Curry, green chile add zip to savory crab cakes

When I'm in the mood for Indian food, I spice up crab cakes with curry powder and green chile pepper. On the side: mango chutney or cucumber raita in place of the usual tartar sauce; a lime wedge instead of lemon.

These crab cakes turn out crisp and light, tasting of crab rather than binder.

Keep the sides simple: Steamed basmati rice and a green salad will do.

Curried Crab Cakes

1 tablespoon butter

2 tablespoons curry powder

4 green onions, minced

1 green chile, such as jalapeno, minced

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 piece ( 1/2-inch long) ginger root, peeled, minced

1 lb. crab meat

3 eggs, lightly beaten

3/4cup panko bread crumbs

1/2cup shelled pistachios, coarsely chopped

1/4cup chopped fresh parsley

1/2teaspoon salt

Freshly ground pepper

Canola oil

Melt butter in a small skillet over medium heat. Add curry powder; cook until powder darkens slightly and turns fragrant. Add green onion, chili, garlic and ginger; cook until garlic is golden, about 2 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Gently mix cooked ingredients, crab, eggs, bread crumbs, pistachios, parsley, salt and pepper to taste in a bowl. Form mixture into 18 balls; flatten each ball into a cake.

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Fry a few cakes at a time (don't overcrowd the pan), 2 minutes per side. Replenish oil as needed. Keep finished cakes warm while cooking remainder. Serve with chutney on the side. Makes 6 servings.

The Wichita Eagle—05/11/11