Monday, November 17, 2014

Kakrar Jhal / Spicy Crab Curry / Bengali Style Crab Curry

The hunch is to make perfect taste. I am still in the novice stage of cooking, so I mainly cook those dishes which I have tasted so far. Without tasting, its a little hard for me to imagine where the taste is going. So, when after 6 months of blabbering hubby bought me 2 kgs of crabs, the first dish that came to my mind was, my mother's spicy crab curry. A mouthwatering, spicy, chili curry, that will literally make you go down to your knees. Even we can skip the mutton for this crab curry. Its that much tasty and fiery.

 spicy crab curry recipe

How to cook classic bengali style kakrar jhal

Kakrar jhal recipe

I was introduced with crab curry thanks to my father. He is more obsessed with crab than I am. Whenever he used to see crabs in the market, he skipped everything and bought them home. Some times mother used to be happy and sometimes got irritated, because its not easy to cut the crabs in hurry.:) One day he bought large rock crabs, put them in a bucket, full with water and placed them in a corner of the kitchen. Whenever I peeked over them, I saw their pincers rocking the sides of the iron bucket. I was so scared at that time. But that never stopped me from eating them. My mother-in-law also cooks great crab curry. I ate that a few days before leaving India, but it feels I have just eaten that a week back.:)
Although this crab curry is cooked as a chicken curry, in this recipe we use onion and garlic, more than what we use in chicken curry. You will love it.

how to cook bengali style spicy crab curry

Bengali style spicy crab curry recipe

Kakrar Jhal / Spicy Crab Curry / Bengali Style Crab Curry
Serves 4-5

Indian crab curry recipe

  • 8 large crabs / 10-12 medium sized crabs
  • 2 large onions - sliced
  • tomato puree - 1 cup
  • 10 cloves of garlic - paste
  • 2 tbsp ginger - paste
  • 2 ripe tomatoes - pureed
  • 2 green chilies - chopped
  • 2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 tsp red chili powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala powder
  • 2 large / 3 small bay leaves
  • 4 green cardamom
  • 1 medium size cinnamon stick
  • 4 cloves
  • 2-3 tbsp mustard oil
  • Take a heavy bottomed pan or wok. Heat oil in it and add the cinnamon stick, green cardamom, cloves and bay leaves. 
  • When the oil becomes fragrant add the sliced onions and sauté till they are translucent.
  • Add the ginger-garlic paste and sauté till the onions have become golden brown.
  • In the mean time cut the legs of the crabs and if possible halve them. Sprinkle some salt and set aside.
  • When the onions are ready, add the tomato puree and cook until the tomatoes start to release oil. You will know its done, when the mixture will not smell like tomatoes anymore.
  • Add the dry spices, except the garam masala powder and cook them for 2 minutes. If the spices tend to be too dry add a handful of water.
  • Add the crabs and chopped green chili, and mix with the tomato mixture evenly.
  • Add around 3 cups of water. Add salt and cover the pan / wok to cook them thoroughly. Cook them for 20-25 minutes. The crabs should be done within this time. You can simmer the curry, for more time. The more you simmer, the more flavor the crabs will absorb within them. 
  • Add the garam masala powder and simmer for more 3-4 minutes.
  • You can make the curry runny or thick. But since its a spicy curry, we Bengalis prefer it to be on the thicker side. When the curry reaches your desired consistency, put off the flame and serve with steamed hot rice.
Note: Its better to make this dish with medium sized crabs, because they tend to be more juicy and their shells are also not that hard.

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