Saturday, February 25, 2012

Njandu (Crab) thoran

Seafood forms an integral part of the cuisine of Kerala. For a malayali, a meal is incomplete without a seafood dish. To me just the thought of it makes me hungry. I stayed in Karnataka almost all my life and so missed the variety so much. Even then the weekly sardines and mackerel was enough to make me look forward to the lunch on Sundays. Before I got married, I had crab only once when I was in high school. But the taste lingered on.

After my marriage to South Kerala, I fell in love with seafood all over again. Wow, just the variety you get there is overwhelming. My MIL and SIL are too good with seafood. Every time I go there my MIL just spoils me with all those dishes which vary from several varieties of fishes, mussels, clams, shrimps to crabs. She never forgets to make me crab at least once in two weeks. My SIL makes excellent crab dishes. It was she who taught me several dishes using crab.

This recipe here is very easy and delicious if you are ready to overlook the task of opening up the shells and separating the meat. Give it a try and I am sure you will thank me for it.


Crab-1 big (I used Dungeness crab)
Shallot-5 (sliced thin)
Ginger-1/2 inch (chopped fine)
Garlic-2-3 cloves (sliced thin)
Curry leaves-1 sprig
Dry red chillies-2-3
Coconut- ¼ cup
Salt
Mustard-1 tsp
Oil-2 tbsp

Clean the crab and break them it pieces. Place them in a pan and cover it with water. Add little salt and boil for 10 mins. Once cool carefully break open the meat from the shells. Shred them and keep it aside. Heat a frying pan with oil and splutter the mustard seeds. Add the broken dry chillies, curry leaves, shallots, ginger and garlic. Stir fry until shallots turn translucent. Mix in the shredded crab meat and fry for sometime. Finally add the coconut, combine well and switch off the stove. Serve hot.

 
  
Tips:
1. You can add turmeric and chilly 
powder to make it spicy.
2. Pepper powder and Garam masala too adds to the taste.
3. It is better to finish off the dish the same day (I am sure it will not be a  
    problem).
4. You can fry the crab meat until crisp and brown before adding coconut. It
    will make a very good appetizer.

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