Crab roast is a delicacy in my family and is cooked for get-together and parties, this is a spicy recipe which my grandma was so fond of and used to serve us quite often.
My memories of this dish go all the way to my childhood, starting with the fun and excitement when my father brings home a big chaakku (sack) of live crabs from the seafood market auction. These were caught from the backwaters of my hometown and had their legs tied before being packed into the sack. He would release the sack into our courtyard and though we were scared to go near them as they were big and fast, me and my cousins would run around to catch them and hand it to over to our grandma to clean and prep. She used to tell us that the crabs from the backwaters are very tasty, the big black colored ones being good to roast while the white ones to prepare curry, with an old fashioned coconut mixed yellow crab curry recipe which is quite famous in my hometown. I shall prepare that recipe later, do look out for.
Though I prefer cooking with the shell on which takes around 30 minutes to finish eating after all the hassle and hard work in breaking the shell, the taste and satisfaction makes it worth every bit.
In this crab roast recipe I have used a Dungeness crab… I bought a frozen one as I am scared to handle live ones 😯
Prep time : 1 hour
Serves : 4 servings
Dungeness crab : 1 big (Cleaned and cut)
Onions : 2 (thinly sliced)
Green chilies : 2 (slit)
Ginger Garlic paste : 1 tbsp
Tomato : 1 small (chopped)
Turmeric powder : 1/2 tsp
Red Chili powder : 1 tbsp
Coriander powder : 1 ½ tbsp.
Pepper powder : 1 tablespoon
Garam masala : ½ tbsp
Mustard seeds : a pinch
Curry leaves : 3 sprigs
Salt : as required
Oil : as required
- Clean the crab well. You can refer this link to see to how to clean a crab.
- Make sure you remove all the dirt from the crab. Break its legs, do not pop out its flesh while breaking.
For the masala preparation:
- Heat oil in a pan. Splutter mustard seeds and add sliced onions, green chilies, curry leaves, and a little salt. Saute until onions turns golden brown.
- Make a paste of ginger and garlic. Add this paste to the pan and mix well.
- Add chopped tomatoes and place the lid on to cook on a low flame until it turns mushy.
- Add spice powders; chili, coriander, turmeric, pepper, and garam masala, and mix well. Make sure you turn the heat to low while adding the spice powders, so that they do not burn.
- Add the crab and mix well with the masala. Add three quarters of a cup of water and cook on a medium flame for 5 -8 minutes. Toss the pan carefully while cooking.
- Cook until gravy thickens. Garnish with curry leaves and allow it to rest for a few minutes.
- You can vary the amount of chili and pepper to suit your spice level.
- The garam masala I have used in my recipe has been bought from an Indian store (Sakthi Garam masala). You can also use a homemade masala which is preferable.