What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear 'San Francisco' ? If your instant answer is the Golden Gate Bridge, please congratulate yourself. You belong to the category of normal or sane people walking on the surface of this blue planet. Why ? The Golden Gate Bridge is the most photographed bridge of the world ? Oh sure you knew ....
Or did somebody whisper 'Crabs at Fisherman's Wraf' ? Welcome aboard. I don't want to be the only insane, crazy Crustacean eater. The Golden Gate and other things are secondary !
The first time I was at Fisherman's Wraf I just went crazy at the very sight of these one pound ones. They were huge as compared to their cousins residing in the Bay of Bengal. All I needed was salt, pepper, lime juice and a little space in those tight shops selling sea food. Forgetting all codes of conduct I started with my hands ... I didn't require any of those sophisticated tools for cracking the claws. J stared at me startled ...... "Crabby Girl" was his clear expression. I ignored all that and the crowd around me and continued cracking my crab trying to reach the sweet meat in every corner and then smacking it clean.
When I turned around to ask the shop guy for another one ...... the self looked empty. This Chinese guy selling crabs signaled that the crabs are gone. The only thing I understood from his broken english was that I needed to wait for two more hours if I wished for another one. The next trailer with this priced Pacific catch would arrive at 9.30 pm he said.
Was the wait worth, especially in the month of December when the chilled Pacific wind freezes you. Yes without a doubt !
The crabby affair continues till date. I go nuts at the very sight of these . Ask me if I am willing to take a six hours flight from New York to San Francisco ...... The answer is 'Yes' (Courtesy if it is a Business Trip).
For the time being I have to satisfy myself with the ones available in the neighborhood sea food stores. The guy selling those tells me that these crabs travel all the way from the Pacific coast to make it to my kitchen. I have no option but to believe him for the love of these beautiful creations of God !!
So get your hands dirty and enjoy !!
Preparation Time - 40 minutes
Crabs Cleaned Cooked and de shelled - 2
Potato - 1 medium
Chopped Onion - 1 medium
Ginger - 1 inch
Garlic Cloves - 2 big
Cumin Seeds - 1 tsp
Coriander Seeds - 1tsp
Dry Red Chilies - 2
Cinnamon - 1 inch
Cumin Powder - 1/2 tsp
Garam Masala Powder - 1 big pinch
Turmeric - 1/2 tsp
Red Chili Powder - 1/2 tsp (per taste)
Bay Leaf - 1
Salt per taste
Mustard Oil for cooking ( You can also use Canola/Vegetable Oil)
Method of Preparation
1. Cut potatoes into wedges. For the masala make a smooth paste of onion, ginger and garlic Coriander seeds, cumin seeds, dry red chilies and cinnamon in a blender.
2. Heat Mustard Oil in a kadhai and fry the potato wedges on both sides till golden brown. Remove and keep aside.
3 Reduce the heat and add the bay leaf. Add the masala, turmeric, red chili powder and salt. Fry till the masala is cooked and there is no raw smell.
4 Add water to make a gravy of diluted consistency. Add the Potato wedges and crabs. Simmer for 5 minutes. Sprinkle garam masala powder and cook for one more minute.
Serve warm with plain rice.
Oops ...... Sorry I forgot about the normal people who are not crabby and who would visit SFO for reasons more than crabs .... Here is the list of things you can do when in this beautiful city .... But my last word - Do check out the Pacific Crabs ;-)
1 Golden Gate Bridge
2 China Town
5 Pier 39
6 Fisherman's Wraf
7 The Exploratorium
8 Cable Cars
9 Coit Tower