Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Indian Crab Cakes With Mint Chutney

This is one of my favorite crab cake recipes, a classic American dish that has been dressed up with coconut, chili peppers, corn and carrots. They are delicious prepared per the instructions {frying them in oil} but I have experimented over the years and prefer a healthier preparation noted below. These crab cakes are flavorful enough to eat without any chutney, but if you are a big fan of mint, try the unique mint chutney recipe below. {No photo for this - mine turned out too dark and we ate the crab cakes before I could re-shoot!}

Indian Crab Cakes With Mint Chutney

1 lb lump crab meat, shredded {Whole Foods or Santa Monica Seafood}
1 c frozen corn, thawed
1 c fresh chopped chives
1/2 c shredded carrots
1/2 c finely diced celery
1/2 c unsweetened shredded coconut
4 serrano chilies, minced {include the seeds to maintain some heat}
1/2 c plain bread crumbs
1/4 c all-purpose flour 
Kosher salt, to taste
1 large egg, beaten
1 T fresh lemon juice
1/3 c - 1/2 c milk {use 1/3c initially and add more as needed}
canola oil
- and for the mint chutney
2 c + 1/2 c loosely packed fresh mint leaves
1 serrano chili, coarsely chopped
2 T fresh lemon juice
1/2 t sugar {I use Stevia}
2 T water
Kosher salt, to taste

Preheat oven to 200 degrees. 

In a large bowl, combine all crab cake ingredients except canola oil. The mixture should hold together when shaped.  If not, add more milk, up to 1/2 c total.

Shape crab cakes by scooping out 1/3 c for each crab cake.

Cooking option 1, per the recipe: Heat 1 c oil in a deep 12" skillet over medium heat. When hot, add half the crab cakes and cook 3-4 minutes until bottoms are browned.  Gently flip each crab cake over using two wide metal spatulas. Cook another 3-4 minutes until bottoms are browned. Remove crab cakes from the skillet, pat dry with paper towels and place in the oven on a baking sheet to keep warm. Repeat with remaining crab cakes.

Cooking option 2, healthier:  Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Add just enough canola oil to coat the bottom of the skillet, 2-3 T. Swirl until oil is evenly distributed. Heat the skillet over medium and when hot add half the crab cakes. Cook until bottoms are just turning golden, about 1 minutes.  Gently flip each crab cake over using two wide metal spatulas.  Cook another minute or so, until the bottoms are just turning golden. Transfer to a baking sheet.  Repeat with remaining crab cakes, adding another T of oil to the skillet if necessary. Bake the crab cakes until set, 15-20 minutes.

To make the mint chutney: Combine all chutney ingredients in a food processor or blender and puree.

Serves 6 as a starter.
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Source:  Padma Lakshmi

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