Peetalu Pulusu (Crabs cooked in Onions and Tamarind Sauce)
Last friday when I was at fair price to buy some fruits I happened to find crabs and the funniest part is how I picked and put them in the plastic bag, Each time I pick a crab with the forceps kind of thing, those sharp edge legs get stuck on to the bag. It so happened that by the time I finished putting 3 crabs successfully in, half the bag was torn and the lady at the cleaning counter was laughing at me. Finally managed and gave it to the same old lady for cleaning. She was so nice enough to clean them up as they do it in India. Thanks to her, otherwise another exercise would have started at home :-).
Each crab should be cut into 2 pieces(if crabs are small leave them as they are) and the legs crushed slightly (with a pestle). Do not crush them fully, A slight crack on the shell is sufficient. Wash them thoroughly with water and set aside.
Salt - 2 tb sps (adjust according to taste)
chillie powder - 3 tbsps
green chillies - 6 (slit length wise)
tamarind - 1 big lemon size (soaked in 2 cups of water)
coriander leaves - 1 small bunch (finely chopped)
For the Gravy Masala
onions - 4 (slit lengthwise)
dhaniyalu(coriander seeds) - 3 tb sps
jeera(cumin) - 2 tb sps
garlic - 5 cloves
1X1" ginger piece
How to cook them:
1. Grind all the ingredients for the masala to smooth paste and set aside.
2. In a deep kadhai heat 4 tb sps of oil, add crabs with 2 tb sps of salt, 3 tb sps of chillie powder, 1 tsp of turmeric, 6 green chillies and mix well for all the crabs to get coated evenly.
2. Cover and cook for 5 mts on low flame. Add masala paste, mix well. Cover and cook for 10 mts on low flame.
3. Remove the lid and add tamarind juice. Increase the flame and allow to cook for 5 mts. Lower the flame again, cover and cook for about 30 mts till the tamarind sauce turns to gravy consistency. Adjust salt according to taste.
4. Garnish with chopped coriander and serve with hot rice.