Sunday, March 9, 2008

Njandu/Crab Roast

I disclosed one of my deepest fears in public four or five weeks back, remember…? My fear for the crawling beauties! And this was the first crab dish I tried, to conquer the fear of handling crabs and I started out on a safer track, by buying some cooked King crab legs from one of the best seafood stores in town and to my surprise, there was this abundance of seafood flavour and taste, though I always had a biased perspective on buying cooked or frozen seafood meat from the stores.

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.

Ingredients: (Approx.)
  • 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
For the Masala Powder:
  • 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.
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  1. Oh Beautiful! I never thought of using the cooked crab from the stores in Indian recipes, I use those for crabcakes... This makes it so easy! :)

  2. Shn , tks for sharing this lovely recipe of your mom! Loved it, if I ever get to buy crabs, I shall try this out first! Thanks for details on measure of meat too! Hv a gr8 wk!

  3. adipoli njandu roast mish....vaayil kapppal odi thudangi....

  4. looks fab! congratulations on taking the first step to conquer your fear of crawlies!!

  5. parayenda karyam illallo..sundaram!!
    recipe is very simple to follow. We prepare one like this but with lots of onions..:)

  6. wow Shn.. what presentation..feel like scooping it out of the screen and wolfing it down:)

  7. Great revenge on that creepy crawly shn! COOK and EAT IT!:))
    Looks delcious! I never was afraid of bugs and slithering things ever for some reason though, may be I am "special"!!;D
    Good Monday morning to you, I just started on "blogging"!:)

  8. Perfect Njandu Roast!!I will buy some for easter.

  9. when i was a carnivore, this was my absolute favourite dish. looks fantastic.

  10. When i read your title i knew it is going to be hard to keep my drool .............
    I love Crab roast. Not eatent them in years and years..........
    Your looks superbly delicious

  11. I am a seafood lover. The pic is very hard to resist :) looks fiery...

  12. Pinneyum njandu. what else can i say. I love these creepy things.

  13. looks delicious. Nice masala color.

  14. Fear of crawling beauties :-D. You have a way with words, don't you! This kind of stuff tempts the vegetarian in me, as much as i am scared of the crawling beauties :).

  15. Love Crab.. anytime....recipe noted. Looks delicious.

  16. This is my fav shelled beauties. I absolutely adore them.

  17. Looks absolutely gorgeous.. Crab is one of the foods that i justtttttt lovee...

  18. So, crabs again...sounds somewhat like our preparation...nice masala itself proclaim CJJ's comment 'explosion of flavours"....
    those pics tempt even me too!

  19. Shn, for a pure vegetarian like me , I am scared thinking about crabs...But have heard from a lot many people that its a delicacy.
    Your photos look great:)

  20. that looks awesome as always..never eaten this dish..but is definitely appetizing a big fan of mussels and squid..probably i should try this too not sure whether i can get cooked crab legs like you have used here in Hamburg though.

  21. Dear Shn
    Lovely post. Though i dont eat it, my husband loves seafood so will try to make it for him !

  22. hi Onida...neighbor's envy, owner's pride, long time!!!, trust me, u are someone whom i just dont want to leave contact....oved reading ur post on the sadhya, and bak home weddings..well, i was lucky enuf to enjoy them when i went home last month. hey, i feel like sharing those times with u..will show snaps of our days in kerala, are u into orkut?..if not, just log in, and chek this out..had some nice time bak hme..

    another doubt, abt the fried rice, if u are to refrigerate the freshly cooked rice, u got to warm it again back to steaming hot, isnt it? wint it get back sticky again, in the long wait to get warm?

  23. Sig, yeah...its much easier if u get good ones....especially for such preps......:)

    Purnima, of the easiest preps......let me know after you try out :)

    Zareena, hahha ..:))

    Arundati, thanks !

    Seena, kutteede comment vaayikkumbo thanne enthu refreshing aanenno... :)

    Saswati, I wish it was more than a virtua treat !

    Asha,i know ...u re not even scared of snakes....oooooh !!! btw. have a great spring break..enjoy the vacation :)

    Kf, noyambu aano...?

    Bee, as a carnivore I guess u had a special liking for shell fish varieties right ?

    Happy cook,avide kittille..?

    Cham, thanks :) Quite a warm welcome here :)

    Pooja, i know ur love for prawn and crab...veetilekku vaa... :)

    Pravs, thanks dear :)

    Musical, Do I ? :)))) you re missing out on great things....this side of the pasture is really green.....come over ...:)))

    rina, pooja, revathi, thank you :)

    Liz, try maadu :)

    Swati, yes it is :) thank you :)

    Mathew, I havent cooked mussels and squid yet....but i like them in Italian preps...with lots of chesse and cream, the soupy kind :P pinne, taking the meat out of this huge king crab legs is a bit messy was my first time see if u can get frozen crab meat,,,,,chilappo nannayirikkum...veruthe kashtapedandallo.. :)

    Kali, thanks:)

    Anamika, hope he likes it! :)


  24. Ahh now that is something that I'd like to devour on!

  25. i love crab curry !!! they go best with appams and gassi. Cant believe u tried crab for the first time. I bet you know u;ll be making crab so often. Its my fav seafood. Your recipe is lovely. Usually i would just eat this particular dish in restaurants when in India.

  26. I tried crab for the first time in life and turned out very good. almost like my mom cooks!! Thanks a lot mishmash,your recipes are such a help for beginners like me!

  27. This dish is excellent. Tried crab for the first time and never imagined it would turn out to be so yummy..the special grinded masala makes all the difference...Keep posting more recipes..


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