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Crab Curry


Crab Curry
Image © Nattyptg | Dreamstime.com
There was a time, thanks to an unfortunate restaurant food poisoning experience, I thought I was allergic to crab meat! What a waste of precious time that was, because when I did actually succumb and decided to test this theory, it turned out that I was not allergic and actually loved crab! I have since, more than made up for the years of not eating crab! My brother makes my favorite crab curry ever and one day I will share his recipe. This however, is my recipe. It is a simple curry so the flavors of the crab are the focus of the dish. I like to serve my Crab Curry with plain boiled rice and like lots of gravy but you can reduce the amount of gravy by adding less water. I hope you will try and enjoy it...

Yield: Serves 4


  • 8 crabs (factored at 2 medium-sized crabs per person)
  • 1 1/2" lump of tamarind
  • 1/2 cup hot water
  • 2 large onions sliced
  • 2 large tomatoes sliced
  • 10 dry red chillies (use less if you do not want a hot curry)
  • 2 tbsps garlic paste
  • 1 tbsp ginger paste
  • 1 1/2 cups grated fresh coconut
  • 2 tbsps coriander powder
  • 2 tbsps cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp red chilli powder
  • 2 green chillies slit
  • 2 tbsps vegetable/ canola/ sunflower cooking oil
  • Hot water for gravy (approximately 3 cups)
  • Salt to taste


I am terrible at it and not embarrassed to say this (a girl must after all, outsource some chores), but when I cook crabs, I invite my brother to clean them for me! His reward is Crab Curry :-)

In this matter of prepping crabs for cooking, I will hand you over to an expert... Molly Watson, my colleague and About.com's Guide to Local Foods, shows you step-by-step, with lovely pictures How to Clean a Crab and prepare it for use in my curry!

Crabs all cleaned and ready to go? Let's get started...

  • Remove the crabs legs and keep aside. Cut the crab bodies into halves or quarters with a cleaver. Take off the claws from the legs so the leg is divided into two parts.
  • Soak the tamarind in 1/2 a cup of hot water for 10 minutes. Now mash the tamarind with your fingers to mix it well into the water. Strain through a sieve to extract all the pulp. Keep pulp aside.
  • Put the onion, tomato, coconut, ginger, garlic, dry red chillies, all the spices and the tamarind pureé into your food processor and grind well to make a smooth paste (also called masala).
  • Set up a deep, heavy-bottomed pan on a medium temperature and when it is hot, add the cooking oil and heat.
  • Now add the green chillies and the masala paste you just prepared (as above), to the oil and sauté for 5 minutes. Stir frequently to prevent burning.
  • Now add the 3 cups of water (add more or less hot water if you would like more or less gravy) and bring the gravy to a boil. Reduce the flame to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Add salt to taste.
  • Gently add the pieces of crab to the gravy and cook uncovered for 10 more minutes.
  • Turn off the fire and serve immediately with plain boiled rice or Jeera Rice. Crab Curry is best eaten with your fingers!
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