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Crab Curry South Indian Style

December 15, 2013


There are limits to which the vegetarian me can stretch myself and it most definitely is not upto something as squeamish as Crab sorry!  So the men in my family took it upon themselves to cook this favourite seafood of theirs.

Crab season here in Qatar right now so the thing sells cheap.  Size i believe is sizable than usual.  ‘How to do the crabs?’ inquired my hubby sometime back and i asked him to do it the ‘madarasi’ way, with the base of our curry gravy.  He since has perfected this technique.  Last night father and son ventured into kitchen banishing me from the scene (they didn’t have to; i just can’t stand the crabs anyway, way too offensive to my gentle vegetarian senses!).

Still i dared to peep in to click these valuable pictures of men cooking crab meat in my kitchen.  It was an interesting sight really!  Father trained son as to how to clean and break the crab leg by leg into pieces (ugh!).  From grinding the gravy base in blender to cooking on low flame (slow cooking), together they left no stone unturned.  Finally, they cleaned up after cooking which was what mattered to me most over anything!

I am now giving here my hubby & son’s perfected recipe for Crab Curry South Indian Style:


Blue Sea Crab – 1 kg (cleaned and broken)

Onion – 1 or 2 medium size

Tomato – 1 or 2 medium size

Garlic – 3-4 pods

Ginger – a slash

Oil – 1 tbsp

For tempering:  mustard and cumin seeds half a tsp each

Madras Curry Powder (red chili powder) – 2 tsp

Dhania or Coriander seeds powder – 2 tsp

Black pepper powder – 1/2 tsp

Turmeric powder – a pinch

Salt to taste



(as related to me by the men in my family)

Clean, rinse and gently break the crab into small pieces, taking out the leg portions and leaving out the stomachs separate.

Grate the onion and tomato.  Take a wok/shallow pan/karai and add a tbsp of oil to it.  Heat it and when the oil is hot enough, add mustard, cumin seeds and wait for them to splutter.  Add the chopped onion and tomato and also the garlic and ginger and stir-fry for a few minutes.  Take off the flame and let the contents cool.  Blend to a smooth paste then in a mixer-grinder.

Heat the wok again and add the gravy/puree contents from the blender and maintain a low flame.  Add red chili/madras curry powder, coriander seeds/dhania powder, turmeric powder, salt and a dash of pepper powder.  Add the crabs and cook for not more than 10-15 minutes with lid closed.  Switch off flame when the gravy thickens and the crab is done.  Garnish with freshly cut and washed curry and coriander leaves.

South Indian crab curry is now ready to serve.


Son is happy with daddy’s recipe and swears he can now cook crab for his friends!  Says this is the tastiest crab he has ever tasted and is better than what is served in restaurants.   As a little boy he used to love the steamed crabs served in Terengganu in Malaysian Chinese restaurants, one not as spicy as ours.


From → Non-vegetarian

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