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Fiji Style Crab Curry

Set in the heart of the South Pacific, Fiji is a seafood lover’s dream destination. The abundance of seafood, fresh tropical ingredients and an amalgamation of different cooking styles makes the Fijian cuisine a unique and interesting one. One of the famous dishes of the region is the Crab curry made with whole spices and coconut milk. Usually made with large mud crabs, today’s recipe is an adaptation of the same with blue swimmer crabs.

(Note – This recipe can be made using any variety of crab or other seafood like tiger prawns, lobster etc….)

Ingredients:

  1. 3 blue swimmer crabs
  2. 2 tbsp coconut oil
  3. ½ tsp black mustard seeds
  4. 1 inch ginger; julienned
  5. 1 tsp cumin seeds
  6. ½ tsp turmeric powder
  7. 1 tsp garam masala
  8. 1 onion; thinly sliced
  9. 3 garlic cloves; grated
  10. 2 stalks curry leaves (extra for garnish)
  11. 4 green cardamom pods
  12. ½ cinnamon bark
  13. 4 cloves
  14. 4 -5 green chillies; slit lengthwise (adjust to heat preferences)
  15. 2 ripe tomatoes; finely chopped
  16. 4 cups coconut milk (medium thick consistency)
  17. Salt, to season
  18. 1 lemon; cut into wedges
  19. 1 large red chilli; thinly sliced (for garnish)

Method:

  1. Wash and clean the crabs well. Pull the top cover shell off and remove the gills and any gut tissue if present. Then remove the claws and cut the main body of each crab into half.
  2. Heat coconut oil in a large pan and add the mustard seeds; allow to crackle.
  3. As the mustard seeds start to crackle, lower heat and add the ginger, cumin seeds,
    turmeric powder and garam masala. Mix well and take care not to burn the spices.
  4. Then add the onion and garlic; sauté till the onions turn light brown.
  5. Next add the curry leaves, cardamom, cloves, cinnamon and chillies; mix and cook on
    low heat for 30 seconds.
  6. Add the crab pieces, tomato and season with salt. Mix well to combine and cook on high
    heat for 2-3 minutes.
  7. Next add the coconut milk and cook covered on low heat for about 5-6 minutes till the
    crabs are done.
  8. Remove from heat and garnish with chillies, curry leaves and lemon wedges.

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