Surround with a garland of watercress and serve with sautéed asparagus

Description: Coronation crab with spiced red rice

Coronation crab with spiced red rice

Serves 4

Preparation 30 min plus soaking and standing

Cooking 15 – 20 min

            400 – 450g (14oz -1lb) large dressed crab

            1 tsp nigella (kalonji) seeds, toasted

            Large bunch of watercress, washed

            Sautéed asparagus, to serve (optional)

For the curried mayonnaise

o   1 large egg yolk

o   1 heaped tsp Dijon mustard

o   300 ml (1/2 pint) good-quality oil (try half olive, half groundnut)

o   Juice of 1 lime

o   Juice of ½ lemon

o   1 – 2 heaped tsp garam masala

o   Pinch cayenne pepper, to taste

o   1 tsp cumin seeds, toasted and ground

o   1 – 2 heaped tbsp. hot mango chutney

o   1 tbsp double cream, or more

o   1 tbsp yogurt

o   Sea salt and black pepper

For the rice

o   300g (11oz) red Camargue rice (or other nutty rice)

o   2 tbsp olive oil

o   1 large onion, peeled and sliced

o   1/3 tsp cayenne pepper

o   1 tsp cumin seeds, toasted and crushed

o   1 heaped tbsp. raisins, soaked in hot water for 20 min and drained

o   1 tbsp coriander, chopped

o   2 tbsp flaked almonds, lightly toasted

1.    Check the white and dark crabmeat for any fragments of shell, then tip into a bowl.

2.    For the mayonnaise, mix the egg yolk and mustard together in a bowl. Gradually whisk in the oils, drop by drop to begin with until the mayo begins to thicken, and then in a steady stream. Once thick, incorporate the lime juice and then a little lemon juice. Stir in the spices and chutney, followed by the cream and yogurt. Season with salt and pepper to taste. You may wish to add a little more lemon juice and/ or cream for a more sauce-like consistency.

Description: the mayonnaise

The mayonnaise

3.    Stir 2 heaped tbsp. of the mayo into the crabmeat, then taste and add a little more if you think it needs it. The mayo should bring out the flavour of the crab, not overwhelm it. Allow to stand at room temperature for an hour or two before serving to let the flavours mingle.

4.    Meanwhile, cook the rice according to packet instructions until al dente. At the same time, heat the olive oil in a frying pan over a medium-high heat and sauté the onion until browned, adding the spices and some salt after a few seconds. Take off the heat. The moment you drain the rice, stir in the onion, raisins and coriander.

5.    Spoon the rice in a ring onto a large plate and scatter the almonds on top. Pile the crab in the middle and sprinkle over the nigella seeds. Surround with a garland of watercress and serve with sautéed asparagus

Description: serve with sautéed asparagus

Serve with sautéed asparagus

Cook’s note

For the sautéed asparagus, heat 2 tbsp fruity olive oil in a frying pan. Fry for 8 – 10 min with a little salt. Add pepper and the zest of 1 lemon and allow to cool.

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