Nandu Masala / Crab Masala

Nandu masala is a spicy treat for non-vegetarians especially for those who love fresh seafood.

Nandu Masala / Crab Masala

If you are a fan of Indian cuisine and seafood, then you are in for a treat with this Nandu Masala recipe. This mouthwatering dish features tender crabs cooked with a flavorful blend of spices and coconut, creating a dish that is both delicious and memorable. Follow the simple instructions below to create this unique and aromatic Nandu Masala dish that is sure to impress your family and friends.

What Is Nandu Masala?

  • Nandu Masala is a traditional South Indian crab curry recipe that combines succulent crabs with a blend of aromatic Indian spices and unique seasoning. This mouthwatering dish is made by sautéing the crabs in a fragrant mixture of coconut, ginger, garlic, and a variety of spices, resulting in a delicious and flavorful masala coating. The combination of fresh ingredients and traditional Indian flavors makes Nandu Masala a popular and cherished dish among seafood lovers.

Why You'll Love Nandu Masala?

  • Delicious Texture: The Nandu Masala has a rich and flavorful texture, with the coarsely ground coconut mixture adding a delightful crunch to every bite. The masala coats the crab evenly, ensuring a burst of flavors in every mouthful.
  • Nutritional Benefits: Crabs are a great source of protein and are low in fat, making them a healthy option for a balanced diet. The addition of fresh coconut slices, ginger, and garlic enhances the nutritional value of this dish, offering a range of health benefits.
  • Rich in Spices: The combination of black pepper, cumin seeds, turmeric, and fennel seeds in the masala not only adds a depth of flavor but also provides various health benefits such as anti-inflammatory and digestive properties.
  • Satisfying and Filling: The Nandu Masala is a satisfying dish that not only tantalizes the taste buds but also leaves you feeling satisfied and full. The spiciness of the masala, combined with the tender crab meat, makes for a truly fulfilling meal.
  • Easy to Prepare: This recipe is easy to follow and can be prepared in a relatively short amount of time, making it an ideal choice for a quick and delicious meal.
  • Versatile Dish: Nandu Masala can be enjoyed as a main course with steamed rice or as a side dish with roti or naan. Its versatility makes it a great option for both lunch and dinner, catering to a variety of preferences and occasions.

Ingredients for Nandu Masala

  • Crabs: The main ingredient of Nandu Masala, crabs add a delicious seafood flavor and texture to the dish.
  • Sesame Oil: Used for cooking the masala, the oil adds a rich and aromatic base to the dish.
  • Fennel Seeds: Fennel seeds bring a subtle, sweet flavor and aroma to the masala.
  • Curry Leaves: Known for their distinct flavor, curry leaves add a unique taste to the dish.
  • Fresh Coconut Slices: The coconut slices provide a creamy and tropical flavor to the masala, enhancing its overall richness.
  • Black Pepper Corns: Adding a spicy kick and depth of flavor, black pepper corns are essential in creating the signature taste of Nandu Masala.

How To Make Nandu Masala?

  • To make Nandu Masala, start by grinding all the ingredients given under 'To grind' until coarsely.
  • Then, heat a pan with oil and add fennel seeds and curry leaves, followed by the ground coconut mixture.
  • Add turmeric powder, salt, and the cleaned crabs, and sauté until the masala coats.
  • Add water, cover, and cook until the crabs are fully cooked and the masala becomes thick. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve immediately.
  • The key steps in this recipe are grinding the coconut mixture, sautéing the crabs until the masala coats, and cooking until the masala becomes thick for a flavorful experience. Enjoy your Nandu Masala!

Serving Suggestions

  • Pair with Rice or Naan: Nandu masala goes great with steamed rice or naan, providing a hearty and satisfying meal.
  • Serve with Vegetable Curry: A side of vegetable curry like aloo gobi or bhindi masala can complement the flavors of the Nandu masala.
  • Accompany with Raita: A refreshing cucumber or onion raita can balance out the spice of the Nandu masala and add a cooling element to the meal.
  • Add a Side of Pickles: Spicy mango or lime pickles can add a tangy and zesty kick to the meal, enhancing the overall dining experience.
  • Pair with Roti or Paratha: For a lighter option, consider serving Nandu masala with roti or paratha for a well-rounded and satisfying meal.
  • Include a Salad: A simple side salad with fresh greens, tomatoes, and a squeeze of lemon can add a refreshing element to the meal.

Tips for Making Nandu Masala

  • Preparation Duration: The preparation time for nandu masala is relatively quick, especially if the crabs are already cleaned and cut. It should take about 15-20 minutes to grind the coconut mixture and gather all the other ingredients before starting the cooking process.
  • Cooking Techniques: To ensure that the masala coats the crab evenly, it's important to saute the crabs well after adding them to the pan. This step allows the flavors to infuse into the crab meat, resulting in a delicious dish.
  • Garnishing for Presentation: Garnishing with chopped coriander leaves not only adds a pop of color to the dish but also enhances the overall presentation. It's important to garnish just before serving to maintain the freshness and vibrant green color of the coriander leaves.
  • Adjusting Spice Level: If you prefer a spicier nandu masala, you can increase the quantity of green chilies or black peppercorns in the coconut mixture. Conversely, for a milder flavor, reduce the amount of these ingredients.
  • Checking for Doneness: It's crucial to ensure that the crab is fully cooked before serving. The color of the crab will change to a deep red when it is fully cooked, and the masala will coat the crab evenly, as shown in the picture.
  • Serving Immediately: Nandu masala is best enjoyed fresh and hot. Once the masala has thickened and coated the crab evenly, garnish it with coriander leaves and serve immediately for the best flavor and texture.

Variations for Nandu Masala

  • Spice Level: Adjust the amount of green chilies and black peppercorns to control the spice level of the dish. For a milder flavor, reduce the quantity, and for a spicier kick, increase the amount.
  • Coconut: Experiment with different forms of coconut, such as coconut milk or coconut cream, to bring a unique twist to the dish. This will also alter the consistency and richness of the masala.
  • Aromatic Herbs: Add in a variety of aromatic herbs like mint or cilantro to enhance the flavor profile. These herbs can bring freshness and depth to the dish.
  • Vegetables: Include vegetables like bell peppers, tomatoes, or onions to the masala for added texture and flavor.
  • Spices: Feel free to play around with the spices used in the dish. Consider adding garam masala, coriander powder, or even a pinch of cinnamon for a nuanced taste.
  • Protein options: Explore using different proteins like shrimp, fish, or even tofu as a substitute for crab to create a unique variation of the dish. Each protein will bring its own character to the masala.

How to Store Nandu Masala

Proper storage of the key ingredients in Nandu Masala recipe is crucial to maintain their freshness and enhance the flavors of the dish. Here are some simple storage tricks to keep your ingredients at their best:

  • Crabs: Store cleaned and cut crabs in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Make sure to use them within a day or two for the best taste and texture.
  • Fresh Coconut Slices: Place the fresh coconut slices in a resealable plastic bag and store them in the refrigerator. Alternatively, you can freeze them for longer shelf life.
  • Green Chili, Shallots, Ginger, and Garlic: These can be stored in a cool, dark place or in the refrigerator. Keep them dry to prevent spoilage.
  • Spices (Black Pepper Corns, Cumin Seeds, Fennel Seeds): Store these spices in airtight containers in a cool, dark place to maintain their flavor and aroma.
  • Fresh Coriander Leaves: Trim the ends of the coriander stems, place them in a glass of water, cover with a plastic bag, and store them in the refrigerator. Change the water every few days to keep them fresh.
  • Sesame Oil: Store the oil in a cool, dark place away from heat and light to prevent rancidity.

By following these storage tips, you can ensure that your Nandu Masala turns out flavorful and delicious every time you make it.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How can I adjust the spice level in Nandu Masala?

  • If you prefer a spicier Nandu Masala, you can increase the quantity of black pepper corns and green chili in the coconut mixture. On the other hand, if you prefer a milder flavor, you can reduce the amount of black pepper corns and green chili.

Can I use frozen crab for this recipe?

  • Yes, you can use frozen crab for this recipe. Make sure to thaw the crab completely before using it in the recipe, and adjust the cooking time accordingly to ensure it is fully cooked.

What can I substitute for fresh coconut slices?

  • If you do not have fresh coconut slices, you can use desiccated coconut or coconut milk as a substitute. However, the flavor and texture may vary slightly.

How do I know when the crab is fully cooked?

  • The crab is fully cooked when the color changes to a deep red and the masala has coated the crab evenly. You can also check for tenderness in the crab meat to ensure it is cooked through.

Can I make Nandu Masala in advance?

  • Nandu Masala is best served fresh, but you can prepare the coconut mixture in advance and store it in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. When ready to cook, simply saute the crabs and add the coconut mixture for a quick and delicious meal.

Can I use dried spices instead of fresh ones?

  • While fresh spices are recommended for the best flavor, you can use dried spices as a substitute. Just adjust the quantities accordingly, as dried spices are more potent than fresh ones.

Recipe Card

Nandu Masala/Crab Masala 2018-10-04 02:34:26

Nandu Masala/Crab Masala

Serves 4                             Print        

Prep Time   00:10        

Cook Time   00:15        

Total Time   00:25                      

Ingredients

  • 4 medium sized crabs, cleaned and cut into half          

To Temper

  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
  • few curry leaves
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • salt to taste          

To Grind

  • 1/2 cup fresh coconut slices
  • 1 green chili
  • 8 to 10 shallots
  • 1 inch fresh ginger
  • 4 to 5 garlic pods
  • 1 tsp black pepper corns
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • one handful fresh coriander leaves for garnishing        

Instructions

  • Place all the ingredients given under "To grind" in a mixie jar and grind until coarsely.
  • Meanwhile, heat a pan with oil over medium heat.
  • When the oil heats, add fennel seeds and curry leaves and fry until spluttering.
  • Then add the ground coconut mixture and give a good stir for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
  • Then add turmeric powder and salt and give a quick stir.
  • Now add the cleaned crabs and saute well until the masala coats.
  • At this stage, add 3/4 cup of water, cover and cook for 5 mins or until cooked.
  • The color of the crab changes into deep red when it is fully cooked, as it is shown in the picture.
  • Then remove the lid and cook for another 10 mins or until the masala becomes thick and it coats the crab evenly.
  • Finally, garnish it with chopped coriander leaves and serve immediately.         

By Santhi Therese    The Indian Claypot

https://theindianclaypot.com/

Step-By-Step Instructions:

Place all the ingredients given under
“To grind” in a mixie jar

and grind until coarsely.

Meanwhile, heat a pan with oil over medium heat.
When the oil heats, add fennel seeds and
curry leaves and fries until spluttering.

Then add the ground coconut mixture and
give a good stir for 30 seconds to 1 minute.

Then add turmeric powder and salt
and give a quick stir.

Now add the cleaned crabs and saute
well until the masala coats.

At this stage, add 3/4 cup of water,

cover and cook for 5 mins or until cooked.

The color of the crab changes into the deep red
when it is fully cooked, as it is shown in the picture.

Then remove the lid and cook for another
10 mins or until the masala becomes thick
and it coats the crab evenly.

Finally, garnish it with chopped coriander leaves
and serve immediately.

You may also like my other Indian Curries posts and recipes like Vendakkai Mor Kuzhambu / Okra Yogurt Gravy, Kadai Paneer Recipe, Mutton Peas Curry, Kadai Paneer Masala, Karela Curry / Bitter Gourd Curry, Mochai Kuzhambu Recipe / Fresh Field Beans Curry, Palak Paneer Recipe, Omelette Curry, Indian Fish Curry, Liver Recipe, Ginger Garlic Paste Recipe, Mutton Chukka Recipe, Paneer Jalfrezi Recipe, Chole Bhature / Chola Poori, Chettinad Egg Curry, Matar Paneer Masala, Indian Mutton Curry Recipe, Paneer Butter Masala, Soya Chunks Paneer Korma, Indian Chicken Curry with Potatoes .


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Vendakkai Mor Kuzhambu / Okra Yogurt Gravy
Kadai Paneer Recipe
Mutton Peas Curry
Kadai Paneer Masala
Karela Curry / Bitter Gourd Curry
Mochai Kuzhambu Recipe / Fresh Field Beans Curry
Palak Paneer Recipe
Omelette Curry
Indian Fish Curry
Liver Recipe
Ginger Garlic Paste Recipe
Mutton Chukka Recipe
Paneer Jalfrezi Recipe
Chole Bhature / Chola Poori
Chettinad Egg Curry
Matar Paneer Masala
Indian Mutton Curry Recipe
Paneer Butter Masala
Soya Chunks Paneer Korma
Indian Chicken Curry with Potatoes

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