Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Njandu Varutharachathu – Crab cooked in a roasted coconut gravy..!

 

 

Njandu Varutharachathu

Hi everyone..Hope you all are doing great n had a merry weekend..:)..Me..as usual ..doing good..:)..had a busy yet nice weekend with friends coming in n had a nice time..n we all know..cooking specially for guests/friends n getting some nice feedbacks from them,always feels good..isn't it..:)

Many of my blogger friends are either on break or like me..on a slow pace..Hope n wish they enjoy their time..Meanwhile,I am here with a wonderful recipe..When I say wonderful,its  with a capital W.yeah..This has been by far,one of the best dishes I have ever prepared..! Its just amazing..Please,dont go for the pics here(this actually looks more or less like crab roast only) which have not done any justice to the original dish,because I couldn't take snaps that day,n these are taken the next day with the lil left over,n by then most of the gravy had dried up in fridge,not to mention that we consumed a major portion the previous day..:D:D..Its actually a very thick ,dark n creamy gravy..!!

Last week,I was home lazing as Kutts had told me he wont be home for lunch..For me that means,no hurry 1 O’ clock rush to fix him lunch..So I was there flipping the magz, lol’ing on gossips n mentally noting n adding  the cooking/beauty tips to the already overflowing stack in ma brain n so n so..Suddenly I saw a crab cake pic,n got reminded of a pack of frozen crab,half of which I had used long back to make the yummy crab roast,n thought why not make a detailed curry now so that I can skip cooking the next day.So off I set for that..

 

Njandu Varutharachathu

Talking about crab,my mom always used to make the yellow coconut crab curry(pacha arachathu) n that's what I’ve had without any boredom all my life.After I came here n started cooking it was always Crab roast..extra spicy n kicking for both of us..simply because its easy n yumm..:)..But there was this one type I had never tried n wanted to always..but always lacked either the time or patience..So I was all more excited to give it a try n decided to follow my basic varutharacha style(roasted coconut),that I use for Chemmen/Ulli Theeyals n all..just adding a bit more of garlic n fennel for extra flavor to match up with the crab..So I made this slowly n carefully n was rather apprehensive as to how my better half would take this as he’s no big roasted coconut gravy fan.But but it was a total different story..He fell head over heels on this..!!:D..I could see the otherwise meek n polished hubby of mine, fighting with the crab pieces ..sucking n biting n licking n what not to get everything that he could from the pieces n I was laughing away to glory..lolol..So now,that tells you how fab this dish..

All my friends cringing their noses n frowning n shuddering at the thought of crabs..Here I am..I tell u..no worries..Just grab a rectangular shaped box of Frozen Crab legs n Claws from your frozen sea food aisle n you are all good to go..You don't even have to struggle cleaning it..Just defrost n it just take a twist with the hand to break big pieces and they already have cuts/slits on them for the meat to cook n the gravy to seep in.You can easily take the firm meat outside if you want.I always do it for some pieces to get a rich gravy.Rest of them I add as such.Its always nice to fight with those pieces in table no..;)

So,here we go..:)

I used half of that rectangular box,which means 6-7 large legs with claws attached,I dont exactly remember the weight ,but I hope half that box will come to around 1  lbs or lil more..If you are buying crab as a whole,then 4-5 medium sized crabs would be fine ..

 

Take a wide bottomed pan n put all the crab pieces,1/2 tsp turmeric powder,1/2 tsp Chilli powder(optional),1/4 cup thinly sliced onions,5-6 slit green chillies,2 cloves of crushed garlic,1.5 tsp of crushed ginger,1 tsp of fresh roughly ground peppercorns,3-4 pieces of gamboge/Cocum/Kudam Puli(as per the quality,mine was old that I bought from India,so I had to add 4 pieces),salt, few fresh curry leaves n lil water(as crab will ooze water at a later stage).

Stir to mix n bring to a boil.Now reduce heat n let it simmer with a closed lid for a while.

Meanwhile take a pan n heat some oil(coconut oil tastes the best for this dish).

To this add 3-4 curry leaves and 1/4 tsp fennel seeds(perumjeerakam)

When it splutter mince one garlic clove n a small piece of ginger n add it to the pan.

Sauté under low heat n add a Tbsp of minced shallots/pearl onion.

Saute well n now add 1/2-3/4 cup of grated coconut(I use dry desiccated coconut for roasting purposes unlike the frozen pack which I used for other things,as this roasts really fast n nice).

Under low heat,keep sautéing for about 15 mins or so till the whole things so aromatic n nice golden brown,or a shade darker than that.

Now switch of the heat n add 1 tsp chilli powder,2 tsp coriander powder,1 tsp rough ground fresh pepper powder.

Sauté in that heat of the pan still on stovetop, till the whole mix is dark brown.Cool n grind it to a fine powder.It’ll be more of powder consistency than paste if you used dry coconut like me.

Mean while make fresh Garam masala by roasting n grinding 1 tsp Fennel seeds,a 2 inch stick of cinnamon,2-3 cloves,1/2 a star anise n  a cardamom.You can prepare this in bulk n store if you want to.But fresh masala tastes the best.

So ,to the pan in which the crab is cooking,add the roasted coconut powder n stir it well.If water is scarce in the pan ,add some more n give it a stir.

Sprinkle half of the garam masala ,stir n close the pan n simmer it for a while till the crab absorbs the gravy flavor.reduce the heat n don't let it boil too much.

After 10 mins or so,open the lid n give it a stir n sprinkle the rest of garam masala on top.Adjust salt.

Heat coconut oil in a pan n splutter 1 tsp Mustard seeds,1/2tsp fenugreek seeds,4-5 broken red chillies and a handful of curry leaves.To this add 5-6 pearl onions sliced thinly n fry well with a sprinkle of fresh ground pepper.

Pop this over the gravy , close it n let it rest for a couple of hours for the flavors to mingle…or if you don have patience,like me…attack right away..!!!

Njandu Varutharachathu

Verdict: Amazing..!..Finger licking good..!..All sea food/crab fans don't ever miss it…! I have added pepper liberally because it significantly neutralizes the cholesterol content of the crab.Also coconut oil gives the best flavor to this dish.Aroma of curry leaves fried in coconut oil is so enticing n when all the flavors seep into the crab its outa world.All the while we were thinking ,if it tastes this great with frozen crab,then how fab it would be with the nice fresh juicy crab of kuttanadu..Sigh..I can never stop missing that place..;)

All of you take care n God bless,

hugss

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49 Luv'ly people shared their views..:

Manasi said...

Lovely curry Varsha, I esp like the second pic. Remember there was a time when you were complaining about not being able to take good pictures...and now look at you! All pro these pics look!

Sakshi said...

I cannot get over the pics...let alone read all the stuff you have said...it's all crabs in my dreams tonight for sure...
I need to eat this as soon as possible for sure...

So you had a great weekend and what all did u cook other than crabs?? Btw I hope it was not Giada's Crab Cake review I told about that made you go for this dish??

Nithya Praveen said...

Pics looks fantastic Varsha!

Pooja said...

Wow that is an aromatic scrumptious Njandu curry Varsha! Loved the addition of freshly ground spices along with thenga varuthu arachathu. Gives a great flavour to the dish :)

Vijitha Shyam said...

Woooowwwwww! looks so bloody tempting varsha. Yummy spicy finger-licking pic! Good job girlie!

My Experiments with Cooking said...

I ate crab just once and I didn't know I was eating crab. It tasted awesome. Your dish reminds me of that. Wish to grab a spoon of that :)

Shama Nagarajan said...

delicious looking recipe.....i haven't tasted crabs....my hubby used to ....since 4 years he is not taking them b'cos of me....he never troubles me to cook which i won't prefer....but still i like to cook for him...let me start to cook crab with yours.......

Poornima Nair said...

Great curry Varsha...I didn't even know we could get frozen crabs. As much as I love crabs, I have never tried cooking as I'm terrified of them. This is making me hungry all over again, would be heavenly with some rice.

Suparna said...

wow varsha!the pics are so neat!!wonderful recipe. The liberal black pepper powder tip shall be very handy dearie :)
Keep rocking!!
TC

mathew said...

waah...aa crab enne maadi vilikunnu!!;-D


looks very delicious....I want a plate of this njandu!!!;-P

Sharmila said...

Love crabs anyday. I too was wondering how would the frozen ones taste .. as I don't have the nerve to deal with the fresh ones. Another must try from your blog Varsha! :-)

vidhas said...

Pictues look fabulous Varsha. Enjoyed reading. Post some veg recipe dear :-) inm july u have posted only Non - veg.

Varsha Vipins said...

Thanks dear Manasi..yeah..do remember that,but I still think I have to go a long way..:)
Sakshi..Do try this one,I swear this will beat the chemmen roast..n No gaida..lol..:D
Thanks Nithya,Pooja,Viji,dear friend(dunno name..:P)
Shama..thanks ma..so sweet f ur hubby..do try this for him..:)
Poornima,you should try this out da..:)
Thanks Sups..yeah same applies with cayenne too..:)
Mathew..maadi vilikkunno..lol..ingu pore seattle-lekku..:)
Sharmila..yeah dear..must try..:)
Vidyakka..glad that you noticed it..even I didn't..next one is a veg for sure..for u..ok va? :)

♥♥♥Ria♥♥♥ said...

Hey this is my fav crab preparation too!! yummm!

sangeeta said...

the pictures are superb this time....white background works best for colorful food....
never tried crab...

Shabs.. said...

U know what, i have been going thru this crab craving phase for few days and ur recipe and pics makes me drool and drool....can u giv me some...??...Since we are moving out in few days,loads of stuff in the freezer needs to be emptied, so finishing them up!!!I think i will have to resist my craving for quite long time...nice pic da...

Miri said...

That looks absolutely delicious!!

Ann said...

appo veruthirunnu magazine marikkunnathum gunamaanu ille ?
haha...W for wonderful..hugs

Bergamot said...

The masala looks great...i just love crabs...yummy.

Gita said...

Wow Varsha that crab dish looks amazing with the the spices and curry leaves alongside...we dont get fresh leaves like the ones on your photo :( I too eat crab the same way...just go on a "shark attack" I think it does justice to the dish :)

VineelaSiva said...

Lovely curry varsha.Me too love the crab.The plate is very inviting varsha.

Viki's Kitchen said...

Wow look at those pictures! Its nothing but pure temptation. Like that fresh sprig of curry leaf also:) Have u released mom's yellow crab curry?
This varutharacha nandu looks divine.

Vrinda said...

Kidilan njandu curry..

Doloncookbook said...

Hey varsha so tempting picture dear ... Nice presentation too .... great job ....

Akal's Saappadu said...

Hi Varsha,

that looks too delicious, I prefer the crab roast, love it really hot but I can never say " No" to this crab in the coconut flavoured gravy either, that should have been yummmmmm and no wonder you have almost nothing left :) and I too finish up biting every little tiny bones and shells but however, I didn't understand this, let me quote this, hummmmm, "......sucking and biting and licking and what not...... are you sure you're talking about the crab :):)hahahahah
have a nice day Varsha!

Hari Chandana said...

Nice Pics!!!!

Ramya Bala said...

yum yum yummy...wanna have this right away varsha....

Marta said...

the summer is just such a lazy time, for work and for blogging! i find everything slows down.
This looks fantastic, I love anything stewed in coconut!!!

Mangala Bhat said...

Hey lovely curry ...Looks soo good ..Heya.long time no see:)

veggie belly said...

My husband loves crab..hed really enjoy this recipe :)

Vani said...

Though I don't eat seafood, i always enjoy seeing your seafood posts for recipes and pictures, VV. Pics look amazing!

aquadaze said...

lovely pix varsha!! Much as i love crabs, I've never made them...this is so tempting that I know I will head to a restaurant soon to have some!!

Divz said...

hey varsha...shall i grab one of those juicy crab legs??

Soma said...

The last crab dish I have had was when i grandma used to cook for me... childhood memories. My mom could never cook crab.. & i crave it so bad. didn't know you get frozen ones.. just your description is making me drool.

Yasmeen said...

I still didn't gather the guts to make the fresh crabs.I always find them in big packs in Costco,but I did make bhurji with canned crabs some time back,which was tastier than expected.Love this roast too with coconuts :P

Reeni♥ said...

This looks wonderful, Varsha! I can see why your hubby totally loved it! *Hugs*

Andhra Flavors said...

wow looks fantastic. I never made this but my mother in law is very good with this.

notyet100 said...

even i like crab but never tried preparin at home,..;-)

prasukitchen.blogspot.com said...

Thanks for sharing yummy recipe

Varsha Vipins said...

lol..ann chechi yeah..gunamundee..:)
Akal..u extremely naughty..:D
Thanks all else..glad u guys liked..:)

Varsha Vipins said...

thanks all..Jina..its catfish..

Divya Vikram said...

Varsha. I am inviting myself over to your place atleast to have all these yummy Non Veg dishes!!

Smitha said...

I have never tasted crab :(
I want to taste it but when I see those claws I get scared.LOL
But, if u cook them for me, I'm sure ai'll try it. It looks yumm.

Pavithra said...

Hi dearie i have nominated you for Kreativ Blogger award, pls visit my blog and accept it :)

Home Cooked Oriya Food said...

Amazing crab... Wow wish I could eat off the screen..

jayasri said...

hi, Nice pictures, varsha, I am vegetarian, so..., but i thought the snaps were really good..., may be as my hubby says substitute with aloo and try that recipe !!!!

Roopa said...

mmm, vayil kothi varunnu :) I didnt have anything for lunch and this is making me drool (i dont eat crab, but still.....mmmm ;))

Urs....Jina said...

hey

can I use any other fish for the mappas??
Like Salmon or tilapia?I find cat fish scary..yeah..silly, but still..:P

Anonymous said...

great read. I would love to follow you on twitter.

 
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