Snow hunting, and crab curry Chef Rev

2016-08-10 06:00


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GROWING up in humid Durban, “winter” was always an unusual phenomenon. Our 15°C winters were nothing in comparison to our northern hemisphere counterparts, but just in case we were always prepared.

Always prepared with warm soups and curries, but this winter, however, I have to admit, is slightly more than I expected for Durban.

Snow on the berg and icy mornings signaled one thing … a hot Durban crab curry.

A quick visit to the KZN Midlands to catch a glimpse of the snow and maybe build a snowman seemed like a good idea, but then so did everyone else in KZN. I was cold and tired, not so much because of snow hunting or snowman building, rather because of the slow moving traffic.

So without too much fuss we turned around and headed back home and the one thing I was able to do was get home without traffic and cook a crab curry perfectly suited for the weather.

Cooking a crab curry is easier than one would expect and yields a delicious winter treat and it’s quick and hearty - my two favourite ingredients.

This is my mom’s recipe we have making for many years and its usually paired with rice, but I find it much better to pair with crusty buns.

Grab curry
Cleaning the crab

Like all shellfish they must be cleaned well. Start with disjointing the legs – remove the centre shell and devein – wash thoroughly. I also crack the shell on the legs so that the juices cook into the meat.

• 3kg crab - orange crab bought from my supermarket

• half a cup vegetable oil – ghee and/or clarified butter works if you have some

• 8 large tomatoes, diced with skin on (canned tomatoes will suffice)

• 2 large onions, thinly sliced

• 2 tablespoons crushed ginger and garlic

• 4 large tablespoons masala and chilli powder to taste

• 1 teaspoon: turmeric, black pepper, coriander powder and cumin

• 5 curry leaves, 2 bay leaves and handful of fresh coriander

• 1 aniseed and clove

• salt


Add oil and onions to hot large pot. Cook onions until brown. Add dry spices, curry and bay leaves. Stir for 3-4 minutes until the heat releases the flavours. Add aniseed, clove and tomatoes. Add a cup of water and put the lid on. Cook for about 20 minutes until the tomatoes have melted into a rich gravy. Add your crab – cover with another cup of water and cook for an additional 30 minutes on high heat. Add fresh coriander and salt and serve piping hot with your crusty buns. Enjoy.


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