Monday, March 7, 2011

Crab Fry

crab fry

Today's recipe is an authentic Kerala cuisine which I got from my mom-in-law's cookbook . Though it's not the first time I'm cooking crabs , but surely the first time I have dealt with live crabs. I had a very good experience today. Dealing with live crabs might look a little difficult for beginners , so I have included some steps for de-shelling crabs.

Preparation time : 30- 40  minutes
Cooking time : 15 minutes
Serves : 5

Ingredients :
  • 1 lb. crab ( I have used blue crab , you can use any crab of your choice)
  • 2 green chilies , slit lengthwise
  • 1" piece of ginger , minced
  • 5 large shallots, chopped
  • 5 large garlic flakes , minced
  • 1 tsp red chili flakes
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp pepper powder
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 2 pc kokam or a marble sized tamarind
  • 4 -5 curry leaves
  • Salt, as reuired
  • 2 tbsp oil 

Preparation :
  • These are my live crabs. First take out its claws very very carefully . If you are a beginner, it's better to use kitchen gloves as a precaution.
preparing crab

  • Then take out the legs.
preparing crab

  • Then remove this part completely from the bottom portion of the crab  as shown in the figure below .Press hard at the very bottom to crack open the shell  .
preparing crab

  • This is how it looks once you de- shell the crab.

preparing crab
  • Remove the hard outer shell completely and use the flesh part. 
preparing crab
  • Cut into half at the point shown in the figure.
preparing crab
  • I have discarded the crab legs , only used the claws and flesh part in this dish.
preparing crab

  • Next in a large pan , add 1/2 cup of water , to it add the crab pieces, green chilies, minced ginger , salt, kokam/tamarind  and cook on a low flame for 5 to 7 minutes or until all the water evaporates .
preparing crab

  •  Do not overcook the crab. Keep aside.
  • In a large non stick skillet, heat 2 tbsp oil,  add the mustard seeds, when it starts to sputter, add chopped shallot and garlic and fry well till you get a nice golden brown color.
  • Next add turmeric powder, red chili flakes and pepper powder, cook for another 2 minutes or so.
  • Lastly add the crab pieces, and vapor cook for another 2 - 3 minutes until all the flavors blend well . 
spicy kerala crab fry

  • Since this dish has a dry consistency, serve hot with rice and dal or any curry of your choice.


  • If you do not want to deal with live crabs , put it in the freezer , according to health dept.rules it is the most humane way to put a crab in the freezer to num it before you cook it, it needs only about half hour to 45 mins.
  • Do not boil fresh crabs in water, you will loose the goodness in them.

I'm sending this to The Kerala Kitchen  this month being hosted by Magpies Recipes


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  1. Good demo for the beginners and love sea fod..

  2. Hy Sonali,
    Awesome space you have here with interesting fish recipes...glad I hopped here. Hope to visit often..
    Happy to follow u.
    do stop by mine sometime...
    Tasty appetite

  3. Though allergic to crabs, Still wanna have them, so much inviting!

  4. Thanks to all of you for liking my recipe !

  5. I have to get over my fear of making seafood because that looks absolutely yummy. Thanks for those step-by-step instructions :)

  6. Your dish looks delicious! Thanks for the tutorial, though I'm not sure that I'm daring enough to handle live crabs!

  7. Must be a treat for crab lovers..a very well explained recipe!!

    US Masala

  8. I love crab but never tried cooking at the way you have given step by step instructions about cleaning and cooking.I will try it out now.

  9. Oh baby....that looks veeeeeeeeeery tempting, Love fried crabs, just incredible preparation there:)

  10. Thanks a ton for your wishes try them sometimes and let me know !

  11. Thanks try them sometime at home's a fab experience...if you need ny help I'm always there !

  12. Thanks to all of you for your kind words !

  13. great space ..nd yummy dishes..thnksfr postin on my blog..

  14. This sounds so delicious! I can't usually find blue crab here...but I sure want to try this!

  15. Omg, mouthwatering here...delicious crab curry!!

  16. Thanks to all of you for your wonderful comments ! giv it a try and let me know :-)

  17. HOLY CRAB !
    that looks delicious!

    and wow, major kudos to you for having a blog thats completely dedicated to fish/seafood!

  18. The crab curry looks really good Shonali!Thanks for sending it in to the Kerala Kitchen.
    I wish you could include a step on ensuring the crab is dead before cutting its parts and removing it's shell though. I think that will be much easier on the crab and on the cook!
    You are a brave girl for tackling a live one!

  19. Hi Magie...thanks for your suggestion...I have included in the recipe how to num crabs before using.

  20. Congratulations! We wanted to inform you that this post has been selected as a Featured Archive Post on our site for the first two weeks of January 2013.


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