Ultimate Crab Curry Recipe

The aromatic, light spices in this gorgeous crab curry let the sweet flavour of the crab meat sing. You should try serving this curry with plain boiled rice and plenty of gravy. You could alternatively lighten the dish, reduce the amount of gravy by adding less water.

  • Cooking Time: 30 mins 
  • Prep: 20 mins 
  • Cook: 10 mins 
  • Yield: Serves 4 – 6


  • 8 – 10 crabs available
  • 1 1/2-inch lump of tamarind
  • olive oil or canola oil
  • 3 teaspoons fennel seeds
  • 2 heaped teaspoons black mustard seeds
  • 5 green cardamom pods, crushed and husks removed
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 thumb-sized piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely sliced
  • 2 large cloves garlic, peeled and finely sliced
  • 1 medium white onion, peeled and finely sliced
  • 2-3 fresh red chillies, deseeded and finely sliced
  • 2 heaped teaspoons turmeric
  • 400 ml of light coconut milk
  • 2 lemons, juice of
  • 1 good bunch fresh coriander, leaves picked
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper


  1. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pan and add the fennel seeds, mustard seeds, cardamom pods, cumin seeds, ginger, garlic, onion and chilli.
  2. Fry on a medium heat for 4 to 5 minutes until lightly golden, then add the turmeric, a splash of olive oil and the brown crabmeat.
  3. After a minute or so, pour in the coconut milk and a tinful of water.
  4. Let it simmer away for 5 minutes so all the flavours develop.
  5. Then add the lemon juice and simmer for another 10 minutes, or until the sauce resembles double cream in consistency.
  6. Just before you stir in the white crabmeat, check that all the shell has been picked out, then add half the coriander, simmer for 4 more minutes and taste. Season carefully with salt and pepper and a little more lemon juice if you think it needs it. Serve with some fluffy white rice, sprinkled with the rest of the coriander leaves.

Watch this video on how to clean your crab

Eating a crab curry is, apart from working on an oil rig, one of the most messiest activities known to humankind. South Africa’s Pravasan Pillay has perfectly summed up the art of crab-curry indulgence in SIX very relatable points.

Source: Spruce Eats

📣 Follow Indian Spice on TwitterInstagramFacebookTelegramTikTok and on YouTube, and stay updated with the latest South African Indian news and international Indian news.

The global lockdown has everyone’s mental health in a spin! Have you checked out our Mental Health resources by Indian Spice click here

The South African Depression And Anxiety Group (SADAG) is Africa’s largest mental health support and advocacy group open 7 days a week from 8am – 8pm. If you are needing a referral to a psychologist, psychiatrist or support group call SADAG on 011 234 4837 or 0800 20 50 26 and speak to a trained counselor who can assist you further. Substance abuse hotline: 0800 12 13 14 is available 24hrs or alternatively email Zane on

If you need support or know someone who does, please reach out to your nearest mental health specialist. India Helplines: Aasra: 022 2754 6669; Sneha India Foundation: +914424640050 and Sanjivini: 011-24311918

Stay at home if you feel unwell. If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention and call in advance. Follow the directions of your local health authority during the coronavirus crisis. 

Connect with the Coronavirus Whatsapp services below

  • Coronavirus India Whatsapp tap here
  • Coronavirus South Africa Whatsapp tap here
  • SA Hotline Number: 0800 029 999

For more related coronavirus (COVID-19) latest news and stories click here

About Indianspice Staff Reporter

Report and write stories for It is our ambitious goal to cover issues/events/news concerning South Africa and the diaspora.