Crab curry / nandu kulambu / south indian crab curry

Main Dish
6 servings
30 min
20 min
This is a native style spicy gravy from Tamilnadu (my mother's style!) that goes well with rice, idli / dosa; easy to make and rich in flavour!


Number of serving: 6
Crab - 4

Onion - 1 (medium)

Tomato - 1 (big)

Garlic - 4 Cloves (finely chopped)

Tamarind - 1 big gooseberry size

Red chilli powder- 2 ½ tsp

Corriander powder - 4 tsp

Turmeric powder - ½ tsp

To Grind:

Coconut -½ cup

Fennel seeds - 1 tsp

Pepper - ½ to 1 tsp

For Seasoning:

Oil - 1 to 2 tbsp

Fennel seeds - ¾ tsp

Fenugreek seeds - ½ tsp

Curry leaves - 10 to 15 leaves


  • Directions:

    Clean the crabs and keep aside. Grind coconut and fennel seeds with little water to fine paste. Keep aside.

    Soak the tamarind in a cup of water.

    Take a wide kadai; add oil and season with fenugreek seeds, fennel seeds and curry leaves.

    Once it splutters, fry chopped onion and garlic followed by dry spice powders and fry for few minutes; then add tomato and salt. If you feel it is sticking to the pan, add little water.

    Add crabs when tomato starts melting and mix till masala coats well and the colour changes to slight pink.

    Add the tamarind extract and coconut paste with water (adjust according to the required consistency).

    Stir well; close the lid and allow to boil for 5 to 7 minutes.

    Simmer for another 10 minutes till the oil floats and the mixture becomes thick in consistency.

    Then add few curry leaves before removing from stove and close the lid to enhance the taste.

    Allow it to rest for some time. Serve hot with steamed white rice, idli or dosa.


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