Kerala Style Crab Roast or Njandu Roast (ഞണ്ടു പിരളൻ) is a popular seafood delicacy in Kerala. The crab is cooked in shallots, onions, and tomato and simmered in flavorful aromatic Indian spices. For an authentic taste, coconut oil and fresh spices are used for the preparation.
Crab Roast is a much-loved delicacy in my family and is often prepared during Easter and Christmas.
My memories of this dish go back to my childhood where my Dad brought home fresh crabs from the seafood market. They are mostly caught live from the backwaters near my hometown in Kottayam and he always said freshwater crabs are much tastier than the ones from the sea. He taught me how to eat the crabs but of course, it was intimidating at first. But whoa! "Get messy, mol" was his advice!
I do not agree with the popular notion that crabs are difficult to clean. They are in fact easy, once you know the technique. The same goes for eating crabmeat from inside the shells although it'd take anywhere between 20-30 minutes to finish eating this dish!
Kerala Style Crab Roast is a popular dish in many seaside restaurants and toddy shops, colloquially called 'Kallu Shaap'. It is usually served with Kappa Vevichathu or Savory Tapioca Mash. But it goes well with steamed rice as well.
Even though Njandu Roast is a delicacy, it can be easily prepared from staple ingredients from your pantry.
Kerala Crab Roast is
- perfect as a side dish to rice or appam
- ideal for Christmas/Easter/Ramadan lunch.
- flavorful and delicious
- can also be made into a curry
🦀 Ingredients You'll Need
Kuttanadan Njandu Roast
To make this delicious Kerala Crab Masala, you need good-quality fresh crabs. Wash and clean them and keep them aside.
- 750 gm Crab, washed and cleaned
- 4 Onions, large, sliced
- ½ cup Shallots, sliced
- 1 teaspoon Mustard Seeds
- 1 teaspoon Fenugreek Seeds
- 3-4 Green chilies, slit
- Curry leaves
- ⅛ cup Coconut Oil
- 2 tablespoon Corinader powder
- 1 tablespoon Kashmiri Red Chili powder
- 1 teaspoon Red Chili powder
- ½ teaspoon Turmeric powder
- 1 tablespoon Garam Masala powder
- 1 teaspoon Fennel powder
- 3 Tomatoes, sliced
There are a few ingredients that we need to grind.
- 10-12 Shallots (ചെറിയ ഉള്ളി)
- 3 tablespoon Sliced Garlic
- 2 tablespoon Ginger, chopped
- 1 tablespoon Fennel (പെരുംജീരകം)
- 1 tablespoon Peppercorns
Crab is tough meat to cook. But it is also flavourful and is perfect when cooked with spices.
Crab Curry Recipe Kerala Style
- To make Kerala Crab Roast, heat a pan and add coconut oil.
- Once hot, add mustard seeds and fenugreek seeds.
- Once the seeds splutter, add the sliced shallots, curry leaves and green chilies. Saute for a couple of minutes and add the sliced onion and saute until golden brown.
- Add the ground shallot mixture and combine well.
- Cook for a couple of minutes until the raw smell of the ground mixture goes.
- Add the sliced tomatoes and combine well until tomatoes turn mushy and oil starts leaving the sides of the pan.
- Add all the spice powders - turmeric powder, Kashmiri red chili powder, Red chili powder, Corinader powder, Garam masala, Fennel powder, and Pepper powder. Mix well.
- Add the cleaned crabs and mix well. Make sure that all the crab meat is coated well with the masala.
- Cover and cook the crab on medium heat for about five minutes. After five minutes, mix well.
- Add about a cup of water and mix again. Cover and cook for another ten minutes
Kerala Style Crab Roast Recipe Video
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Crab Roast: FAQs
Store the leftover Crab Roast in an airtight container in the refrigerator. You can reheat and use it the next day and not any later.
Serve Kerala Style Crab Roast as a side dish with steamed rice, roti, appam, or Kappa Vevichathu.
You can add an additional cup of hot water while preparing this dish to transform it into a curry. Cook for a couple of minutes more until the masala is well combined.
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