I awas delighted to find these fresh crayfish tails – the recipe was not on my list of dishes to prepare for the Sugar ‘n Spice ‘Feast of Eid’ show but I insisted on making a few last-minute changes to share my rare find with the viewers!
The tails are simmered in a fiery ‘South Indian’ style sauce, with aromatic curry leaves and a generous dose of black pepper! I add a little cream to soften the sharpness of the tomatoes – it’s not traditional but it works well. A note about tomatoes: I prefer using Spar tinned Italian tomatoes for this recipe – it gives you a consistently good sauce every time! I used a large AMC pot to prepare the tails and place them in a single layer so they cook evenly…remove the AMC pot from the heat once the tails start to curl – do not overcook the tails.
I prefer serving this with soft rotis or crusty bread. A pilau rice would also work nicely!
12 crayfish tails, shelled and de-veined
60ml sunflower oil or Spar light olive oil
5ml mustard seeds
5ml cumin seeds
1 large onion, finely chopped
7ml coarse salt
2 sprigs of curry leaves
15ml crushed garlic
15ml red chilli powder
2 x 400g tins Spar chopped tomatoes
10ml roasted ground coriander
5ml roasted ground cumin
100ml fresh cream
10ml dried kasori methi
15ml freshly ground black pepper
Curry leaves and fresh coriander to garnish
Heat the sunflower oil in a 40cm AMC electric roaster.
Add the mustard seeds and when the begin to splutter, sprinkle in the cumin seeds.
When the cumin seeds turn golden brown, add the chopped onion, salt and curry leaves.
Saute until the onions are light golden brown.
Add the crushed garlic and stir until fragrant taking care not to let it burn.
Add the red chilli powder and stir fry the onions for 3 – 5 seconds.
Add the tinned tomatoes, and stir well.
Sprinkle in the ground coriander, cumin and turmeric and simmer on a medium heat until the tomatoes soften.
Place the crayfish tails in the tomatoes and simmer until the tails change colour and start to coil up.
Add a little boiling water if the sauce is too thick.
Pour the fresh cream over the tails and add a pinch of sugar.
Use your fingertips to crush the kasori methi over the pan and simmer until the tails are cooked through.
Sprinkle the black pepper over the cooked tails and stir gently.
Garnish with curry leaves and coriander.
Prawns can be used instead of crayfish.
Kasori methi can be found in Indian grocers.