"This is a journey of my life since I was all of 12 yrs when I started my hand in cooking to now with displays of my learning and creations of recipes from around the world. My inspiration and role model has always been my Mum who has always created dishes from around the world and excellently well. I do not believe I would ever match to her culinary skills. I remember the times she could cook and bake almost 4-5 dishes in one go without ever letting one go under cooked or burnt! I was born and raised in Dubai, UAE and recently moved to India for family reasons. Kitchenette just means that over the decades, my kitchen has changed from that of my mum's to my uncle and aunt's, to my home in UAE and now in India. Pala't'te, describes both global cuisines ('Palatte'-diverse flavours) and pleasing diverse 'Palates'."

Thursday, 8 January 2015

Three spotted (swimmer) crab in spiced coconut gravy

Happy New Year 2015 dear readers! It has been close to a year since my last blog post (sounds a bit like a confession at church - 'Forgive me Father it has been close to a year since my last confession!'). Jokes apart, I must apologise to you my dear readers for not having to hear from me. 2014 was quite a roller coaster ride with the best and worst seen! It was definitely a year full of changes and challenges. Thankfully we survived the bitter ones with the Grace of Our Lord! I also thank you dear readers for the numerous emails, messages, calls, texts and IMs to check in on me and motivating me to return to G'Gina's Kitchenette.

I lost my dear grandma in August of 2014 and as you may have noticed a lot of my previous blog posts and posts/tweets refer to grandma's influence in my cooking. So what started as what may have been a writer's block, saw me through a whole heap of events including a physical move of G'Gina's Kitchenette to a new location. I am not sure if you know that I also run a Tourism business ICare Holidayz which thanks to word of mouth from dear friends and family has been doing fairly well in 2014. I also work in my field of specialization which is Human Resources. Our recent relocation in 2014 has not been easy on my little one or us as a family owing to a lot of circumstantial changes. We hope for the best and a resolve in 2015. So among all this my recipe creations were on a hold from being shared!

I was contemplating on what to begin with as although the writing had ceased for a while, the cooking cannot! So there are a lot of new recipes I have tried and tested time and again which I hope to share with you soon. I thought I would begin with Mum's recipe which was liked a lot by my grandma as well. I am hoping I can be regular with my blog posts as often as possible to compensate for the 11 months silence. I dedicate this recipe to my dear grandma who I am sure is in Heaven's Abode praying and looking over us.

This recipe has always been welcomed by family, friends and relatives. And I am certain you would love the same.

You need:
  • 1 kg of fresh three spotted swimmer crab, washed, cleaned and halved
  • Cleaned hard shells of the crabs, air dry the shells (Mom does not incorporate this in the original recipe)
  • 4-5 green chilies (depending on how spicy you like it)
  • 2 large tomatoes, quartered
  • 1/2" ginger, diced
  • 2-3 cloves, garlic (*optional - mom does not use)
  • 1/2 cup of drinking water
  • 1/2 of a medium sized coconut, grated
  • 1/4 tbsp of red chili powder (I use Kashmiri Chili powder)
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil to fry the hard shells

The Make:
Serves : 4 adults | Preparation time: 10 minutes | Cooking Time: 40 minutes

I normally get my crab cleaned at the vendor's place itself. This time, I got the hard shells cleaned as well. Garlic is not required but you can add a few cloves.

1. Grind the coconut gratings, green chilies, ginger, garlic (optional) ,chopped tomatoes, red chili powder and salt with a little water as required to grind the mixture for a minute on high to medium speed.
The ground mixture should be thick enough to leave a circle in mix when stirred with a ladle.

2. Next heat oil to fry the hard shells in a wok and add the air-dried hard shells, taking care to ensure that the shells do not have traces of water to avoid the splutter. Once the shells turn orange, strain off the oil and on to kitchen towel.

3. Drain off most of the oil leaving just 1 tbsp of oil in the wok. Next add in the ground coconut mixture to the oil on medium-low heat. Cook for 2 minutes or until the coconut mix leaves the sides of the wok.

4. Add the crab halves to the coconut mixture and cover the crabs with the coconut mix. Saute for 3-5 minutes.

5. Add a tad bit of water if the coconut mixture is too dry. This will help the cooking process and avoid drying or even getting burnt.

6. Cook for about 20-30 minutes taking care to saute in between to avoid the coconut getting burnt. 

7. Serve with the hard shells on top on in the shells with piping hot /steamed rice.

Bon Appetit!

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