Southern Indian crab curry

If you fancy a really different, quick and tasty treat, you must have a go at this curry. I've included a whole array of different spices, yet they're so light and fragrant that you still get to appreciate the lovely sweet crab. And by using the brown meat in the base of the sauce and sprinkling the delicate white meat in at the end you'll get a lovely depth of flavour and still be able to taste the crab because you won't have cooked the life out of it. Best served with steamed rice.

Nutritional Information (amount per serving)


Serves 4-6   Approx time: 35   Difficulty: super easy


  • olive oil
  • 3 teaspoons fennel seeds
  • 2 heaped tablespoons black mustard seeds
  • 5 green cardamom pods, crushed and husks removed
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 thumb-sized piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely sliced
  • 2 large cloves garlic, peeled and finely sliced
  • 1 medium white onion, peeled and finely sliced
  • 2-3 fresh red chillies, deseeded and finely sliced
  • 2 heaped teaspoons turmeric
  • 250 g brown crabmeat, from sustainable sources, ask your fishmonger
  • 400 ml light coconut milk
  • 2 lemons, juice of
  • 500 g picked white crabmeat, from sustainable sources, ask your fishmonger
  • 1 good bunch fresh coriander, leaves picked
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper


Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pan and add the fennel seeds, mustard seeds, cardamom pods, cumin seeds, ginger, garlic, onion and chilli. Fry on a medium heat for 4 to 5 minutes until lightly golden, then add the turmeric, a splash of olive oil and the brown crabmeat. After a minute or so, pour in the coconut milk and a tinful of water. Let it simmer away for 5 minutes so all the flavours develop. Then add the lemon juice and simmer for another 10 minutes, or until the sauce resembles double cream in consistency.

Just before you stir in the white crabmeat, check that all the shell has been picked out, then add half the coriander, simmer for 4 more minutes and taste. Season carefully with salt and pepper and a little more lemon juice if you think it needs it. Serve with some fluffy white rice, sprinkled with the rest of the coriander leaves.

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