Kakrar Jhal is one of the most common recipes of making crabs in every Bengali household. I’m not a big fan of having crab though, the eating process is too much tedious for me. I’ll choose a few pieces of Hilsa over crab and would be happy to deboning and eating them rather. 😉 But the men in my family love it. My husband cooks it every time and he follows my MIL’s version of cooking the crab. The spicy, crackling crab shell which leads you to the soft meat inside, eat it by mixing rice with the curry that is fiery, flavour-packed and has the right notes to tantalize your taste buds. And at the end, you’ll realize that one serving of rice is not enough!
Kakrar Jhal/Bengali style Crab Curry
- Crab/Kakra- 2 medium sized (500g approx.)
- Potato- 1 medium sized
- Onion- 1 large (chopped)
- Tomato- 2 medium sized (chopped)
- Garlic paste- ¾ tbsp
- Ginger paste- 1 tbsp
- Green chillies- 3-4 slitted (adjust the no. of chillies as per your tolerance)
- Kashmiri mirch powder- 1 tsp
- Cumin powder- 1 tsp
- Coriander powder- ½ tbsp
- Turmeric powder- ½ tsp
- Mustard oil- 5 tbsp
- Salt to taste
- Garam masala powder- ¼ tsp
- Fresh coriander leaves- 1 tsp (chopped)
- Bay leaf- 1-2
- Whole dry red chilli- 1 (broken into halves)
Clean the crab, the legs and body part should be separated before cooking. Usually at the time of buying the seller makes the cuts, so, we don’t need to cut the whole crabs at home.
Add ½ tsp turmeric powder and salt to the crabs, toss and keep aside.
Peel and cut the potato into cubes. Wash and keep aside.
Heat oil in a deep frying pan/kadai. Shallow fry the potatoes over medium heat until golden, remove and keep aside.
Add the crabs next and start frying them over medium heat for a minute, remove and keep aside.
In the remaining oil (3-4 tbsp oil should be there in the kadai, otherwise add some more oil) temper with all the ingredients mentioned ‘for tempering’, sauté for a few seconds. Now add the chopped onions, sauté over medium heat until light brown in colour. Next to add ginger-garlic paste, chopped tomatoes, kashmiri mirch powder, cumin powder, coriander powder, ½ tsp turmeric powder, and salt. Mix well and fry till the oil separates from the masala (1-2 minutes max). Add ½ cup of water (read note). Mix and give this a quick boil over high heat. Reduce the heat, add the crabs and potatoes now. Mix, cover and cook over low heat until the potatoes are done (15 minutes max). Add garam masala powder, mix gently. Garnish with coriander leaves, Remove from the heat.
Your spicy and delicious Kakrar Jhal is done. Serve hot with steamed rice.
The gravy of this Crab Curry should be on the thicker side. But you can always adjust the amount of water according to your preference.