Crabs are one of my favourite seafood. Prawns being the other. I really am not very fond of “fish” in general. Maybe because of all the cleaning up it takes and the bones – perhaps. Or no, I am sure, this is the reason. Maybe if someone gave me super spicy, laced with lemon juice and chillies – fried tuna chunks on a plate, I would happily gobble up and lick the plate clean like a cat. I know I did it once when my mother made a tuna like that. It also reminds me how I would be walking with the nose in the air sniffing up the delectable smell of fish fry from some mallus house while me and Rajeev used to have our post-dinner walks around the vicinity of our home in Delhi, while he would be holding his nose close, because he couldn’t bear the smell – while it was heaven to me. We used to have a good laugh. I could really walk up to the house and ask them if they would mind sharing that fry with me.
I am also totally averse to the fish market stench. I would give anything to avoid that stench and the fact that I have to step on that murky water laden with fish scales and guts. Peuke, peuke!! But I really do it for the sake of my doll, coz nothing beats the satisfaction of seeing her finish of her mallu style fish curry with rice, and saying mamma it was good. For that I’d even go to the sea myself and pick up the freshest fish. I love her enthusiasm for food, and the fact that she enjoys her tastes – just like me.
But still I will maintain that I am not so fond of fish in gravy with bones. And I still maintain that crabs and prawns are most favouritest seafood.
A few days back I had picked up some great crabs from the fisheries and cooked it to take to a friends house. I accidentally dropped in some more sweet chilli sauce than what was required, besides that it was one helluva finger licking good crab. At least that’s what I thought.
Here’s the recipe for those who asked for it.
The crabs need to be washed well because of all the mud. Please don’t ask me how. I don’t know head or tail of it, and am heartily thankful to my Kaka Habibu at the fishery, who is my rafiki in the market.
3 kg – mud crabs (washed well and broken into medium portions
4 tbpn – chilli garlic paste
2 garli flakes – finely minced
4 tbspn – oil
1/2 cup – tomato paste
1 big onion – chopped fine
2 bunches – spring oinons
1 inch ginger – grated fine
1/4 cup – ketchup
1 small bunch coriander
1/4 cup – sweet chilli sauce
1 tbspn – black pepper powder
1 tbspn – red chilli powder
2 tbspn – vinegar
1 tbspn – lime juice
For the chilli garlic paste
Soak about 15-20 whole red chillies in water for half an hour
Grind just the chillies and a little of the water from the soaked chillies along with 5 flakes of garlic into a smooth paste. Add in some oil and you can store it for long in the fridge.
In a big pan drop in the oil and when hot add the garlic. Fry well
Add about 2 tbspn of salt into the oil and stir
Now add the crabs and give a good stir.
Fry the crabs in that oil till they change colour, i.e., turn orange. This will take about 20 minutes
If you are making lesser quantity it will cook in lesser time.
Now remove the crabs and keep them in another pan
In the same pan add the chilli garlic paste and the tomato paste
Cook adding another tspn of oil till you see the oil separating
Add the rest of the sauces and the ginger and finely chopped coriander. Mix well
Add the black pepper powder and vinegar.
Taste to see that its super hot, the salt is good and theres a fresh taste of ginger.
Drop in half the spring onions and mix well.
Add the crabs. Add half a cup of water
Stir well to coat the crabs well
Cook for about 5 minutes
Top with the rest of the spring onions and lime juice.
Forget crab crackers and the formality. Dig in with your hands and don’t forget to lick up the delicious sauce.
I picked up the recipe from the net but did my own measurements and ginger and black pepper was my own addition.