To those who are not very familiar with Indian cuisine, let me tell you that in India, many prefer to eat vegetables, rather than fish (or even meat or egg), on a regular basis. A huge percentage of Indians are vegetarians or shuddha shakahari. But, I am from West Bengal (Kolkata): the part of India where fish is a celebrity and forms an integral part of the food culture. There is a popular saying in India, “Agar macchi pakana ho, toh bangali se seekho!”, which means, “If you want to cook Indian-style fish, learn it from a Bengali!” There are many fish recipes in Kolkata households, which have been passed down from generation to generation and till today, these recipes are extremely popular. Kakrar jhaal is such a Bengali recipe. I am proud to share with you such heirloom Bengali recipe, just fit for special weekend lunches, parties and special occasions!
Crabs are so fresh and have such variety in Hong Kong that you will not resist yourself from such delicious seafood. I mostly prefer crabs cooked in Indian style (Bengali, to be precise), cooked with a careful balance of spices. This Indian crab curry is from West Bengal, where fish is a part of the everyday meal.
Kakrar jhaal (Bengali crab curry)
- Fresh crabs: 2
- Bay leaves: 2
- Whole cinnamon: 1 (one-inch stick)
- Whole cloves: 4
- Whole peppercorns: 6
- Whole green cardamoms: 3
- Whole cumin seeds: ½ tsp
- Onions (finely julienned): ½
- Onion paste: 2 tbsp
- Garlic paste: 1 tsp
- Ginger paste: 1 tsp
- Tomatoes (finely chopped): 1 cup
- Turmeric powder: ½ tsp
- Whole chillies (slit): 4
Wash the crabs thoroughly under running water. Plunge them into boiling salt-water. Boil for 5 min. Remove the crabs and reserve the soup.
In a wok, add oil and let it reach the smoking point. Now add the whole spices. Wait till the cumin seeds turn brown.
Add the whole onions and garlic and sauté, till the onions become brown and crisp. Add the onion paste now and continue to sauté for 5 min. Add the ginger paste, turmeric powder and salt. Add the chillies. After 2 min, add tomatoes. Stir and cover, stirring occasionally, till the tomatoes become mushy.
Add the crabs and sauté for 7 more min, until the mixture coats the crabs well.
Add some crab soup (about 1 cup) and check the seasoning. Bring this to a boil and then simmer for 7 min. Serve with steamed rice.
Also try this: Indian Crab Curry