A foolproof crab rasam recipe from the Chettinad cuisine, made with freshly ground rasam podi! Super delicious and yummy!
So after a month’s break, the kitchen divas are back and this time with Chettinad Recipes. Years ago, in one of my visits to a restaurant called “Thalapakkatti” in Chennai, I had a dish called Crab Rasam. I liked it so much that I had two servings of that for lunch and nothing else. The crabbiness blended superbly with the usual pepper, garlic and other spices in rasam.
I tried replicating the crab rasam recipe many times at home but somehow I always thought something was missing. I did not find anything much online, neither could I get that right recipe from anyone. Then I came across the book called “The Bangala Table”. One look at the book and its breathtaking pictures, and I knew at sometime I will end up buying it. After resisting it for a couple of months, I finally gave in and bought the book. Much to my surprise, the book had a recipe for “Crab Rasam”.
I tried the recipe and bingo that was it! I think I have now found my foolproof crab rasam recipe. The recipe uses crab claws (I used the whole crab) which are finally removed from the rasam before serving. So I made a crab masala out of the crabs I took out. It was such a delicious meal.
It is amazing how the right recipe eluded me for so many years and all I had to do was find the perfect recipe in the book. The book has loads of amazing Chettinad recipes which I am sure I am going to try soon. I think what makes Chettinad cuisine really unique is the fact that we use freshly ground spices for every dish and as per me, that just enhances the flavors so much more 🙂
Chettinad Recipes : Crab Rasam
For the rasam podi
- 3 tbsps coriander seeds
- 7 chillies red dry, preferably milder variety
- 1 tbsp black peppercorns
- 1 tbsp toor dal
- 2 and 1/2 tsps cumin seeds
- 3 shallots medium peeled and chopped
- 7 large cloves garlic peeled and chopped
For the rasam
- 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 onion medium finely chopped
- 1 tomato medium finely chopped
- 1 tsp turmeric powder
- 10 - 12 curry leaves
- 400 grams crab (or claws only)
- to taste salt
- 2 tsps lemon juice
- 1/4 cup coriander leaves fresh chopped
- For the rasam podi, dry roast the coriander seeds, red chillies and peppercorns for about one minute and then add the toor dal and cumin seeds. When the dal and cumin starts to brown slightly take them off the heat and let it cool a bit. In a mixer or a mortar pestle (I used the mortar pestle and I think that makes so much difference to the final product) grind the spices to a coarse powder. Add the shallots and garlic to the spice mixture and continue pounding until well blended.
- In a pressure cooker, heat oil. When the oil is hot, add the cumin and onions. When the onions turn translucent, add the tomatoes, curry leaves. Fry for 2-3 minutes and then add the crab. Mix well and saute for about 2 minutes.
- Pour 4 cups of water and salt and close the lid. Once the pressure builds up, reduce the flame and let it cook for about 7-8 minutes. Allow the steam to escape before you open the cooker lid.
- Add the rasam podi (like I said I added only half), lime juice and some water if needed to achieve the rasam consistency. Boil for about 3-4 minutes and remove from heat.
- Garnish with fresh coriander leaves and serve as a soup or with rice.
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