For a quick meal, nothing beats seafood and even a crab curry can be whipped up in no time. The key is having a great curry powder in your pantry and after that you just choose the seafood. This coconut and lime curry sauce is very versatile and comes together quickly and goes with any sort of seafood. It may just remind you of tropical holidays and summer times.
With this curry I used blue swimmer crab, an easy to find ingredient that is ideal for those that don't want to deal with live crabs and despatching them as they're one of the few crabs that are not sold live. Blue swimmer crabs are abundant in Australia and mostly wild caught. I remembered a crab dish that I had in Thailand a couple of years ago. It was simple and made with a curry powder and coconut. While there aren't any overt Thai ingredients in this there weren't in this simple but moreish curry. We ate it at an outdoor restaurant that floated on the water, the sound of cicadas off in the distance and water lapping at the wooden planks nearby.
I know it's not really a curry that is faithful to any country. It might be Sri Lankan or Indian inspired but the flavours to me were really Thai but the curry powder was Malaysian. I guess that's one thing that we do in Australia and that's blend foods and flavours with the adage that it will just work out in the end (and usually it ends up being pretty tasty). The other night we were driving in Sydney's inner west. It's not where I live but it's one of my favourite areas because it some areas are quite bohemian in nature and everyone seems relatively chilled. Plus I love the mix of cultures and flavours.
We saw a woman who looked like she fell from The Andes while wearing a full bright pink Andean outfit while a man a few hundred metres up looked like he had just apparated from Uzbekistan (perhaps he had, you never know these things and I believe in magic). And then there was an elderly couple driving along. It was after an international football game and he was in the driver's seat and she in the passenger's seat with the window open. They had a flag on their car but it was not attached to the outside. She was tightly holding onto the stick of the Portuguese flag as they drove along.
So tell me Dear Reader, do you enjoy eating crab? Have you ever despatched a live crab or lobster? Do you often mix cultures and flavours when you cook?
Coconut Lime Crab Curry & Ginger Rice
An Original Recipe by Lorraine Elliott
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes (mostly the time for the rice to cook)
- 1 cup uncooked brown basmati rice
- 4 teaspoons curry powder (I use Baba's meat curry powder)
- 3-4 tablespoons oil
- 2 red onions, halved and sliced
- 2 inches of ginger, peeled and thinly sliced, divided
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely diced
- 1 cup water
- 100ml/3.5ozs. coconut cream
- Juice from 1-2 limes (it depends on how juicy the limes are)
- 8 curry leaves
- 2 teaspoons salt (or to taste)
- 4 teaspoons sugar (or to taste)
- 750g blue swimmer crab, cut in half
- 3 tablespoons green onions
Buyer's tip: Baba's curry powders are excellent and if you want a full flavoured curry powder then have this on standby. They're available from Asian grocery stores as well as some Indian grocery stores.
Step 1 - Rinse the rice until the water runs clear. I usually have to do this 3-4 times. Place enough water according to instructions and add half of the sliced ginger to the pot. Steam until ready.
Step 2 - Heat a large pot and dry fry the curry powder for a couple of minutes until fragrant. Add oil, onions and the other half of the sliced ginger. Fry until the onions are coated in spices and softened. Then add the garlic and cook for another couple of minutes. Add the water, coconut cream, lime juice and curry leaves and then season with salt and sugar. You want the curry sauce to be perfectly seasoned now. It is a bit more sugar than you would think but this really pops with the extra sweetness. Then add the crab and cook with the lid on until the crab shell turns red.
Step 3 - Sprinkle the crab with the green onions and serve with ginger rice.