Thursday, May 03, 2007

Masala Crab for Mom

Cooking crab has long been a fantasy of mine, but I was always daunted by the sheer challenge of cleaning and prepping err, the crab!
One day while at the farmers market R and I gave in to temptation and got home 2 large Dungeness crabs. Well THAT was the easy part. We got home and stared at the crustaceans for the longest time wondering where to begin.

This could have easily turned into a crabby affair, when R decided to use what else but Google, to figure out what to do next. Lo and behold, we found step-by-step cleaning and dividing instructions , with pictures nonetheless! Once the cleaning was done, preparing the crab was a piece of cake given this simple recipe that has been passed down from my grand mom to my mom and now from my mom to me….

Today I am making the very same masala crab for my mom who inspired me to want to cook it in the 1st place. This is also my entry to Food Fight #2, where am really glad Allen of Eating out Loud decided to host this event in honor of Mother’s Day!

My mom is an excellent cook to say the least. She hails from the spice-loving region of Kolhapur in India, and cooks up a feast of dishes from that region. In fact she recently visited us from India, where we were in true gourmet heaven! Every day was a foodie dream come true with multi course meals for lunch and dinner, not to mention lavish breakfasts and tea time snacks! I wish I had spent more time learning some of the traditional recipes, but hopefully will be able to do that on her next visit here!!

Kolhapuri Masala Crab
1. 2 large crabs
2. 1 cup diced onion
3. ½ cup desiccated coconut
4. 2 tsp Kolhapuri masala. Alternatively, you can substitute the Kolhapuri masala with 1½ tsp red chilli powder, 1 tsp dhana-jeera powder, 1/4 tsp garam masala
5. 1 tsp turmeric powder
6. 1 tsp lemon juice
7. Salt to taste
8. 3 tbsp olive oil

1. Clean and divide the crab. Preserve the crab shell for presentation
2. In a large pan, heat oil and sautee the onions till they are translucent
3. To this add the turmeric and roast for 30 seconds
4. Add the Kolhapuri masala and saute for a minute
5. Add the crab legs and meat and mix well with the spices
6. Add dessicated coconut and satue for a few minutes
7. Add salt and lemon juice to taste
8. Cover the pan and let crab cook for a few more minutes. Keep in mind that the crab cooks pretty quickly.

Serve as an appetizer, or with with saffron rice/naan. Enjoy :)

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