Spicy & Aromatic Crab Curry

Spicy & Aromatic Crab Curry

Lately, I have been working with my friend and fellow chef Jay Jadeja to develop recipes and menus for his new restaurant, West East Bistro, in Oakdale, New York. He plans to open the doors in February 2016 and he wants to showcase the foods of Gujarat and Rajasthan in northern and western India. These are the parts of India that he grew up in. He wants to add a little culinary refinement to the dishes and make them a little more modern. Last night, at his West East Bistro in Hicksville, New York we worked on this spicy and aromatic crab curry and the flavors were great. On Friday, we worked on a lamb curry dish from Rajasthan called Laal Maas, using an array of spices, yogurt, and Kashmiri peppers and the flavors were outstanding. I will share that recipe in the coming days.

Serves four people

4 T. sunflower oil
2 T. black mustard seeds
1 T. black cardamom seeds
1 T. fennel seeds
2 t. cumin seeds
2 t. coriander seeds
3 large cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
1 T. minced fresh ginger
1 red onion peeled and diced
1 T. turmeric
1 can (14 oz) coconut milk
4 limes, juiced
8 curry leaves very finely sliced
2 green chilies finely sliced into rounds
salt and pepper to taste
1 lb jumbo lump crabmeat, inspected for shell fragments, left whole as possible
1/2 bunch of cilantro with the stems diced and top leaves for garnish
6 scallions cut into julienne strips


Heat the sunflower oil in a large pan and add the black mustard, cardamom, fennel, cumin and coriander seeds. Cook over medium-high heat until the seeds are toasted and aromatic. Add the garlic, ginger and onion and continue to cook over medium-high heat until the garlic and onions soften and start to color. Add the turmeric, coconut milk and 1 cup of water. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer until reduced by half.

Add the lime juice, curry leaves, chilies, diced cilantro stems and crabmeat. Cook until heated through and taste for seasoning, adding more salt if needed. Spoon the curry delicately into a bowl and garnish with cilantro leaves and scallion julienne. Serve with basmati rice or Indian flat breads, such as paratha, naan or chapatis.

2016, Kevin Penner, All Rights Reserved