The natural sweetness of the crab and onion is complemented by the sour tang of tamarind and the aroma of garam masala (Garam masala is a blend of ground spices common in North India, South India, Pakistan, and other South Asian cuisines. It is used alone or with other seasonings)
- 3 lbs (1 1/3 kgs) whole live crabs
- 4 cups (1 liter) water for boiling the crabs
- 4 dried red chilies, soaked
- 3 tablespoons chopped onion
- 2 whole cloves garlic
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 1/4 teaspoon ground tumeric
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- 2 teaspoons tamarind pulp soaked in 2 tablespoons water, mashed and stained to obtain the juice
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- 1 cup (250 ml) water
Plunge the live crabs into about 4 cups ( 1 liter) of boiling water for 3 minutes, then drain. Clean the crabs and discard the spongy grey matter. Use a cleaver to chop the crabs into large pieces;smash the claws lightly with the side of a cleaver to allow the flavors to penetrate.
Drain the chilies and tranfer to a blender, add the onion and garlic and blend to paste. Heat the oil in a pan, stir-fry the chili paste for 4 minutes till fragrance. Stir in turmeric and fry for 1 minutes. Add the crabs and fish sauce and mix thoroughly. Cover and cook over a medium heat for 5 minutes , stirring occacionally. Add the tamarind juice, garam masala, and water to the crabs, bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes.