Indian Crab Curry

Crab curry served on a dish

Azirull Amin Aripin / EyeEm / Getty Images

  • Total: 30 mins
  • Prep: 20 mins
  • Cook: 10 mins
  • Servings: 4 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
552 Calories
15g Fat
60g Carbs
50g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 552
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 15g 19%
Saturated Fat 10g 48%
Cholesterol 151mg 50%
Sodium 1972mg 86%
Total Carbohydrate 60g 22%
Dietary Fiber 12g 43%
Protein 50g
Calcium 327mg 25%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This recipe for Indian crab curry minimizes the curry flavor so that the crab is the focus of the dish. Try serving this curry with plain boiled rice and plenty of gravy. To lighten the dish, reduce the amount of gravy by adding less water.

Crab curry is best eaten with your fingers.


  • 8 crabs (cooked, whole)
  • 1 1/2 inches lump of tamarind
  • 1/2 cup hot water
  • 2 large onions (sliced)
  • 2 large tomatoes (sliced)
  • 10 dry red chilies (use less if you do not want a hot curry)
  • 2 tablespoons garlic paste
  • 1 tablespoon ginger paste
  • 1 1/2 cups coconut (grated, fresh)
  • 2 tablespoons coriander powder
  • 2 tablespoons cumin powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chili powder
  • 2 green chilies (slit)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable, canola or sunflower cooking oil
  • Hot water for gravy (approximately 3 cups)
  • Salt (to taste)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Remove the crab legs and set them aside. Remove the claws from the legs so that each leg is divided into two parts.

  3. Cut the crab bodies into halves or quarters with a cleaver. Set aside.

  4. Soak the tamarind in 1/2 cup of hot water for 10 minutes. Mash the tamarind with your fingers to mix it well into the water.

  5. Strain it through a sieve to extract all the pulp. Set the pulp aside.

  6. Put the onion, tomato, coconut, ginger, garlic, dry red chilies, all of the spices, and the tamarind pureé into your food processor and grind the mixture well to make a smooth paste (also called masala).

  7. Set a deep, heavy-bottomed pan over a medium flame, and when the pan is hot, add the cooking oil and heat the oil.

  8. Add the green chilies and the masala paste to the oil and sauté for five minutes. Stir frequently to prevent burning.

  9. Add 3 cups of hot water—more or less 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.

  10. Gently add the pieces of crab to the gravy and cook uncovered for 10 more minutes.

  11. Turn off the fire and serve immediately with plain boiled rice or ​jeera rice.