Steffi's Recipes
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Chettinad Crab Masala

Written By Angela Steffi on Saturday, July 30, 2016 | 3:00:00 PM

I am a very big fan of Crab. Crabs are my weakness, whenever I am dull or bored my mom makes crab for me no matter how she makes(dry or gravy) I simply love them and will finish in a flash. Then I started to try different crab recipes and found this awesome flavorful Chettinad Crab Masala, from that day onwards I make this recipe very often. My parents, friends and relatives enjoyed my recipe and gave a very positive feedback. So I wanted to share this recipe with you my dear friends.

After moving to States I buy crabs very often and I have a special budget allocated for Crabs(Because King Crabs are more Expensive).My favorite Combination is Crab curry with Rice and Fryums. My husband never touches rice that day he transforms into pure non-Vegetarian (one full plate of crabs)

This Chettinad Crab Masala is a treat for seafood lovers. Delicious crab meat cooked in a flavorful gravy. A perfect side dish that goes well with everything and can also be used as a stand-alone appetizer. 

This crab Curry goes well with Chapathis and pooris too…..Lets start the hunting!!!!


Serving Size    : 3 people

Cooking Time : 30-45 mins

Difficulty: Spice Level:

1 kg crab (king crab)

Dry roast 
1 Cup Grated coconut
1 tbsp pepper corns
1 tbsp cumin seeds
2 dry red chilies

To make crab masala
1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
1(250g) Large Onion
2(150g) Tomato
1/4 tsp Turmeric Powder
1 Tbsp Coriander Powder
2 tbsp Chili Powder (can adjust according to your taste)
1/2 tsp Mustard Seeds

Salt to Taste

Curry Leaves for Garnishing

Cooking Method

Step 1) Dry roast 1 cup grated coconut, pepper corns, cumin seeds, dry red chilies for 3 minutes on a medium heat.Then grind the coconut mixture into a fine paste


Step 2) to make crab masala heat some oil , add mustard seeds once the seeds pops out add green chilies add chopped onions ,required salt and saute until the onions are golden
Then add ginger garlic paste and cook for 2 more minutes or until the raw smell is gone


Step 3) Add the masalas turmeric powder, coriander powder and chili powder (I have added 2 tbsp chili powder I am making it very spicy) and mix well.Then add chopped tomatoes and cook until the tomatoes are soft and well cooked (If you like the gravy to be very smooth then grind the cooked onions and tomatoes)


Step  4) Add the ground coconut paste(from step 1) ,add required water and cook for 5 - 7 minutes
after the gravy boils add the cleaned and scored crabs, cover and cook for 15 - 20 minutes based on the size of your crab


Step 5) after the crabs are nicely cooked add some curry leaves for garnishing and serve


  • Score the crabs,only then the masalas and the curry will enter the crab meat more efficiently
  • Some crabs contains salt in it so keep an eye on salt level
  • For small crabs cook for 8- 10 minutes
  • Don't add coriander leaves (add curry leaves to get a nice flavor)
  • This is a spicy version (you can adjust the spiciness according to your taste) Reduce the chili power to 1 tbsp.

About Angela Steffi

I am an avid food blogger with a great passion for food. I am always eager to try new recipes and modify recipes and experiment with them. I have two cooking channels on Youtube CLASSIC MASALA HUT (for english recipes) and MADRAS SAMAYAL (for Tamil recipes).


  1. Hi Steffi,

    I tried your Chettinad crab masala today, it was yummy. Thanks for sharing the recipe.


  2. Hi. Thank you for the recipe. I think you forgot to add green chili in the ingredients