Kakra’r Jhaal (Spicy Crab Curry)

Kakra'r Jhaal 2Have you ever been to a fish market? I have. A million times. As a kid my dad dragged me (and occasionally my sister) to the local fish market to buy fresh fish. The chaos, mayhem, sights and smells can drive anyone nuts. Not a self-respecting Bengali though. I never realised how easy it is for me to now identify the fresh catch, differentiate between the varieties and haggle. (Okay I didn’t learn how to haggle very well. That was a lie.)

In Delhi, I live in the Bengali-para or Banglatown (a.k.a. Bangaali Cloneey) and the fish market is just as crazy. My last visit resulted in kakra’r jhaal, chingri malai curry, pomfret dhonepata roshun and grilled bhetki, all in one day. The result: one happy, happy Bong.

You will need:

  • Crabs: 2 (each should be about 400 gms., cut)
  • Onions: 2 large
  • Tomato: 1 large
  • Green chillies: 2
  • Dried bay leaf: 1
  • Cardamom: 3
  • Black peppercorns: ½ teaspoon
  • Cloves: 3
  • Cinnamon sticks: 2 small
  • Dried red chillies: 2
  • Mustard oil: 2 tablespoons
  • Red chilli powder: 1 teaspoon
  • Turmeric powder: 1 teaspoon
  • Water: ¾ cup
  • Salt

 Wash the crabs thoroughly and rub it with turmeric powder and salt.

Grind the onions, tomato and green chillies into a paste.

In a wok, heat the mustard oil until it starts smoking. Reduce heat and add the bay leaf, cardamom, black peppercorns, cloves, cinnamon sticks and dried chillies. Let it fry for 30 seconds.

Add the onion, tomato and chilli paste and cook on medium heat until the slightly browned.

Add the crabs and stir fry for about a minute.

Add the water, red chilli powder and cover the wok and cook for about 5-7 minutes.

Adjust salt and serve with rice.

 Note: YUM!!!!

 Kakra'r Jhaal

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