Friday, October 30, 2009

Thenga varutharacha Njandu/Crab with roasted coconut

Crab has one of the most tender and tasty meats among the shell fish family. For those who might shun it away because of its dreadful look, we recommend each one of you to give it a try. And for some who have gone beyond the looks and don't know how to eat, give it a shot at home with this recipe without worrying about the mess on your hands and teeth.


Crab (Cleaned & cut): 4-5 small/medium ones marinated in salt, pepper, turmeric and chilli powder
Shallots /red onions (finely sliced): 1/2 cup
Green chillies (slit): 2-3
Ginger (finely sliced):1 teaspoon
Garlic (finely sliced): 1 1/2 teaspoons
Tomatoes (finely sliced): 1/3 cup
Curry leaves: handful
Tamarind pulp: 1 teaspoon
Salt to taste

*Coconut dry roast masala: 1/2 cup

This can be made by roasting the following in some oil until golden brown and rawness of the masala goes away.
Grated Coconut: 1/2 cup
Shallots: 2-3
Dried red chillies: 4-5
Curry leaves: 2-3
Coriander powder: 1 1/2 teaspoon
Chicken masala: 1 teaspoon
Chilli powder : 1 teaspoon

* We have used pre cleaned and cut crabs available in Asian food stores. However, here's a video that can help you understand how to clean and cut crabs.

Heat some oil in a deep pan. Fry the green chillies, sliced ginger, garlic and curry leaves. Add the sliced onions and saute well until golden. Now add the sliced tomatoes and marinated crab and mix well. Keep stirring until the tomatoes get soft. Meanwhile take the dry roasted coconut masala, tamarind pulp and grind it with just enough water to make a smooth paste. Add this paste to the crab and let it simmer in this gravy on medium heat. Keep mixing while adjusting your salt and spice levels until all the rawness of spices is gone. Crab meat cooks very fast and can be recognized when it turns into a whitish color. Keep stirring well until all the gravy has fully reduced to coat the crabs. However this dish can also be served with a little gravy.

Enjoy this on a warm bed of rice or with plain hot parathas.


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