Crab Xec Xec

Crab Xec Xec

If you like Crab, you have got to give this Goan delicacy a try. Crab Xec Xec (pronounced Shek Shek) is a beautifully decadent dish that is one of my personal favourites. Roasted spices, a thick mouth-watering curry and mild sweet crab meat combine to make this a dish to remember.

8 - 10 crabs (1 kilogram or so)
1 medium onion (sliced fine)
2 green chilies (chopped fine)
1 inch tamarind ball (soak in 1/2 cup hot water to extract pulp)
coconut oil for frying/sauteing
salt to taste
pinch or two of sugar

Masala Ingredients (to roast and grind):
1 1/2 cup fresh grated coconut
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 medium onion (chopped)
6 garlic cloves (chopped or sliced)
1 inch ginger (chopped or sliced)
12 kashmiri chilies
2 tablespoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon peppercorn
6 cloves

1. Clean, wash and cut the crab. i like to remove the small tips on the crab legs but you can leave them if you choose to. Sprinkle a teaspoon of salt on the crabs, toss them and keep them aside.

2. Prep. the rest of your ingredients.

3. Heat a pan on medium heat and add the grated coconut to it.

4. Let it roast slowly and as it starts to brown, add the turmeric to it.

5. Let it roast for a few more minutes, but do not let it burn. Remove to a bowl and keep aside to cool.

6. Add the chopped onion to the same pan and let it roast.

7. Add the chopped garlic and ginger to the onion as it starts to change colour. Once again, let it roast for a few minutes but do not let it burn. Remove and keep aside to cool.

8. Roast the chilies in the same manner.

9. Lastly roast the whole spices (coriander, cumin, peppercorn and cloves)

10. Grind the masala ingredients along with the 1/2 cup of tamarind pulp and any water that may be required. The masala should be thick, and slightly coarse. Rinse out the grinder with 1/2 cup of water and retain this "masala water".

11. Finely slice the second onion.

12. Heat a large pan or wok and add a couple tablespoons of coconut oil to it.

13. Add the sliced onion to the pan and saute them till they brown.

14. Add the crabs and the masala water to the pan and give it a quick mix up.

15. Cover the pan and cook the crabs on medium heat for 10 minutes.

16. After 10 minutes, give the crabs a mix, and then add in the ground masala along with chopped green chilies. Mix well. Note: this part gets a bit messy in the pan. That is normal! Cover and cook for a further 10 minutes or so.

17. You should end up with a thick curry that coats the crab in pure deliciousness. Turn off the heat at this time.

18. Serve hot with steamed rice or bread.


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