Indonesian curried crab

Yield: 4 servings

Measure Ingredient
\N \N Stephen Ceideburg
2 \N Blue crabs
6 \N Shallots
2 \N Stalks lemon grass
2 teaspoons Tamarind
½ cup Boiling water
1 \N Handful coriander leaves
3 \N Cloves garlic
1 tablespoon Fresh galangal
2 \N To 3 birdseye chillies, seeded
4 \N Candlenuts
1 teaspoon Blachan
1 teaspoon Tumeric
\N \N Salt and pepper to taste
3 tablespoons Oil
2 cups Coconut milk

Cut 4 green blue swimmers into quarters with a cleaver or large knife. With a hammer, gently crack the claws and harder sections of shell.

Finely chop 6 shallots and 2 stalks lemon grass. Steep 2 teaspoons tamarind in half a cup of boiling water. Chop a handful of fresh coriander leaves.

In a food processor, grind together 3 cloves garlic, 1 tablespoon fresh galangal, 2-3 birdseye chillies, seeded, 4 candlenuts (or substitute 8-10 cashews) and 1 teaspoon blachan (hard dark brown shrimp paste), 1 teaspoon turmeric and salt and pepper to taste.

Heat 3 tablespoons oil in a large wok or pan, and fry the paste until fragrant. Add shallots, lemon grass, crab pieces and 2 cups coconut milk. Simmer for quarter of an hour. Strain the tamarind water and add half to the sauce. Taste and add more if you wish. Ladle curvy into a serving dish and scatter the fresh coriander on top. Serve with plain rice.

From an article by Meryl Constance in The Sydney Morning Herald, 5/18/93. Courtesy Mark Herron.

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