End of Year is Nigh/Crab & Quail Egg Curry

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I can’t believe it’s going to be 2016 in about 5 days (!!!). When you get older, life becomes lightning fast and the next thing you know, you’re looking at pictures taken that year, and you say, “Wow, we did that…” At least, that’s how I feel currently.

I was planning to write a post about how we pulled off our awesome wedding this year on a tight budget. I’m not sure if I’ll get around to it by the end of the year, but maybe I will by the end of January. I wanted to write it so if there’s anyone out there stressing out about the price tag of a wedding (like we were!), it can be done, girls and boys, and you will make it spectacular.

I also wanted to write a post about being a small business owner and the (hard) lessons I learned these past two years. See above paragraph on that timeline.

Soooo, if you’re here for the recipe, don’t read any of the long text at the bottom. It’s all kinda personal and very end-of-the-year-y, and after some long thought, I felt that it was okay to be vulnerable and blast it on the net.

This is a Bastardized™ recipe for South Indian inspired crab curry. There is a restaurant in Pasadena called Akbar, and their version of this is an ass-scorching wonderful curry, but it’s got tamarind in it, so Yobo can’t have any. I tweaked the recipe by adding quail eggs, because you always have to kick it up a notch. What I ended up with was a delicious legume-free version and I even licked the pan before I washed it. I’m an animal, sue me.

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SOUTH INDIAN (inspired) CRAB CURRY W/ QUAIL EGGS- serves 2-3

  • 1/2 pound crab meat (or 2 small tins of crab meat)
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoons ground ginger
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons of ground cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons Madras curry spice mix
  • 2 tablespoons garam masala
  • quail eggs (I used half a can)
  • coconut cream
  • 3 tablespoons of butter
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons red chili flakes (not pictured)
  • pinch of sugar (not pictured)
  • pinch of cumin (not pictured)

Mince your cloves of garlic. On medium heat in a flat bottomed pan, melt the butter. Once the butter has melted, add the garlic and salt and stir for almost a minute. Do not let the garlic burn. Add the pepper, ground ginger, stir to combine. Add the cinnamon, curry spice, garam masala. Once spices have become a buttery paste, add the tomato paste. If it’s too thick, add more butter.

To deepen the flavor of your curry base, raise the heat a little until a thin crust forms on the bottom of your tomato paste spice mixture. This should not take more than 2 minutes. Add the coconut cream and stir until everything has dissolved into creamy sauce. Add the sugar, cumin, and chili flakes. Lower the heat and add the crab meat, stir to combine. Let it simmer for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the quail eggs, stir, and let simmer for another 5 minutes.

Chop some cilantro and add as a garnish.

Serve immediately with basmati rice or naan.

Notes:
You can easily double this recipe and use the whole (large) can/tin of crab meat. I have a two person household, so I saved the other half of the tin for another recipe.
You can adjust the level of spiciness by adding more red pepper flakes or smoked black chili pods (which is what they use at Akbar).
The use of coconut cream vs. coconut milk was a game changer. It turned my curry into a real curry if that makes any sense. Use that if you can get your hands on some, or let simmer longer to thicken the sauce if you’re using coconut milk.

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Are you still around? Nice. Hi! What I’m going to do here is write about how lucky I am. I am usually a cynical person. I have my (hopefully rational) reasons and I tend to veer into glass-is-half-empty territory, always on my guard. Read my autobiography in the near future. It will make sense. BUT, there’s another part of me whom is bubbly and effervescent, and I’m trying not to let that person get mauled by Life. Aren’t we all?

I have been making a conscious effort to always be learning from everything and everyone, good and bad. I think this is why I’m extra empathetic, even when I shouldn’t be and the other person might not deserve it on paper. Because of this, I have no problem identifying all the things that remind me not to take anything for granted. ANYWAY, I had a point before I started waxing emo.

Today and this year, I am grateful that the wedding was a resounding success. I am grateful for all of the friends who have stuck around and had good times and venting times with me. I am grateful to have a home whose clutter I can complain about. I am grateful that I have a laptop, a replacement phone, working kettle for my tea fix, and a toilet that flushes all the big shits away (people take this for granted!). I am grateful to have a cupboard full of tea and wine for impromptu guests. I am grateful for internet so I can binge watch Gran Hotel, El Tiempo Entre Costuras, The Fall, Broadchurch Season 2, and Call the Midwife. (<– I watched all these shows this year, wow!) I am grateful to have my family, dysfunctional as they are, because they fill my life with noise, our unique brand of love, and learning lessons. With this, I am grateful for my sister, who is my sister in every sense of the word, but also my Friend — which is a heavy word — and also my batty comrade-in-arms. Stories will be written about us (I’ll probably be the one writing them). And though I feel like I could do with more quality friends, no one shines brighter than BFF. I can’t imagine my life without her. She is there mentally at every stage that I envision my life, and I can’t believe how lucky I am that we found each other and became best friends. She is blissfully unperfect, whereas I try to be. She is my Person and Family (Family does not have to be blood) and I am a more open-minded (and better) person because of it. And, most importantly, I can come home at the end of a long day and be with my husband. I feel like all of these blessings are best appreciated with him by my side. He is everything and the opposite of stunting my growth. He’s had my back more than anyone else this year and been my cheerleader, socio-political correspondent, fellow music lover, personal rock star, spider-smasher, bedmaker, heating blanket, hero, taste tester, and sofa therapist. He is one of the best people I know. He keeps me stronger, better, faster, smarter. We are a team. He is home. I am so lucky, and I don’t care how sentimental this all sounds.

Happy rest of your Holidays and Happy New Year! May you always remember to feel lucky and always strive to be the best version of yourself. And may I feel motivated enough for one more post by the end of the year, however unlikely.

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