Kundapur Crab Curry ..... Nostalgic Childhood Memories ..... Totally Yumz ....... Tastes awesome when served with Panpolo (Neer Dosa) ....
Crabs are called Kurlo in Saraswat Konkani Household. They are known as Kekda in Hindi, Kekhra in Marathi, Denji in Tulu and Nandu in Tamil as far as I know. These are known to be rich in Vitamin A, C, particularly B12 of Vitamin B and minerals like zinc and copper. Also a rich source of selenium and chromium. So I guess these are good for health specially bones. Crabs have an intense flavour of their own. When cooked the gravy of the dish gets mingled with its own juices and gives it the most awesome flavour that no other fish gives.
This recipe has a lot of childhood memories. My mom learned this recipe from our neighbor Aunty, who was Shetty / Bunt Community. They belonged to Kundapur district and have some awesome recipes, though I regret this is the only one I have. Till date I simply love crabs prepared this way. Crabs are easy to prepare and very delicious in taste. However, they are tedious task to eat as it takes a lot time to enjoy the flesh of the crab that is deeply set within the sharp shell cover. However, once you learn and get the knack of it, you will simply enjoy them. The large claws are a little bit of a task to break as you eat and you should have really strong dentures if you want to break them with your teeth. We used to do so in childhood. But as a person grows older, it’s risky and is best mashed / crushed a little bit with a heavy weight to develop cracks on the claws before adding on to the curry. This not only makes the task easier while eating, but also imparts more flavour to the curry.
Coconut : 3 heaped cup of freshly grated coconut.
Red Kashmiri Chillies :12-15.
Haldi / Turmeric Powder : ½ tsp.
Tamarind : small marble sized
Garlic : about 15, skinned and chopped to small pieces.
Onion : 2 large finely chopped.
Curry Leaves : 4-5
Oil as required.
Salt to taste
To be roasted dry on tava :
Coriander Seeds : 3 tblsps.
Methi / Fenugreek Seeds : ¼ tsp.
Black Pepper : ¼ tsp.
Clean 3 large sized crabs, separate the claws and remove the hard shelled back and clean the inner stomach properly. I have enclosed a picture of the cleaned cut pieces. You may watch any You tube video for the same or closely watch how its done by your fish vendor. Wash in plenty of water and keep aside ready. Crush the large main claws with a heavy weight to bring one or two cracks in the shell. This will help you when eating the crab to break it with teeth, also the flavour gets imparted into the curry by doing so.
Roast the ingredients to be roasted dry on a tava for a few minutes. Remove and add in a mixer grinder along with coconut, haldi, tamarind and red chillies and grind to smooth paste. When the masala is almost done add in half of the chopped garlic pieces and grind further till done.
Remove the masala and add this to the vessel in which the crabs are cleaned and added. Add salt to taste and mix well. Add in water if required, but keep the gravy a little bit on thicker side.
Bring the curry to a boil, stirring in between. Once it comes to a boil, lower the heat and simmer till the crabs are cooked. Say about 5-10 minutes.
For tempering : In a small pan add in about 3-4 tsp of oil and the remaining garlic pieces and fry till the colour changes slightly. Then add in the finely chopped onion and further fry till all are nicely and evenly browned. Lastly add in the curry leaves and mix for a minute and pour over the curry and mix well. Keep covered aside for 15-20 minutes for the flavours to seep into the curry.
Kundapur Crab Curry is done. Serve this with rice or any other dish of your choice. Personally, I love this dish with panpolo / neer dosa, the combination is really awesome. This combination also I learned from the Shetty / Bunt neighbor family. And to date I prepare it the same way. Do try out this recipe and enjoy the intense taste of flavoured crab in the gravy. You are sure to fall in love with this curry and your family is definitely going to ask you to prepare this one more often.