Sunday, May 2, 2010

Spicy crab curry

Crab curry

I've had a strange desire to eat crab. This may have been brought on by the cooler weather and the distinct need for comfort food.

We're fortunate to be living close to Sydney Fish Market, the biggest fish market in the Southern Hemisphere. I often frequent it on a Saturday when it's a buzz of activity and showcases a spectacular array of fresh and exotic seafoods.

I excitedly pick out one large mud crab wriggling in the crate (there is something amusing about choosing your food whilst it's still alive) and the sales assistant disappears with it behind the counter, emerging with  the crab in four pieces.

Crab curry

Crab curry

It's not long before the kitchen is filled with the wonderful aroma of spices. It's a quick dish to prepare and doesn't take long for the crab to take on a glowing orange hue.

Crab curry

Served with rice it feels like home on a plate! Certainly takes me back to my days in Durban! ... and yes, you'll have to use your fingers!

Crab curry

Crab curry


You will need:

  • 3 tbsp Oil
  • 1 Cinnamon Stick
  • 2 Cloves
  • 2 Cardamom Pods
  • 1 medium Onion
  • 1 sprig fresh curry leaves
  • 1 ½ tbsp Ginger-garlic paste
  • 1 tsp Turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp Red chilli powder
  • 1 tsp Coriander powder
  • 1 tsp Cumin powder
  • 2 Tomatoes
  • A pinch of salt
  • 800 g Crab (with shell)
  • A bunch of Fresh Coriander leaves

Finely slice 1 medium sized onion. Warm the pan over a high heat before adding 3 tablespoons of oil.
Add 1 stick of cinnamon, a sprinkling of cardamom pods, a sprinkling of cloves and the curry leaves.
Cook for about a minute. The oil will help extract the flavour of the spices. Add the chopped onions and cook for a further 10 minutes until golden brown. Keep stirring occasionally.

Next, chop 2 tomatoes into small pieces. Now add 1 tablespoon and a half of ginger-garlic paste and stir well. Then add 1 teaspoon of turmeric, 1 teaspoon of red chilli, 1 large teaspoon of coriander, and 1 large teaspoon of cumin powder.

Turn the heat down a little and stir well because dry ingredients can easily stick to the bottom of the pan. Now add the tomatoes. Turn up to a high heat as there is now less risk of the ingredients sticking to the bottom and burning. Stir for a further 2-3 minutes. Add a little water and keep stirring for another 2 to 3mins. If the ingredients stick at all, add a little more water. Add half a teaspoon of salt and continue to stir.

Now add the crab. Stir until all the pieces are smothered with sauce. Turn the stove down to a low heat, add a little water, and stir. Cover and simmer for about 6-8 minutes. Chop up some coriander as a garnish.

Serve with rice or roti and enjoy!


  1. Spooky ghost story. Just as Nirvana unpacked the crab and washed it, and we were preparing it for the photographs, it started moving its claws!

    That's despite it having been cut in quarters and well on its way to crab heaven!

  2. Cool site dearest. Food looks mouth watering and awesome.

  3. Thanks for the positive feedback! Credit to Dennis for the excellent photography.