Curried Crab with Coconut and Chili
- 2 1/4 pounds live crab
- 1/4 cup coriander seeds
- 1 1/2 tablespoons cumin seeds
- 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
- Sea salt
- 5 1/2 ounces white wine vinegar
- 2 ounces desiccated coconut
- 1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger
- 5 garlic cloves
- 1 large green chile, chopped
- 1 white onion, chopped
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 1 medium ripe tomato, diced
- 10 fresh curry leaves
- 1/2 ounce fresh turmeric, peeled and finely grated
- 1 tablespoon chile powder
- 9 ounces unsweetened coconut milk
Place the crab in the freezer for 2 hours or until it stops moving. Remove the legs and crack them with a rolling pin. Remove the top of the shell and clean out the insides with your fingers. Chop the crab and top shells in half.
To make the paste, grind the coriander seeds, cumin seeds and peppercorns with a pinch of salt using a mortar and pestle or a spice grinder. Transfer the spice mixture to a food processor and add the vinegar, coconut, ginger, garlic, chile and onions and blend to form a paste.
Heat the oil in a heavy, large, wide pot over low heat. Add the paste and saute until fragrant and some of the juices evaporate, 5 to 10 minutes. Add the tomato, curry leaves, turmeric, chili powder and a pinch of salt and cook until the tomato pieces are tender and melting into the sauce, 5 minutes. Add the crab and 4 1/2 ounces water, increase the heat to medium and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer or until the crab pieces are cooked through, 10 minutes. Mix in the coconut milk and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes to allow the flavors to blend.
Divide the crab pieces and sauce among shallow wide soup plates and serve immediately.