My hurriedly taken photograph explains how I could not wait to dive into these succulent, Malvani Masala crabs! Sharing the authentic recipe so you can have them too!
When I got the crabs at the Asian store, I knew I wanted to replicate my mother’s authentic Malavani masala, to enjoy them to the fullest!
As soon as I got home, I opened my Aai’s (mom’s) cookbook, Zanzaneet Non- Veg, to look for her recipe for the perfect masala! Incidentally, Zanzaneet non- veg has a lot of authentic Malvani fish and mutton recipes. My mother’s family came from Malvan so the recipes are as authentic as they can get!
I followed her recipe on page 31 for Kolambiche dabdabeet to make the masala. I added the tamarind pulp and garlic to the marinade because I felt that the crabs had a stronger scent. It worked out perfectly and the cooked crabs, with the masala clinging to all its nook and crannies, transported me to food heaven!
Malvani Masala Crabs
- 2 teaspoons turmeric powder
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1 tablespoon garlic paste
- 2 tablespoons tamarind pulp
- Sea salt to taste
- 2 pounds crabs, cleaned, and cut
For the masala-
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 3 teaspoons coriander seeds
- 4 cloves
- 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
- 1 inch piece of cinnamon
- 2 medium red onions, sliced thin
- 3 cloves of garlic
- ¾ cup shredded dry coconut
- 1 teaspoon red chili powder
- 1 tablespoon tamarind pulp
- 2 medium onions finely diced, divided
- 1 tablespoon oil
To make the Malvani Masala Crabs-
- Mix the marination ingredients together and rub the marinade well into the cleaned crabs. Set aside for half an hour.
- Meanwhile, make the masala. In a frying pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Fry the coriander seeds, cloves, peppercorns and cinnamon, in that order, until the coriander seeds are deep golden brown and the other spices swell up and are fragrant. Remove from pan.
- In the same pan, in the remaining oil, sauté the sliced onion and the garlic cloves until the onion starts to caramelize and the garlic is blistered and golden but not burnt. Add the shredded dry coconut and stir fry until it is toasted and golden. Add the chili powder and stir for a few seconds. Remove from heat.
- Grind together all the sautéed mixture with the tamarind pulp. Add ½ of the finely diced onion to it and set it aside.
- In a deep pan, or a pressure pan, add the tablespoon of oil and sauté the other half of the finely diced onion until it is translucent. Add the marinated crabs along with all the marinade. Add the masala paste and mix well. Add 2 cups of water and some additional salt. Cover and cook the crabs for about 20 to 25 minutes or until done. For pressure pan, cook on low for 8 minutes after the first whistle.
- Potatoes are generally added to this Malvani Masala crabs. Cut into 4 and add with the crabs, if you use potatoes.
- You can adjust the water according to how thick or thin you want the gravy.
When I posted the photo on my Facebook page, I was so flattered by the kind words of praise and with so many requests for the recipe. Thank you all so much! I hope to hear from you and see pictures of your Malvani Masala Crabs!