Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Crab Curry-bengali-style (Kakra Jhal /কাঁকড়া ঝাল)

Kakra Jhal /কাঁকড়া ঝাল
Fresh, big-sized blue crabs: 2
Onion paste: ½ cup
Ginger paste:2 tbsp
Chopped onions: ½ cup
Crushed garlic: 4 tbsp
Turmeric powder: ½ tsp
Tomato puree: ½ cup
Mint paste: 1 tbsp
Whole one-inch cinnamon sticks: 2
Green cardamoms: 2
Black peppercorns: 4
Cloves: 4
Bay leaf: 1
Cumin seeds: ¼ tsp
Coriander powder: 1 tsp
Cumin powder: ¾ tsp
Red or green chillies (optional): 4
Vegetable oil: 2.5 tbsp
Salt: 1.5 tsp
Water: 4 cups
Clean the crabs (broken into medium-sized pieces) and plunge the pieces into four cups of boiling water with 1 tsp salt. Boil for 20 min. Strain the water (crab stock) and keep the boiled crabs aside. Cover both to prevent the escaping of the delectable “crab” aroma.
Heat oil in a pan and fry the boiled crabs for few minutes and keep aside. Now again heat oil in a pan and add the bay leaf, cumin seeds, whole cinnamon, cloves, peppercorns and cardamoms. When the cumin seeds turn brown, add the onion and ginger paste and sauté for 7 min on medium flame. Add the garlic and the chopped onion now and sauté for five more minutes. Sprinkle turmeric powder and ½ tsp salt and mix well. Cover over a slow flame for about 3 min. Open and check if the chopped onions can be broken easily with the ladle. If not, continue to cook by sprinkling a little crab stock and covering for three more min, till the desired softness is reached.
Add coriander and cumin powders dissolved in 4 tbsp crab stock. Mix well. Continue to fry this mixture till oil separates from this and the mixture turns almost dry. This should take around 15 min on a low flame (preferred). Add the mint paste, chillies and tomato puree now. Cover and cook further for five more minutes.
Add the boiled crabs to this and mix everything well. Cook on a medium flame till the crabs get coated with the curry evenly and the whole thing becomes a little dry. Now add the whole crab stock and cook on a medium flame, covering the pan. The contents should boil for 15 min. Before serving, add the chopped coriander leaves.
Serve this with rice, roti, paratha or naan.
Recipe By : Manna Majumder
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