Curried Mud Crab

This is a fiery curry, so if you prefer a milder flavour, reduce the chilli powder to taste. Freeze any leftover paste for up to three months, or double the recipe to serve four, cooking the crabs in batches.

Serves 2


  • 2 mud crabs (about 800g each)
  • 1 tbs vegetable or peanut oil
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 10 fresh curry leaves *
  • 2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tbs chilli powder
  • 280ml coconut milk

Curry paste

  • 2 tbs coriander seeds
  • 11/2 tbs cumin seeds
  • 1 tbs black peppercorns
  • 1 white onion, chopped
  • 50g desiccated coconut
  • 1 large green chilli, chopped
  • 3cm piece ginger, chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves, halved
  • 150ml white wine vinegar

* Available from selected greengrocers.


Put crabs to sleep by freezing them for 2 hours. Remove legs and crack shells with a rolling pin. Remove top of shells and discard. Using a spoon, scrape off and discard feathery-looking gills. Wash out guts and wash the heads under running water. Chop bodies in half.

For the curry paste, grind coriander, cumin and peppercorns using a mortar and pestle or a spice grinder. Transfer to a food processor, add onion, coconut, chilli, ginger, garlic and vinegar, then process to a rough paste. Set half the paste aside for future use.

Heat oil in a large wok over medium-low heat and cook remaining paste for 8-10 minutes until fragrant. Add tomato, curry leaves, turmeric and chilli powder and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes. Season with salt to taste. Add crab and 1/2 cup (125ml) water, then bring to the boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for 10-15 minutes. Stir in the coconut milk and cook for a further 2-3 minutes. Serve with steamed rice.

Posted by c55 in : seafood, No Comments on Curried Mud Crab


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