The Ambrette is a restaurant in Margate, Kent promoting seasonal and exotic ingredients. Headed by chef Dev Biswal, it has been recognised for its innovative cuisine becoming a finalist in the National Restaurant Awards against none other than Heston Blumenthal’s Fat Duck at Bray, putting them firmly on the culinary map.
Here they share their recipe for crab to make the most of the local season:
The species of crab we use is Cancer pagurus, commonly known as the edible crab or brown crab, is a species of crab found in the North Sea, North Atlantic Ocean and perhaps in the Mediterranean Sea. It is a robust crab of a reddish-brown colour, having an oval carapace with a characteristic “pie crust” edge and black tips to the claws. These are plenty and are very reasonable during this time of the year off the Thanet coast. Over all the species is the subject of the largest crab fishery in Western Europe, centred around the coasts of the British Isles, with more than 60,000 tonnes caught annually.
2 medium sized crabs,each about 400g
2tsp ground turmeric
150g onions roughly chopped
4tbsp mustard oil
100g potatoes,peeled and cut into wedges
2 bay leaves
5cm cinnamon stick
2 green cardamom pods
2tsp green chilli paste
2 tsp ginger garlic paste
1 medium sized tomato, finely chopped
400 ml water
Add the crabs to boiling hot water and boil for five minutes. Take them out, clean and crack the claws.
Smear with turmeric and 1/2 tsp salt. Process the onions in a blender or food processor to a paste.
Heat oil in a deep sauté pan. Add the crabs and sauté lightly for two minutes until the shells turn colour. Remove and set aside. Add the potatoes to the pan and sauté until golden. Remove and set aside.
Heat butter in a sauce pan and sauté the bay leaves,cloves,cinnamon and cardamom for two minutes. Add the onion paste and cook for another four minutes. Add the chilli and the ginger garlic paste and cook for another two minutes. Add the chopped tomato and cook for another three to four minutes.
Add the crab and cook with the spices. Add the potatoes with half tsp salt and sugar.
Pour 400ml of water and simmer for twenty minutes. Serve hot with rice.