So I picked up some frozen crab from the supermarket a few days ago. Although it may have been frozen, its of the local variety. As you may or may not know, Bangladesh exports crab from the Sunderbans. Last time I went down to Khulna with my dad I managed to get some live crab back up to Dhaka and it was yummy in some curry. This time I just hit the local supermarket for some chopped up male and female bits, and my dad just happened to come over, so why not some coconut crab curry again?
It was surprisingly easy, especially when I have Sufia to do all the prep-work, and took maybe half an hour tops (its best to take it off before the oil separates from the coconut milk – I over did it by about 5-10 minutes). Although I picked the recipe up from some white dude’s blog, the origins of this dish are South Indian.
Fennel and Fenugreek are both surprisingly available here – or maybe that’s not so surprising after all, considering the Bengali love for all things spice), so I sent my driver out to get both from the bazaar. I heated up some oil (mixture of olive and coconut) in a large korai (its a Bengali wok, basically), and then added the fennel and fenugreek seeds along with curry leaves. Fried for about a minute before adding the onions and chili, and sauteed for another 5 minutes before adding the minced garlic and ginger.
In went the turmeric and cumin, and I mixed the spices up with the onion mixture before adding the tomatoes and simmering for about 5 minutes till the tomatoes dissolved a little.
Time for the coconut milk — about 1.5 cans of it, simmered for a bit, and then followed by all of the chopped up crab. Once simmering again, I added the brown sugar and the coriander, and simmered for another 5 minutes until I felt like it was done. You’ll know!
This turned out to be a super simple dish for a weeknight dinner. Everything just went in the korai in a certain order, and it turned out awesome.
5o0 grams mudcrab – dressed and quartered
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
1 tablespoon each garlic and ginger paste
6 shallots – finely chopped
2 green chillies – finely chopped
20 curry leaves
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon cumin
4 tennis ball sized tomatoes – finely chopped
1.5 x 400ml tins of thick coconut milk
1 teaspoon jaggery or brown sugar
3 tablespoons fresh chopped coriander
Salt and pepper to taste
Sliced limes to serve