As a child I always remembered the smell of my grandfather’s special Indian crab curry. I have been eating this crab curry since I can remember. I honestly go crazy for it and love the taste of this curry, which is definitely a home comfort of mine. With time passed I have asked my aunt several times if this traditional curry is a specific cuisine, to which she cutely replies it’s an Indian cuisine so just enjoy it. Although I was never taught by my grandfather all the credit goes to my aunt for this curry and many more.
Whenever my relatives, close family and friends come to visit me in Spain I always cook this dish because they all love it. It’s made with roasted, sun dried Indian spices, slowly cooked to create heavenly flavours to make your tongue tickle with excitement.
This curry is ideal with steamed butter rice or chapatis (Indian bread). This is not a curry you make in a rush, Indian crab curry needs to be made slowly, as though you have all the time in the world. The blend of spices,the exotic mouth watering aroma will seriously satisfy your taste buds.
4-5 tablespoons olive oil
50 grams unsalted butter
1 medium sized leek, finely sliced
2 large onions, finely sliced
300-400 grams small crab claws
8 to 10 garlic cloves, crushed/ puréed/ minced or finely diced
3 inch ginger, crushed/ puréed/ minced or finely diced
1 red chilli, crushed/ puréed/ minced or finely diced
1 cinnamon pod
1 teaspoon crushed coriander seeds
1 teaspoon dried red chilli flakes
1 teaspoon red chilli powder
1 teaspoon garam masala powder
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon coriander powder
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1 medium tomato, minced or finely diced
200 grams chopped tinned tomato
1 1/4 teaspoon salt
A handful of fresh coriander for garnish
Firstly it is important to wash the crab claws properly and set aside.
Place a heavy based pan onto a medium heat, add the olive oil and butter. Once hot add the cinnamon, cloves, crushed coriander seeds and the red chilli flakes. When they begin to crackle add the sliced onions and leeks, place the lid on top and reduce the heat.
Slowly sauté the onions and leeks for about an hour stirring occasionally. (slowly cooking the onions is the secret to a meaty, flavoursome sauce)
Once the onions and leeks are golden in colour and beautifully caramelised add in the fresh garlic, ginger and chilli and stir. Cook the fresh spices for 5 minutes to ensure the fresh flavours infuse into the oil.
Next add the red chilli powder, garam masala powder, turmeric powder, cumin powder, coriander powder and salt, mix thoroughly, add little water if required. Cook for a further 5-10 minutes.
Next add in the fresh and tinned tomatoes and simmer on a low heat (with the lid placed on top) for a 30 minutes.
After the sauce has had some time to cook, add in the crab claws and stir for sometime. (approximately 5 minutes)
Pour in the water, stir well and cover with a lid. Cook the crab claws for 2-3 hours stirring occasionally.
Check the consistency and add water as required. The crab curry will be vigorously bubbling, check for salt and add extra if required.
After 2-3 hours of cooking the sauce of the curry will appear deep, crimson red in colour, with the aromas of fragrant spices. Allow to set for 15 minutes before serving.
Garnish with fresh coriander and serve with steamed rice or Indian bread and enjoy!