Mangalore Style Crab Pepper Fry.

Mangalore is a relatively small city on the south-west coast of India and we Mangalorean Catholics (Mangi’s) are a ‘fish loving breed’ known for their undying love of seafood. Mangi’s can eat fish, breathe fish and die for fish too ūüėČ (though as a matter of fact anything that moves could easily satisfy our meaty appetites ūüėČ

This fish loving madness is not limited to the seasons, come rain or sun, it goes on and on through the year. Even if there were no fresh fish to buy, you would still find fish lovingly dished up at a Mangi’s table. It could be a ‘Dried fish chutney’ or a ‘pickled prawn or fish made by grandma or ‘Mai’ or ¬†‘Dried shrimps in a vegetable side dish‘ or a ‘Simple fish curry‘ made from a stash thats been strategically hidden away in a Mangi’s freezer chest.¬†Whether its a Mangi’s ‘true love for fish’ or an ‘unsatiable obsession’ ¬†I dont know?¬†
¬†Coming to a Mangi’s ‘Freezer Chest’. Now this is one electrical appliance that every Mangi household with electricity will possess. If you dare to open one, heaven knows what you will find inside! ¬†You could find frozen ‘Bimblees’ ¬†gifted ¬†by a neighbour with a tree; for those delicious¬†Mangalorean Daaliso Saar¬†with Bimblees¬†(lentil soups), or ‘Ambades’ (hog plums for those spicy prawn curries),¬†¬†or wild game could be wild bird , boar or deer that was found on a friend of a friends estate for those delicious¬†Sukka’s¬†(meat in a dry spice paste with Coconut), ¬†or¬†Goan sausages, varieties of fish and meat, ground spice pastes ready to make a delicious fish curry or ¬†left over¬†Dukramaas¬†from Easter (taste improves with time you see)…..a true treasure chest ūüôā¬†
Coming to today’s catch, CRABS!! ¬†These soft shelled meaty crustaceans rank high on a Mangi’s favorite list. Once they come in season my mom buys them by the kilos and stacks them in her cold treasure chest for us to enjoy when we go back home for holidays ( Love you mom xx)¬†

Crabs are either cooked in a rich deliciously Spicy Coconut Crab curry
, as a hot Spicy Roast or simmered in a Pepper based dry dish like todays recipe. This dish is one of hubby’s favourite and I learned to make it by watching my Mother in law. It is peppery, delicious and truly crabworthy!
To Make Mangalorean Crab Pepper Fry
Recipe Source: Recipe Adapted from my Mother in Law 
Serves: 2-3 | Preparation time: 40 minutes | Cooking time: 30 minutes.
Fresh Atlantic crabs or Blue Crabs: 2-3 crabs cut into halves 
Curry leaves: 1 sprig
Onion (medium):  2 nos cut into 1/2 inch cubes ( keep each cubed onion seperate)
Tomato: 3 nos
Green chillies: 3 nos slit
Coriander powder: 2 tbsp
Chilly powder: 1 tsp
Tumeric powder: 1/4 tsp
Garam masala: 1 tsp
Curry leaves: 1 sprig
Oil/ ghee: 2 tbsps
For Roasting and Grinding:
Pepper corns: 1 heaped tsp or more for hotter palates
Fennel seeds: 1 tsp
Cumin seeds: 1/2 tsp
Methi seed: 3-4 seeds
Grated coconut: 2 tbsps
Cinnamon: 1 inch piece
Ginger-garlic paste: 1 tsp
Tamarind extract: 2 tsps

1. Gently dry roast on a pan ( seperately) the peppercorns, fennel seeds, grated coconut, cinnamon, cumin seeds, methi seeds till aromatic and then grind to a fine paste using a very little water.
2. Clean crabs, and cut each crab into quarters and crack the legs gently, so the flavours can enter.
3. Heat oil in a large round bottomed vessel/ kadai. Add curry leaves followed by 1 cubed onion and slit green chillies and fry for 3-5 minutes on a medium flame. When the onions have softened add ginger-garlic paste and fry for 3-4 minutes till it turns golden brown. Then add the chopped tomatoes and salt. Fry for 3-4 minutes then add the coriander, chilli, turmeric and garam masala powders and continue to fry till the tomato gets mashed and the oil starts to separate. Add the remaining cubed onion and fry for a minute. Add the roasted ground paste, tamarind paste and mix well.
4. Add the cleaned crab toss well with the spicy onion tomato mixture. Add 2-3 tbps water only if required. Cover and cook on a medium flame for 5-7 minutes or till done.

Taste for salt and sourness. 

Serve hot alongside some white rice and Daaliso saar or Mangalore lentil soup or enjoy on its own alongside a large Kingfisher !
If you liked this or any of my posts, I would love to hear from you. Leave me a line at the end of this post or message me on¬†Facebook¬†or [email protected]. Look forward to hearing from you.
Have a great week friends,
Yours in Taste,
Carol Pereira

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