Vineet Bhatia's crab cake recipe is essentially crab two ways. First, a crunchy golden crab cake with a heady mix of spice and secondly, a more delicate crab chutney, made with tomatoes, onions and mayonnaise. Chaat masala is an Indian spice blend, easily bought online or from good Indian grocery shops. More fish cake recipes can be found here.
While Vineet Bhatia has borrowed from European traditions to plate up his food, the manner and matter of his dishes are unmistakably those of India, handled with immense sophistication and personal panache.
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To make the crab chutney, mix the crab meat with the spring onions, tomato, lime zest, ginger and green chilli
100g of white crab meat
1 tbsp of spring onions
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp green chillies
Heat the oil in a small pan and add the mustard seeds and curry leaves. When the seeds begin to crackle, take the pan off the heat and drizzle this oil on to the crab mixture
1 tbsp of black mustard seeds
6 curry leaves
2 tbsp of olive oil
Add the mayonnaise, a little salt and lime juice and mix well
4 tbsp of mayonnaise
For the crab cakes, boil the unpeeled potato in salted water until tender, then peel and grate
100g of potato
Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a pan and add the mustard seeds. When they begin to splutter, add the curry leaves and chopped onion and sauté until the onion turns translucent
1 1/2 tbsp of black mustard seeds
6 curry leaves
Mix the red chilli powder and turmeric with a little water (this prevents them burning). Add the chopped garlic, ginger and green chilli to the pan and sauté briefly, then add the red chilli powder and turmeric paste and sauté for a minute longer
1 tsp red chilli powder
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 1/2 tsp garlic
1 1/2 tsp ginger
1 1/2 tsp green chillies
Add the crab meat and stir-fry until all the moisture has evaporated, then stir in the grated potato. Season with the chaat masala and some salt, then leave to cool
120g of white crab meat
1 tsp chaat masala
Put the eggs in a bowl and the breadcrumbs in another. Shape the crab mixture into 4 round patties, dip them in the egg and then coat them in the crumbs
4 tbsp of breadcrumbs
Heat the oil to 175°C in a deep-fat fryer or a large, deep saucepan (if you don’t have a thermometer, check it is hot enough by adding a cube of bread to the oil. It should start to bubble and fry, but not burn, the moment it has been added)
Add the crab cakes and deep-fry for about 2 minutes, until golden brown. Drain on kitchen paper
To plate, serve one crab cake per person with a spoonful of the chutney on top
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