Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Crab Sukka



Ever since the evening I taught K, the different creatures that live in water, the crab had stuck to both mom's and daughter's minds. Every evening she would want to see pictures of different types of crabs and I was so tempted to bring some home and show her how they looked. And that did finally happen! I mustered enough courage to buy and cook them up at home. It did turn out to be a pleasant dish for me and my better half.

My memories of having crab curry dates back by at least two decades when my paternal grandmother used to prepare them. Strange! but I so distinctly remember my grand mom sitting by the pond breaking apart the crabs, cleaning them, marinating them and preparing one of the most tasty spicy tangy crab curry.
My stint at Mangalore was yet another opportunity to taste some of the best coastal dishes with a different taste altogether from that of Kerala.

Confused on what to make with these crabs, I asked around for suggestions from friends and relatives and I zeroed in on Crab Sukka.
Sukkas are very distinctive to Mangalorean cuisine. Chicken sukka and Crab Sukka are one of the most favored dish as starters. The perfect blend of masala and dry coconut is what makes this dish delectable.

Courtesy: A Mangalorean family staying upstairs

Ingredients
Cleaned and Cut Crabs                                                               1 Kg
For Sauting and First Cooking
Coconut                                                                                      2 tbsp
Curry Leaves                                                                               2 sprigs
Onion Finely Chopped                                                                1 Large
Turmeric powder                                                                         1/4 tsp
2-3 Tamarind (Gambooge, Malabar Tamarind, Fish Tamarind)    soaked in warm water for about 5 mts                                
Salt                                                                                            as per your taste
For Grinding to a paste/powder
Coriander Seeds                                                                          3 tbsp
Cumin Seeds                                                                                1 tsp
Poppy Seeds                                                                                2 tsp
Fenugreek Seeds                                                                          1 tsp
Dry Red Chillies                                                                          15 or depending on your spice level
Garlic                                                                                          4-5 pods

Dry Fried Coconut                                                                      3/4 cup

My way of making
1. Wash,clean,cut and keep ready the crab. You may want to look up Youtube on how to do that or get your fish vendor to do it.
2. Heat oil, saute onions and curry leaves for about five minutes and to this add the crabs.
3. Add the tamarind water to this and let cook, covered until the crab turns orange which indicates its cooked.
4. Add salt as per your taste.

5. Meanwhile dry roast or fry the ingredients except coconut. They are done when you have a nice aroma filling your kitchen. Cool and grind them to a paste or powder.
6. Dry fry the shredded coconut separately. Care must be taken not to burn them. Keep a watch for after 10 minutes. Stir continuously. You may or may not grind this. If you like the coconut flavour to mix well, please go ahead and grind them

7.Once the crab is cooked , add the masala paste to it and let cook for about 5 minutes.
8. To this add the fried coconut and cook covered for 10-15 mts so that the flavour spreads uniformly. Once done cook in high flame on continuous stirring till all the gravy is absorbed.

Notes
1. Relish them with rice or as a starter.
2. This could be made with gravy by retaining a bit of water.
3. I prefer to use coconut oil since it gives the unique flavour to most of the coastal dishes. Please use oil that you are comfortable with.