Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Nandu kulambu

Crab meat can be called the exotic choice for a sea food lover. TamilNadu style crab kulambu is prepared with a hot spicy pepper curry as base. I got these unusual small size crabs (Indian crab) in an Asian market near my house and immediately grabbed some:)

Interesting info on Crab:
*Buy crab around full moon, as it is believed that the crab becomes more succulent with moon and meatless during new moon (amavasai) . Click to see more info.
* If you don't know to clean the crab, then ask your friends or elders.
*Prefer small size crabs over the long legged one for Indian curries.Eg., One kilogram should yield 4-5 small crabs.
*Crab curry helps us to get rid of body aches, cold, sinus, calcium loss etc.
*Just like 'Japanese's sushi' , some villagers in Tamilnadu drink the extract from raw crab (crushed along with shell and strained) along with ginger and brandy to relieve body aches and to get more strong. I don't know the exact procedure, so consult a professional Indian medicine practitioner before trying.
*Eating crab is an art and you may need some care / skill to remove the shells.
*The crab meat has some character to increase body heat. So it is safer to have it during cold / rainy season.

Here is some memory behind this crab curry in my family.

This is my Father-in-law's favorite too and I prepared it to get his appreciation. you can read more here:)

While in Madras , we used to invite Xav's younger brother M to join us for some weekends. Even though M is his brother he resembles much of my dad's family in the preference for non-veg dishes. I have a strong craving for crab at that time and hubby totally hates it(but loves to buy them for me). Anyway I felt very lazy to prepare them for me alone . So could not enjoy my fancy crab meat for a very long time till I knew thambi's (M) taste for crab. From then on most of our weekends would start with a heavy sea food flavor which will make the whole street hungry:)Can you imagine our plates filled with crab or non-veg as main course and rice as side dish and hubby sitting near me admiring my crab eating style...LOL:)
One day when they were talking of his marriage and preferences , we were kidding him about his first question to his future wife. He told us that he would ask her if she can make Nandu (crab) curry and we we all laughed like anything. Some years passed we moved out of India but still he kept his promise by popping this question when he met the right girl. Luckily my co-sister is also an ardent fan of sea food .Anyway he kept his childish promise but we feel very guilty as we couldn't attend his wedding because of hubby's work nature. I ask myself , can I stand this guilt if I attend my own brothers marriage? Time only can answer this.
Even now when I make this curry , myself and hubby start talking of him.

Uncooked Nandu:

Nandu kulambu:

Crab (Nandu in Tamil)- 1 kg
Sesame oil (any cooking oil ) - 2 tbsp
Salt - as per taste
Turmeric - 1 tsp
coriander powder - 3 tbsp
Chilly powder - 1 tbsp
curry leaf - 1 sprig
fennel seed - 1 tsp

Ginger garlic paste - 1 tbsp

To grind:
Shallot Onion (nattu vengayam) - 10 (50 gms)
Tomato - 3 (150 to 200 gms)
Shredded coconut - 1/2 cup
cumin seed - 1 tsp
Black pepper - 1tbsp

Saute the onion in a tsp of oil . keep aside. Then saute the tomato, till it wilts and grind everything to a fine paste.

Wash and clean the crab. Remove the front shell that covers the digestive system and remove the digestive tract, but keep the meat inside. Wash again and clean it.
Don't remove the legs. If they are very long , then gently break them into half.

Heat oil in a wok or mud pot. Add fennel seeds and let them get red.
Then add ginger garlic paste and fry for a minute.

Now put the crab along with the powders, salt, masala paste , curry leaf and 1 cup of water.

Cook covered for 15 - 20 minutes. Add water or 1/2 cup coconut milk if we need to dilute it. Otherwise serve as a thick curry.

As soon as we start smelling the pleasant crab curry smell, switch off.

Serving suggestions:
Serve hot with white rice.
Keep some curd as side , as we may need it to quench the heat of pepper:)


Ushnish Ghosh said...

Dear Viki
How are you? I was just out of blog and trying to catch up.
This crab curry is out of the world.
I will be out of blog still, but I will read the wonderful recipes.
Have a good day

Radhe said...

Hai viki,
Nandu kulambu looks awesome.Mouthwatering dish...........


Sumi said...

absolutely love this kuzhambhu, its been a long time sinc we had this

Asha said...

Pepper masala sounds yum. I have to try cooking Crabs at least once. Kulambu looks delicious.

Sailaja Damodaran said... favorite .

Faiza Ali said...

Nice recipe dear..i have never tried cooking scares me :( the curry looks delicious.

Priya Suresh said...

Its has been a long i prepared nandu kuzhambu at home, tempting fav..

Cool Lassi(e) said...

What a delicious plate of goodness. I have to tell you, I am a seafood lover and that too crustaceans..Good job Viki.

Shobana senthilkumar said...

Viki...u make me feel hungry they tempting me a lot:)

Sarah Naveen said...

ooh!!! one of my Fav's!!! looks soo yummy dea..!!!

Gita Jaishankar said...

Cute post about your family dear...very sweet :)I am going crazy over those pictures Viki...I want to eat nandu right now :)

Unknown said...

When I went India I clicked the crab raw and not the curry:(
Aachacho u make me crave for this nandu kuzhambu!

Nandinis food said...

Crab curry is awesome!
Nice to read about your memories.
I heard somewhere Big pomfret fishes are caught during full moon.

Aparna said...

wowwwww my favorite..ship started sailing in my mouth..:P

Sushma Mallya said...

That looks spicy and yum and perfect with rice

Siddhi Shirsat said...

wow viki this crab curry luks yummy...evn i am a big fan of crabs:-)..nice recipe

Lebouffe said...

Absolute yummy! -Naina

Hamaree Rasoi said...

Ummm this crab curry is looking so delicious.....Wonderful click as well.

Finla said...

I love crab the indian way. But hubby don't like it. Wish i had this for my lunch.

gtyuk said...


this is simply superb; if my sis sees these plates, she would grab them right away!!

those small indian varieties are extra delicious indeed and all those tips you said when buying the crabs are exactly right and useful too!!

and hubby sitting near me admiring my crab eating style. this is sooo cute of a hubby :):)

nandu saapadrathayellaam rasichirukaaru paarunga!! yenga veetu kaaru saadharanamaa yenna rasikkardhey periya vishayam, heehehhehehe

nice anecdote about your husbands's brother..

avarukku ponnu paakum bodhu, mudhal kelvi to the in-laws family would have been " Ponnukku nandu seyya thriyumaa?" polirukku, hihhihi, instead of the usual question, " ponnukku paada/aada theriyuma?" , right?

naa vera indha jore-la mukkiyamaa recip-kku comment panna marandhra poren , hihihi

curry looks thick and nicely masalaad, this is how my sis does too, she is fond of these crabs too!!!

Ash said...

I love crab too.... My mom prepares it so well..... My hubby finds it eerie, still..... I tried to get him to, taste it, but he is not for it.... But anyways, I love them....


tasteofsaras said...

Viki that's a deliciously mouth-watering dish for the season..looks so spicy and love the rich gravy..should ask my hubby to prepare them tis weekend:)

Vikis Kitchen said...

Vino: Appadi rasichathellam kalyanam aana puthisile pa:) Ippo katheye vera...hi ..hi...En kolunthan kettikaran . Ponnukku paada / aada theriyatta paravayillai, TV le parthukkalam. Nandu varukka theriyama mudiyuma:) Sariyana saappattu rama kudumbama irukkonu payanthuttangalam:) I proved it by starting a food blog:)

Vikis Kitchen said...

Ashkuku: Thanks for the compliment dear. I think only we ladies are good at having non-veg:)

Vikis Kitchen said...

Saras: Thanks da. I am sure you will love it. Glad to know that your hubby can make nandu masala. Enjoy:)

Rina said...

Wow!!!! that is a yummy nandu kulambu..viki of our favs..

Devasena Hariharan said...

I like second pic. My mouth is watering. Only people who have tasted crabs, will know how delicious it is.

Its more than 1 1/2 years, since i had them. U made want them

Sashi said...

I never had nandu. I am very scared of them. Your Crab curry is giving me the feel to try them atleast once ..must be tasting very good Viki..

Unknown said...


You are amazing. Thank you so much for sharing all your receipts. You are like a fairy god mother to all the newly wed brides like me. Thank a lot :)

Vikis Kitchen said...

Thanks Keerthana. I am very much honored ..... Congrats on your cooking interest and keep rocking dear. With lots of prayers and well wishes for u and family,
Viki Xavier

Vikis Kitchen said...

Keerthana: You look very cute dear. Thanks for the comments. Well wishes for the couple.
Viki Xavier.