While I didn’t grow up eating this dish on the islands (simply because I don’t ever recall mom having access to crayfish), it’s quite common to see me make it when I visit the Asian supermarkets and they have crayfish (frozen) in stock. The trick is to not over-cook the the crayfish, while using it a base for flavoring the entire curry.
1 lb crayfish (crawfish)
1 med onion (sliced)
4-6 cloves garlic (smashed/crushed)
1 1/4 teaspoon salt (divided)
1 1/2 tablespoon curry powder (divided)
3/4 teaspoon black pepper (divided)
4 -5 cups water
1 small habanero pepper (optional)
2 tablespoon Caribbean Green Seasoning (divided)
2-3 tablespoon coconut oil
5 medium potatoes (1-2 inch pieces)
1 teaspoon roasted Geera (cumin)
1 tablespoon Cilantro (chopped fine)
Note: If doing this recipe gluten free, please go through the full list of ingredients to make sure they meet with your specific gluten free dietary needs. Especially the curry powder you use, as some may have flour as a filler/thickener.
Wash the crayfish with 1/2 lemon or 1/2 lime (juice) and cool water. Drain and squeeze dry (especially if the crayfish was previously frozen as in my case).
Season with 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/2 of the black pepper, 1/2 tablespoon curry powder and 1 tablespoon Caribbean Green Seasoning. Mix well and marinate for 10-115 minutes.
Add 2 tablespoon of coconut oil in a saucepan on a medium flame. Add the seasoned crayfish, stir well, then crank up the heat to high. Cook for 1.5 to 2 minutes, then remove the crayfish and set aside. I used a slotted spoon.
Turn the heat down to medium now (same saucepan), add the onion, garlic, remaining black pepper, habanero pepper (remove the seeds ad white membrane around the seeds to tame the heat a bit if you want) and the remaining Caribbean Green Seasoning. Stir to combine and cook for about 3-4 minutes. Once the liquid is burnt off and you can see the oil we started off with (add more coconut oil here if you wish), add the remaining curry powder and stir well.
Turn the heat to low so we don’t burn the curry. After 2-3 minutes, add 1/2 cup of water along with the roasted cumin (geera). Cook for 3-4 minutes or until the liquid burns off. This is your curry base.
Now add the potato and stir to coat the pieces of potato with the curry, then add 4 cups of water and remaining salt and bring to a boil. Turn the heat to low, lid on (slightly ajar) and cook for 20 minutes and the potato is falling-apart tender.
Once the potato is tender, you can crank up the heat and crush a few pieces of potato to thicken the gravy. Now add the pre-cooked crayfish to the pot. Do keep in mind that this dish is meant to have a sauce or gravy and that it will thicken considerably as it cools down.
Cook for a minute or two, add the cilantro and taste for salt and adjust accordingly. Enjoy!
Be sure to watch the video below if any of the steps seem confusing and be sure to serve this with your fav rice dish, sada roti or my fave.. buss-up-shut roti. Drop me your comments below, tag me on Instagram and don’t forget you can now get my cookbook – The Vibrant Caribbean Pot, 100 Traditional And Fusion Recipes @ CaribbeanPot.com/CookBook/
Oh Yeh.. shrimp can be used a as a replacement for the crayfish.