Winter is the best time to enjoy crab meat. And this time when winter has decided to stretch itself, in Kolkata, too, we thought of sharing some simple tips on how to cook crab meat.
Traditional Bengali Style Crab Meat Recipe
Being surrounded by water bodies, the Bengalis grew weaknesses for various types of fishes, snails and crabs. The crabs were regularly cooked in the Bengali households in the past but nowadays due to busy working schedules as well as lack of the knowledge to prepare crab meat, most of the Bengalis are enjoying crab preparations in restaurants or on sea beach vacations.
But, on the contrary, making a crab curry is not hard at all if you know the steps very well.
First of all, let us explain about selecting a good quality crab from the market following the steps to make it ready for cooking and how to cook.
How to select a good quality crab?
- Choose the crabs kept in a dry place.
- The crab should be actively moving.
- Go for the crab which has a firm belly rather than a soft belly.
- Choose crabs with dull shells.
- Fresh crabs should be odourless.
You can order crab meat online, from Big Basket.
How to clean a crab for cooking?
- Immerse the crab in hot water and let it remain for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Take a toothbrush and clean the mud from the leg parts and the main body part.
- Take a heavy blunt object (in my house we take the help of the shil nora or stone mortar and pestle) and break away the legs from the body part. You can break the body part into two halves for ease of cooking.
- Drain any excess water from the shell of the crab and remove the stomach sac and hard membranes inside the shell.
- Apply salt and turmeric powder on the separated parts and keep aside for cooking.
Ingredients needed for preparing the crab curry
- Crab – 1.5 kg
- Onions – 6 large
- Garlic – 1.5 or 20 to 22 cloves
- Ginger Paste – 1.5 – 2 teaspoons
- Tomato – 1.5
- Green Chillies – 2-3
- Red Chilli Powder – Taste-wise
- Kashmiri Red Chilli Powder – 1 teaspoon
- Turmeric Powder – 1 teaspoon
- Salt – Taste-wise
- Sugar – ½ teaspoon
- Water – 1 ½ cup
- Mustard oil – 3 to 4 tablespoons
- Garam Masala powder– 1 teaspoon
- Bay Leaves – 2
- Green Cardamom – 2
- Cloves – 2
- Cinnamon – ½ stick
Related: Traditional Bengali Basanti Pulao Recipe
How to Cook Crab Meat
Now that our preparation is over, let’s see how to how to cook crab meat.
Cut 4 onions into small slices.
Grind the tomato, garlic cloves and 2 onions in a mixer. Keep aside.
Heat the oil in a heavy bottomed wok, put in the bay leaves, green cardamom, cloves, cinnamon and shallow fry the crab pieces until a colour comes in them. Keep the fried pieces aside.
In the same oil, put in the onion slices, green chillies and fry till golden brown. Now add in the ground paste and keep stirring. When the oil will start separating, add in the ginger paste and stir again. Add red chilli powder and Kashmiri red chilli powder. Keep folding and mixing till the oil separates from the gravy and a cooked aroma comes out. Add in the fried crab pieces, salt, turmeric powder. Mix well and keep adding water to mix the crab pieces with the gravy well. Simmer, close the lid and boil the crab pieces in the gravy until done. Add sugar and garam masala powder and blend in with a ladle.
Switch off the gas oven. Give a standing time of 10 minutes before serving the curry with a plate of piping hot rice.
What more? Have a sumptuous lunch. Laze on the bed with a good book until a siesta comes in by!!
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