Friday night in our house is, as I've said before, very frequently curry night. Sometimes this means takeaway; other times I feel like cooking it myself (curry isn't difficult to make, but on Fridays I often prefer to inhabit the living room rather than the kitchen. The rest of the time, the kitchen feels like my space). Yesterday, I had decided to cook and bought some freshly picked crabmeat in preparation for this curry, but my throat began to hurt on the way home from work and I realized I was coming down with a cold. I used to get colds a lot - at university, they struck me down fairly regularly, as soon as the holidays began, and when I first began to teach then I inevitably caught a cold in Fresher's week (commonly known as Freshers' Flu) along with all the new undergraduates. More recently I have been careful to ward that off by stoking up my vitamin C levels and not opening my mouth too wide when in the same room as alcohol-dulled and sleep-deprived Freshers, making the most of their first time away from home. I haven't had many colds in the last couple of years (touching wood as I write this); Simon catches colds more than me these days. I am, however, not entirely immune and last night I found myself with a scratchy throat and runny nose - that is, in the condition I like to describe as 'cold-infested'.
Cold notwithstanding, the crab curry turned out to be easy and quick. Fry fennel seeds, black mustard seeds, cardamom pods (crushed and husks removed), cumin seeds, chopped ginger, garlic, onion and red chilli until lightly golden; add turmeric, butter and brown crabmeat. After a minute add coconut milk and water; simmer for five minutes, then add lemon juice and simmer for around 10 minutes. Stir in some coriander and white crabmeat and simmer for a few minutes, check the seasoning and add more lemon juice if you like, then serve sprinkled with more coriander leaves.
In the book, Jamie's curry looks brown-ish; mine is more yellow, possibly because I was, as usual, converting a recipe for 4-6 to serve 2 and didn't pay attention to the turmeric, and also I didn't have any black mustard seeds and had to use standard ones. That aside, I like the bright and fresh appearance of this curry and it tasted fragrant and light, an elegant and vibrant sort of curry. I would make this again with prawns instead of or as well as crab, I think.