Home Eats Let’s Get Crabby with Masālā Crab!

Let’s Get Crabby with Masālā Crab!

by Komal Patel
Masala Crab
“Without a doubt, one of my favorite American ingredients is blue crabs, a true delicacy! And a great value, I think.” – Jose Andres

If you haven’t guessed yet…we are talking CRAB today. More specifically, blue crab ( I know where all your dirty minds went).

Jose definitely has this right idea! Blue crabs are some of my favorite crabs. They are similar in flavor to snow and Dungeness crabs, slightly sweet and salty but their taste depends on their surrounding and where the crab comes from. Usually, in my opinion, the actual crab meat of a blue crab does not need much seasoning as opposed to the Dungeness, although, the Dungeness does produce more meat than a blue crab. Either way, you can’t really go wrong with whatever crab you choose.
For my masālā crab recipe I opted for the smaller blue crab, but you can certainly use whichever crab tickles your fancy.

I suppose a tickle from a crab wouldn’t be that great…would probably hurt…random thought.

Masala Crab


I took a trip to the 99 Ranch Market in hopes for fresh crab meat to make an Indian style crab cake. Just like Vons  though, the crab meat was so fucking expensive.

I contemplated buying whole crabs and extracting the meat myself, BUT, I was wayyy too lazy for that.
Luckily, the 99 Ranch Market has a bunch of pre-cleaned and cut crustaceans and fishies.

I saw the blue crabs in the tank, went over to the fridge and they had packages of fresh blue crab, cleaned and cut.

This is more my speed. Less work for me. Woo hoo!

I have been craving masālā crab for a while, but, to be honest, my aunt in Australia makes the best crab and I did not see my dish coming close to hers.

SOOOOOO, instead of trying to make a dish like my aunts, I made my own version and added a little coconut milk to the mix.


The crab itself took minutes to cook but the real time is spent in the masālā .

These blue babies taste good on their own but I love grabbing the claws and sucking all the juices out of it. Take the natural juices that extract from them and then combine them with spices.


This recipe was inspired by a state in southern India, Kerala. Kerala is a beautiful, tropical paradise on the Malabar Coast. Almost every Keralan dish is prepared with various spices and coconut. The coconut provides a major richness to the dish and absorbs some of the heat from the fresh chilies and dried spices.

I love cooking Kerala style mainly because…

I love seafood.
I love coconut.


Masala Crab

I started by making the base of my masālā which consisted of ginger, garlic, coconut shreds, shallots, chili powder, coriander powder, turmeric, pepper, garam masālā and water.

Slice up some onions; chop up some tomatoes and a grab a crab or two and this dish is ready to go.

Masala Crab

Start by sautéing the onions in a pan and then add your fresh chilies.

Once the onions have browned a little add the paste then the tomatoes.

Your kitchen will be filled with crazy good smells.

Side Note: Remember when Emeril used to talk about smellavision? Why hadn’t that happened yet?! 

I took a piece of bread and dipped it into the mixture before adding the crab.
The smell was driving me crazy and I was feeling super hungry. BUT. Another reason to do this is to make sure all your seasonings are on point; salt, chili powder etc. This is a good way to check the seasonings without burning your mouth.

Once the crabs were added I let it cook for about 3 minutes. The blues cook super quickly so be careful not to overcook them or the meat will become mushy.

Masala Crab

I hope you all enjoy this crabalicious meal!! xx

Kerala Style Masālā Crab
Serves 4
Sweet and salty blue crab mixed with a spicy and sweet curry
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
30 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
30 min
783 calories
40 g
440 g
32 g
89 g
13 g
952 g
2110 g
16 g
0 g
17 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Amount Per Serving
Calories 783
Calories from Fat 272
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 32g
Saturated Fat 13g
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 5g
Monounsaturated Fat 12g
Cholesterol 440mg
Sodium 2110mg
Total Carbohydrates 40g
Dietary Fiber 9g
Sugars 16g
Protein 89g
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
  1. 1 lb. crab, cleaned
  2. 1 onion, sliced
  3. 3 green Chilies, ground into a paste
  4. 1 tomato, chopped
  5. 1/4 cup coconut milk
  6. Salt to taste
  7. Oil
For masala paste
  1. 1 piece ginger
  2. 4 cloves of garlic
  3. 1 shallot
  4. 1 tbsp. chili powder
  5. 2 tsp. coriander powder
  6. 2 tbsp. water
  7. 1 tsp. turmeric powder
  8. 1 tsp. garam masala
  9. 1/2 tsp. pepper
  1. Grind together all the ingredients listed under masala paste. Keep aside
  2. Heat oil in a pan over medium heat
  3. Add onion and chilies.Saute until it turns golden brown on a medium low.
  4. Add the masala paste and cook stirring continuously, for 4 to 5 minutes or until oil separates
  5. Add tomato and cook until it turns soft and oil separates
  6. Add salt to taste
  7. Add crab
  8. Add coconut milk
  9. Cover and cook until it is done, 3 to 4 minutes
  1. Be careful not to overcook the crab or the meat will become mushy.
  2. I went conservative on the spice, but you can always add more chili powder or fresh chilies.
Sweet & Masālā https://www.sweetandmasala.com/

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