Kankrar Jhal

Kankrar Jhal

Kankra or crabs are immensely popular in Bengal. Crabs are invariably sold alive. Never buy dead ones. The fish seller will kill them and crack the claws for you.
Now, proceed this way. Wash the claws, legs and body, scrubbing the shells thoroughly. Discard the stomaach bag attached to the shell below the eyes. Also throw away the greyish-white-spongy, fern-like matter. Crack the claws and the small legs. The meat can be picked or left in the shells


Crabs - 4
Ginger - 2 cm piece
Garlic - 6 cloves
Mustard oil - 75ml
Onion, large - 1
Turmeric - ½ tsp
Chilli powder - 1 tsp
Salt - to taste
Mustard paste - 2 tbsp
Green chillies - 4


1. Clean as directed and soak the crabs in saline water for half an hour.
2. Grind the ginger and garlic.
3. Heat oil in a karahi. Add the chopped onion, and saute for 2-3 minutes.
4. Add the ground paste, turmeric, and chilli powder. Fry well on a low flame till the oil
5. separates and the spices are a light brown.
6. Put in the drained crabs and salt. Stir fry for a couple of minutes on medium heat or until the crabs have turned red.
7. Add the mustard paste, slit green chillies and ½ cup of water.
8. Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes or until crabs are cooked.
9. Serve with rice.

Bangla Ranna: An Introduction to Bengali Cuisine: Satarupa Banerjee
Publisher: Orient Longman