Chef Roger Mooking found his inspiration under the sea for this signature curry dish from Tobago. Using fresh blue crabs, diced onions and bird’s eye chili, this spicy feast pairs perfectly with plump, homemade dumplings.
To begin, ensure all crabs have rubber bands around pincers. Remove the abdomen with your fingers. Also called the apron; the abdomen is the flap of shell on the underside of the crab. Then, remove the outer shell by sticking a thumb into the hole left from removing the abdomen and lifting up firmly. If you have any trouble handling the live crab, the crab can be killed quickly by a blow to the abdomen. The shell should detach from the body with some guts attached.
To clean the crab; remove and discard the leaf-like, spongy gills from either side of the body. Then rinse out the greenish-brown colored guts under running water. Break off and discard the mandibles, which are the mouthparts at the front of the crab. Once cleaned, cut each crab in half, separating the left from the right side of the body. Continue by cutting each of those halves, in half so the legs are still attached to the body. In a bowl, squeeze the juice of 1 lemon on top of crab and toss. Set aside until ready to cook.
For the curry: Combine curry powder with 3/4 cups of water to make a thick paste, then set aside. Heat a large metal pot on medium-high heat. Add in oil. Once hot, add diced onions and let cook until very dark, about 5-10 minutes depending on the size of your pot. Add in garlic and cook another 1-2 minutes. Add in curry paste and stir continuously for about 1 minute, then add the birds eye chilies. Using a whisk, pour in 3 cups of water, whisking constantly to avoid lumps. Turn up heat and bring to a boil. Add in crabs and stir to combine. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook for 5- 6 minutes, until cooked through. Once crabs are cooked, gently add in cooked dumplings and toss in sauce to heat through. Serve hot on a platter, family style. Garnish with sliced green onion.
Combine all the dry ingredients in a medium sized bowl and mix. Add water until just combined and knead for one minute on a lightly floured table. Cover with plastic wrap and allow the dough to rest for 5 minutes. Divide the dough into 4 equal balls and place in the palm of your less dominant hand. Smash the dough ball with the side of your palm like a cleaver until you get an oval shaped dumpling with slightly thicker edges. About 5 inches long. Bring a pot of well salted water to the boil. When water is at a rolling boil, add in dumplings one at a time and cook for about 5-6 minutes. Remove from pot with a slotted spoon and set aside.