Kerala Cuisine: Thirontharam Njandu Dry Fry

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Crab Roast RecipeMy dad has never had crabs till date, and keeps telling me he finds them disgusting, with all those creepy looking legs protruding out from all sides. That hasn’t really stopped me from trying out some real delicious ‘Njandu’ recipes, and each time I do, I elaborately elucidate him on what he has actually been missing out on.

Crabs are among the most delicious of all sea food, and though it takes quite a while to get them cleaned its all worth the effort. Table etiquette can go take a ride when it comes to eating crabs, and they require both your hands some times, though you would be too busy paying any attention to the number of fingers that are being used.

That said, it also remains that once the cleaning is done, its really simple to get the crabs cooked. Of all the recipes that I have tried, this one is perhaps the easiest, requires the least number of ingredients and has a procedure that is downright unfussy. This is a Thirontharam recipe, though I am sure variants of the same are being used across the state! 🙂

Ingredients: Crabs, Shallots, Green Chillies, Ginger paste, Garlic paste, Mustard Seeds, Red Chilly Powder, Pepper powder, Turmeric powder, Coriander powder, Garam Masala, Curry leaves and of course, Coconut oil.

  1. Clean the crabs well, and cut them up into smaller portions, without tearing the meat off. Drop them into a manchatti, and add chilli powder, coriander powder, pepper powder, turmeric powder and the garam masala. Add a cup of water, and let the crabs cook on a low flame. Let the water dry up completely.
  2. On a pan, splutter the mustard seeds in coconut oil, add the shallots and green chillies and the ginger and garlic pastes. Fry the shallots till they are a golden brown, and when they are done, add the cooked crabs and stir well. Make sure that they are evenly coated with the masala.
  3. Add the curry leaves and let it be for a minute. Serve hot with rotis or rice.