Tuesday 11 March 2014

Chettinad Crab Soup
This is Authentic Chettinad Nandu Rasam recipe followed in our family. Crab Rasam is good home remedy for common colds. In general, eating crab increases body heat( temperature). My granny says, the juice of crabs removes cold mucus from chest and relieves from cold.
Not only crab rasam is prepared for treating colds it is very delicious in taste and can be prepared any day. 
*Please read the chefs tips given below, to know how this rasam can be prepared in two ways.

Carbs - 1 kg ( medium whole crabs - 4 nos)
Onion chopped - 1 no
Tomato chopped - 1 no
Curryleaves chopped - few
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Salt to taste
Vadagam or fennel seeds for tempering - 1/2 tsp
Oil - 2 tsp

Rasam masala to grind
Coriander seeds - 3 tsp
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Black peppercorns - 1 tsp
Dry red chillies - 3
Fennel seeds ( sombu) - 1 tsp
Onion chopped - 1/2 no
Garlic cloves - 4 nos

Chettinad Nandu Rasam
1. Clean and wash crabs set aside.
2. Dry roast the ingredients given under rasam masala( except onions and garlic) for few mins on medium heat until aromatic. Grind the roasted ingredients to smooth paste along with onions and garlic, by adding a tsp of water if required.
3. Heat oil in a wide and deep pot or pan, add vadagam or fennel seeds to the pan, followed by adding chopped onion, curry leaves and tomatoes. Saute for few seconds.
4. Reduce pot heat, add the ground masala to the pot, stir well the masala and cook for a minute.
5. Add turmeric and 2 and 1/4 cups of water to the pot, season with salt and mix well. Increase the pot heat, cover with lid and let rasam boil for 7 to 8 mins.
6. Add the washed crabs to boiling rasam, stir well and simmer for 5 mins and until crabs turn orange-red in color.
7. Serve hot crab rasam as soup or along with steamed rice.

Chefs tips
1. If you don't have time to grind fresh masala, you can substitute it with 2 tsp readymade rasam powder, but taste will be different.
2. If crab rasam is not prepared for treating colds, then add 1/2 cup of coconut milk to the rasam at final stage and remove rasam from heat. This is because coconut milk cools down the body temperature, it will reduce the body heat generated by crab consumption. If the rasam is prepared for treating cold, do not add coconut milk, as the coconut milk will make the cold severe.
How to clean crabs.
Its so easy to clean the crabs, though it looks freaking scary. Pull the top crab shell from side, gently insert a knife on the side of crab and give a lift. The shell comes out smoothly. There will be some liquid and eggs in female crabs, discard those dirt. Trim the end of the legs and wash the crabs whole couple of times. If your crabs are too big you can halve them.
Nandu Rasam