A south Indian version of crab curry from ” The cooking of Southern India” by Rafi Fernandez.
Remove the large crab shells and discard any fibrous tissue found under the shell. Divide each body into four. Break the large claws and crack with a hammer. Separate smaller claws and leave whole.
Heat the oil and fry the onion, garlic, ginger, tomatoes and green chillies until the onions are translucent. Remove from the oil, blend in a food processor and set aside.
Dry roast the coconut, aniseed, poppy seeds, almonds and then grind to a smooth paste. Mix in the garam masala, ground coriander and chilli powder and set aside.
Reheat the oil in a large pan and fry the cinnamon and cardamons until aromatic. Add the onion and spices paste and stir fry for two minutes. Add the crab and claws and mix well.
Add the hot water and simmer for about 15 minutes until the crab is cooked through. Serve hot.
You can make this using 1lb fresh crab meat instead of crab in its shell. Only use 1/4 pint water and simmer for 7-10 minutes only.