cooked King Crab legs, weighing around 1 lb , inclusive of its shells and then took out all the meat chunks from the shell, which filled around 1 ½ cups. This might vary for each purchase, depending on the size of the crab legs, and hence, please adjust the spices and proportions accordingly.
- Around 1 ½ cups cooked crab meat chunks ( I used meat of cooked King Crab legs)
- 1 small size big onion, thinly sliced
- ½ cup small red-pearl onions/shallots thinly sliced
- 4 green chillies, finely chopped
- ¾ tsp ginger, finely chopped
- ¾ tsp garlic, finely chopped
- 2 sprigs curry leaves
- 2 tbsp coriander powder
- ½ tsp chilly powder
- ¼ tsp turmeric powder
- Masala powder (Recipe follows)
- Salt to taste
- ¼ - ½ cup water
- 2 tbsp oil, preferably coconut oil
- 1 ½ tsp fennel seeds
- 1 tsp whole peppercorns
- 1 clove
- 1 cinnamon
- Make the masala powder by grinding fennel seeds, peppercorns, clove and cinnamon into a fine powder, in the small jar of a mixer or coffee grinder. Keep ¼ tsp aside before adding the masala powder to the dish.
- Heat oil in a pan and sauté thinly sliced big onion and small onions till they turn soft; now add finely chopped ginger, garlic, green chillies and 1 sprig of curry leaves and stir till everything turns soft and golden in color. Now add turmeric powder, coriander powder, chilly powder and the freshly ground masala powder and sauté for a minute, in low heat or till the raw smell goes. At this stage, add the cooked crab meat and gently stir to coat all the masala to the meat. Add ¼ to ½ cup water to this and let it cook covered for few minutes, in low heat. When the gravy is thick and masala is well blended with the crab meat, adjust the salt; add ¼ tsp masala powder, kept aside earlier and crush some curry leaves in coconut oil and add the same to the dish; these two last minute touches give a wonderful aroma to the dish.
- Serve warm with rice or chappathi(Indian flat bread) or palappam (Kerala’s laced pancakes). You may garnish with some caramelized onions (deep fried brown colored onions with a pinch of salt or sugar) as well.