Crab curry is a spicy dish, highly popular in the coastal regions of the Indian subcontinent. The dish is considered to be a delicacy and is cooked in a variety of ways with the taste and flavor varying widely according to regional preferences. The Goan form of the curry, prepared with grated coconut, is usually savored by the Western tourists. The curry is also popular across the countries of the Far East as well as in the Caribbean islands where it had been introduced by the Indian indentured laborers.
The dish is considered to be ideal for keeping out the winter chills and is believed to be effective for common colds. While fresh crab is considered to be the ideal ingredient for the curry, the dish is often cooked by utilizing the canned crab meat as well.
Apart from the gravy based curry, this form of the dish is also used for preparing cold spreads and spicy crab cakes. Curried crab and dumplings is also considered to be a comfort food in Trinidad and Tobago.
Overview of Crab Curry Recipes
The most basic method of cooking the crab curries involves grinding the turmeric powder, cumin, coriander and coconut flakes to a smooth paste which is then fried along with garlic and onions. Chili powder as well as slit green chilies are added to the mixture according to taste. The crabs are usually fried in separate pan until the shells become red, and then added to the simmering curry after adding coarsely chopped tomatoes and water to the spice mixture.
A garnish of fresh coriander leaves completes the cooking process with the curry being served hot with steamed rice. Bay leaf, garam masala powder prepared by grinding a few aromatic spices and fennel is also added to the dish and its variants.
Popular Variations of Crab Curry Recipes
There are numerous variations of the curry that differ widely in preparation method as well as the ingredients used. The popular variants of the dish are:-
Pu Pad Pong Kari-This is a traditional Thai dish cooked with the soft shelled crab and curry powder that is fried together with onions, chili powder and eggs beaten in milk. It is seasoned with soy and oyster sauce along with salt and sugar before serving.
Curry Crab- This is a popular Jamaican Dish cooked with garlic, ginger, Scotch bonnet peppers and tomatoes along with curry powder. The crabs are simmered in the hot sauce prepared by adding coconut milk to the fried spices. It is usually paired with a French white wine.
- Curried Crab Cakes- A baked dish of breaded curried crab meat that is served on a bed of salad greens along with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.
The South East Asians consider the dish of giant coconut crab curry as an aphrodisiac.