Kill the Dungeness crab, remove the shell, cut the legs at the joints, scrape the tiny hair on either side of the crab legs, remove the gills, mucous, clean well, rinse and set aside. Check out my other recipe which gives details on what you need to know about crab and also how to clean it.
Pound the legs a bit or put small slits on them with a knife carefully. This is done to make the masala seep inside when it is being cooked which makes the meat flavourful and juicy.
Heat the oil in a pot. Add whole spices - pepper corns, cloves, cardamom, cinnamon, curry leaves and sliced onions. Caramelize the onions well till they are golden in colour. Meanwhile roast the black pepper, cumin and fennel seeds. Pound the black pepper and crush the fennel and cumin seeds slightly coarse in a mortar and pestle and set aside.
Grind together all the ingredients of the wet ground masala with a little water and set aside.
Throw the crab into the caramelized onion mixture in the pot, close the lid and let them steam till they change colour to pink - 5 minutes.
Now add the dry roast masala, give it a stir then the wet ground masala, some salt and mix well. Pour 1/2 a cup of water around the sides of the pot to wash away the masala sticking to the sides and let it simmer on low for 10 mins or just till the masala thickens and coats the crab. Do not over cook as it will turn dry and rubbery. The crab is now almost ready.
Garnish by sprinkling some freshly pounded black pepper on the crab and dish it out. Enjoy with coconut rice and steamed veggies or water cress salad. I served some fried fish and steamed bok choy and another time with some water cress salad. So delicious!