Dungeness Kerala Crab Curry

In a previous recepie I introduced dungeness chilli crab cooked Singapore style. In this recipe, I’m cooking dungeness crab in a spicy curry sauce inspired by the style of Kerala in India. Rather than making the sauce too spicy, I’ve tried to add a bit of sweetness to bring out the natural flavors of the dungeness crab.


  • Dungeness crabs – 3-4 big specimens (about 3kg whole before cleaning)
  • Shallots – 6 shallots
  • Ginger – 2 inch piece
  • Green chillies – 2 sliced
  • Coriander powder – 1 tablespoon
  • Chilli powder – 2 tablespoons
  • Turmeric powder – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Onions – 1 sliced
  • Tomatoes – 2 sliced
  • Curry leaves – 10 leaves
  • Tamarind juice – 1/2 cup
  • Coconut – 1 cup grated (or rehydrated desiccated coconut)
  • Fenugreek seeds – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Sugar – 2 tablespoons
  • Vegetable oil – 4 tablespoons
  • Salt to taste


  1. Clean the crab, wash and cut into halves. Top shell can be used or discarded according to preference.
  2. Grind coconut, shallots, ginger, turmeric and chilli powder into a paste using a food processor or pestle. Use a bit of water if needed when grinding.
  3. Heat the vegetable oil in a large wok and fry the fenugreek seeds until slightly brown.
  4. Add the onions, green chillies, curry leaves and fry until the onions are translucent.
  5. Add the tomatoes and fry for 1 minute.
  6. Add the coconut spice paste and mix well. Add the sugar.
  7. Add the tamarind juice along with the crabs. Mix gently until the crabs are well coated.
  8. Add 1/2 cup of water.
  9. Cover and cook until the crabs turn red.
  10. Serve hot with steamed rice.

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