These decapods are extremely tasty to have and a favourite with me and my senior. Crabs are extremely popular in Singapore, found in all shapes and sizes.Of the two most popular dishes of crabs here, Chilli Crab and Black Pepper Crab, we prefer the Black Pepper Crab. Sitting by the sea, watching streamline of ships standing and gorging on black pepper crab is a thing of pleasure. The smell of freshly ground black pepper along with butter adds to the beautiful, cosy ambience. You get crabs all over Singapore, but I personally feel the ones we get at the East Coast Park restaurants are just awesome, unmatched....perhaps the fresh seaside breeze, the beautiful sight of the bright garlanded ships, the moonlit night....all are add ons....few hours at peace.... away from the hustle n bustle of the busy city life.
As said, Crabs are decapods along with lobsters,crayfish and shrimps. Crabs form an order within the decapods, called the Brachyura. Their short body is covered by thick exoskeleton. Found all over the world, they mostly live in sea water, there are some who live in fresh, and some live on land. About 7,000 species are known.
Back home, crab is eaten, though not as popular as in Singapore. There is a particular season when we get it. There it is quite cheaper compared to prawns and other fish as it is not considered a delicacy there. They are found in small and medium sizes. This crab curry is a simple one, the way we do it at home. I used flower crabs for this preparation.
Crab[medium sized] : 4
Tomato : 2[medium]
Onion : 2[medium]
Cumin Powder : 2 tsp
Coriander Powder : 1tsp
Turmeric Powder : 1 tsp
Chilli Powder[Kashmiri] : 1 tsp
Ginger Paste : 2 tbsp
Green Chilli Paste : 1 tsp
Bay Leaf : 1
Cumin Seeds : 2 pinches
Salt : As per taste
Oil : 4 tbsp
Break each crab into smaller pieces, tear and halve the claws. Wash with cold water thoroughly. Now soak in little warm water thoroughly for half an hour.
After half an hour, drain the water. Add salt and turmeric to the crab. Mix well. Keep aside for 15 minutes. Get smooth pastes of green chilli and ginger separately. Wash and cut the tomatoes into small pieces discarding the seeds. Grind them to a paste.
Peel, wash, cut and make a paste of the onions.
Heat oil in a wok. Fry the crab pieces in batches till golden brown. Keep aside.
In the same oil, add a bay leaf and the cumin seeds. As the cumin seeds splutter, put in the onion paste and fry for 2 minutes. Put in the ginger paste. Fry till the raw smell goes.
Add the tomato paste and salt as required. Saute for 2-3 minutes, as they melt, add all the spice powders. Fold in well till the oil separates from the spice mix. Add 1 small cup water. Cover. Lower the heat.
After 3-4 minutes, open the cover and add the crab pieces. Stir well and cover. Cook at low heat for another 3 minutes. Switch off, it should be done.
Transfer into a serving bowl. Goes best with steamed rice!!