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Keralan Crab Cakes


1 pound crab meat

½ cup dry bread crumbs, plus (about 1 cup) more for dredging

1/2 cup flour

1/2 cup mayonnaise

8 serrano chilies, minced

1 cup chopped chives

1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut

1/2 cup shredded carrot

1/2 cup finely diced celery

2 teaspoons green mango powder or amchoor (optional)

1 cup sweet corn, fresh, canned, or frozen, drained

2 large eggs, beaten

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

2 cups (approximately) canola oil, for frying

1/2 cup whole milk

Fresh Mint Chutney, for serving:

Makes about 1 cup

5 cups fresh mint leaves

2 serrano or Thai chili

1/4 cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice

1 teaspoon sugar


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Combine all the ingredients in a mixing bowl except the oil, milk, and chutney. Add the milk a bit at a time; you may need a bit more or less than ½ cup to adhere the ingredients into a thick, cohesive mixture. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Form patties 3 inches in diameter and about 1 inch thick. Coat with additional bread crumbs.

Fill a deep skillet with ½ inch of oil and place it over medium heat. Once the oil is hot and simmering (test for readiness by dropping a loose kernel of corn into it- if the oil sizzles and tiny bubbles form around the kernel, the oil is ready), gently fry the patties, turning them over to brown on each side. Do not crowd the pan, and use 2 spatulas to turn. Cook about 4-5 minutes on each side.

Lay the fried patties on a few paper towels to absorb excess oil. Season with salt. Serve hot, with mint chutney on the side.

For the Mint Chutney: Combine all the ingredients in a blender. Two to four tablespoons of water can be added to help blend the ingredients, if needed. Pack the sauce in a jar, cover with its lid, and store it in the fridge, where it will keep for 2-3 days.

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