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  • Writer's pictureJyothi Varne

Crab Ghee Roast

With the ongoing lockdown and self-quarantine at home, trying out restaurant dishes for lunch or dinner has become a norm at our home. While my mother's crab curry recipe is fabulous, we wanted to try something different and spicy for our mid-week lunch with fresh blue crabs. Going to a crowded fish market to buy fresh produce on a Sunday morning, seems like a day of the past. Something that happened aeons ago :( So we are currently left at the mercy of online meat selling sites and their rapidly sold out stock, especially when it comes to seafood.

The trick to getting that fiery red colour for your masala base is using a mix of Guntur and Bydege Chillies.

Dry roast the whole spices just enough, until you get the fragrant wafting aromas and careful not to burn them on a high flame.

The freshly grated coconut added to the masala while cooking the gravy tends to add a sweet tinge to this dish. Perfect with neer dosa, Malabar parathas or as usual my fav combo - Dal chawal :)


500g - Crab

Ghee - 4 tbsp

Coconut/Veg Oil - 1 tbsp

1 cup - Grated coconut

Few curry leaves

Salt to taste

Marinade :

1/2 cup - Curd

1/4 tsp - Turmeric powder

2 tsp - Chilli Powder

1 tsp - Ginger garlic paste

1 tbsp - Cornflour

Few pinches of salt

Juice of half lime

Masala - to be ground finely

1 medium-size - Onion

6 - Guntur Chillies

5 - Bydege Chillies

1 tbsp - Coriander seeds

1/2 tsp - Cumin seeds

1/2 inch - Tamarind (soaked)


1. Clean your crabs well. In a large bowl, mix everything listed under "Marinade" and toss your crabs in and coast them well. Let this sit for a min of 30mins.

2. Individually roast each spice, listed under "Masala", fry the onions until they caramelise with a little coconut oil in the end. Let them cool completely. Grind everything with little addition of water to form a smooth paste. Set aside.

3. Heat ghee in a large wok, flash fry the crabs in them for 5mins. Drain and set aside.

4. In the same pan, add 2 tbsp -Coconut oil, remaining marinade liquid and the freshly ground masala base. Cook till the colour changes to a deep red hue and the oil starts to separate along the sides.

5. Add salt to taste.

6. Add in the grated coconut and cook on medium simmer until the raw smell disappears.

7. Toss in the fried crabs, 1/2 cup water and cook with a closed lid on, a medium flame for 15mins.

8. Drizzle 2 tbsp - Ghee and curry leaves, stir well and continue to cook for 4 mins.

Dish out hot.

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