Indian Crab Curry

Indian Crab Curry

The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 30 mins
Total: 50 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
612 Calories
24g Fat
47g Carbs
54g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 612
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 24g 31%
Saturated Fat 10g 51%
Cholesterol 258mg 86%
Sodium 1578mg 69%
Total Carbohydrate 47g 17%
Dietary Fiber 9g 31%
Total Sugars 20g
Protein 54g
Vitamin C 75mg 376%
Calcium 364mg 28%
Iron 6mg 35%
Potassium 1462mg 31%
*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. Crab curry is best eaten with your fingers.

The curry can get quite hot; to reduce the spice don't add all of the red chile peppers. To lighten the dish, reduce the amount of water used for the gravy.

Serve this curry with plain rice.


  • 8 whole crabs, cooked

  • 1 (1/2-inch) piece tamarind

  • 1/2 cup hot water

  • 2 large onions, sliced

  • 2 large tomatoes, sliced

  • 10 dried red chiles, or fewer to taste

  • 2 tablespoons garlic paste

  • 1 tablespoon ginger paste

  • 1 1/2 cups grated coconut

  • 2 tablespoons ground coriander

  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin

  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric

  • 1/2 teaspoon red chili powder

  • 2 green chiles, slit open

  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil, vegetable, canola, or sunflower

  • 3 cups hot water, more or less for desired gravy

  • Salt, to taste

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Indian Crab Curry ingredients

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

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

    remove crab legs from the crab body

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  3. Using a cleaver, cut the crab bodies into halves or quarters. Set aside.

    cut the crab body into pieces

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  4. In a small bowl, soak the tamarind in 1/2 cup of hot water for 10 minutes.

    soak the tamarind in a small glass bowl

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  5. Mash the tamarind with your fingers to mix it well into the water.

  6. Strain the tamarind through a sieve to extract all of the pulp. Set the puree aside.

    strain the tamarind above a bowl

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  7. In a food processor, add the onion, tomato, dried red chiles, garlic and ginger pastes, coconut, all of the spices—coriander powder, cumin powder, turmeric powder, and red chili powder—and tamarind puree.

    food processor with onion, tomato, dried red chilies, garlic and ginger pastes, coconut, all of the spices, and tamarind pureé

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  8. Grind the mixture well to make a smooth paste (also called masala).

  9. Set a deep, heavy-bottomed pan over a medium heat. When the pan is hot, add the cooking oil and heat the oil.

    oil in a frying pan

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  10. Add the green chiles and the masala paste to the oil and sauté for 5 minutes. Stir frequently to prevent burning.

    green chilies and the masala paste to the oil and sauté

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  11. Add 3 cups of hot water—use more or less depending on how much gravy you'd like—and bring the gravy to a boil.

    green chilies and the masala paste to the oil with water

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  12. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Add salt to taste.

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

    Indian Crab Curry in a frying pan

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  14. Serve immediately with plain boiled rice or ​jeera rice. Enjoy.

    Indian Crab Curry in a pan, side of rice

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga