It’s an era, where the age old things are coming up in a gourmet style in the culinary arena. As in every field, the advancement, trend and finesse in the gastronomic area are also getting sophisticated. This is seen in our region also and toddy shop food is no exception. It has gained so much acceptance, that its spread can be seen in households, restaurants and fine dining.
It has a rich cultural heritage and offers travelers a unique experience, which is why people from the world over travel to this backwater paradise. But no trip to Kerala is complete without tasting the quintessential Malabar cuisine and a local drink that people here swear by: Kerala Toddy which is also know as Thengin Kallu.
Apart from the liquor, toddy shops are also famous for their food. One can expect to find a selection of fresh seafood and protein cooked in spicy masalas to go with the sweet and heady drink. Toddy is nothing but the sap got from incising the clusters of the coconut mostly not fermented. Later when kept aside for itself to be fermented it is called as palm wine. Kerala toddy is also referred to as foreigners as coconut vodka which has many health benefits too.
My mother-in-law used to treat my cousin and niece with this for wheezing. This treatment repeated a couple of times completely cured my cousins wheezing. It keeps fresh and healthy. The lauric acid contained in toddy is much better than baby processed milk.
It has low glycemic index so it doesn’t increase the sugar level of the body like other fruits, so diabetic patients can drink. Its a good body cooler and is better for food digestion. Its sweet in taste and must consume within 12 hours other wise it turns to alcoholic or contain acidic and sour taste. Contain Vitamin B Complex and low in calories. Frequent consumption will prevent disease like jaundice and make healthier. Detox drink that have no side effect. Prevent cough and sneezing. Used in Ayurveda medication. These are natural positives of toddy. But this drink when converted to an alcohol format have many disadvantages too.
We get several products and by products from this liquid. Palm jaggery, vinegar and yeast are main ones. It works as a leavening agent when making appams of different varieties some of which can be found in toddy shops. The preparations in toddy shops include non vegetarian dishes mainly seafood and beef which are extremely hot and spicy. The masalas will be always on the higher side. Even I made this crab hot and spicy not to the extreme of the shop style. I do not like nor anyone in the family likes overpowering of spices. I made the masala and cooked it in the spices itself. The basic recipes which are followed by the shops, boil the crab separately and then add to the sauteed spices. I feel that this will not give the flavor to deep inside the crab. Also this is much easier.
I got large ones which was full of flesh and it was so fresh, it was an ultimate decadence for us. Though it may not be so common in India, this is one of the widely available crab in this region. Soups, cakes, bisques, wraps and much more dishes are prepared with this wonderful shell fish. I love to steam and have the crabs which are so so good and easy. Crab soup is one of my another favorites. To start off with, Im sticking to the popular Indian way of cooking the crabs.
You can also add garam masala if you don’t have the meat masala, though you will not get the exact taste. I’m a person who do not prefer the shop bought masalas but there are some dishes where you cannot avoid this. So for this purpose, I always store one in my pantry.
I avoid this at any cost, if possible as I feel a pungent, kicking smell for these instant masala powders. But this dish gets that extra punch from this meat masala powder and this crab preparation is a much sought after dish in our family. Try this out and enjoy !!!! Don’t forget to get back to me with all your comments in the comment box or through e mail. Your feedbacks are my motivation and guide.
Clean, wash and cut the crabs into half separating the legs.
Slice the shallots, ginger garlic into juliennes. Chop the chillies and tomatoes.
Marinate the crab with all the powders along with salt and sprinkle of water. Keep aside for sometime.
Heat a pan, add coconut oil. Add the chopped chillies, ginger garlic juliennes and curry leaves. Saute for a minute till fragrant.
Add the shallots and saute everything till soft and slightly changes its color.
Now pop in the marinated crab and saute on high flame till the raw flavor of the masalas are imparted.
Add the tamarind extract and give a quick stir followed by the tomatoes. Combine everything until well integrated. Allow this to boil by adding the water. Stick the lid on and cook till done.
Reduce the gravy to a thick consistency. Add some curry leave and sprinkle some coconut oil.
Serve hot with boiled rice or bread of your choice.