Crab fry

I am a big fan of crabs from my childhood. My Aayi prepares crab for me and fish for my brother because I am not a fan of fish and he is not a fan of crabs. Now this has continued as my husband has joined my brother’s group. So there are distinct “crab-lovers” and “fish-lovers” groups at home. When we go to restaurants, I always ordered “crab thali” and my brother and hubby ordered “fish thalis”. Well…my sis-in-law keeps changing the group :D.

Aayi always prepared crab gravy. Though I had tasted many crab recipes in restaurants, the gravy was the only dish that I managed to cook. So my “crab” category had only one dish. Recently while I was talking to Deepa, she mentioned this point to me. She said I have to post more recipes in this category. She also gave this “crab fry” recipe to me and asked me to try it.

To tell the truth, I had my own doubts when I saw this recipe. Since the crabs are fried along with the shell, I was wondering how they will get cooked. But then I thought, when Deepa is telling it is so good, I should at least try once. At last after thinking for a long time, I decided to try it. I could not believe it…it was just amazing. Yummy, do not go on my words, just try it yourself and you will know what I am saying . Thanks Deepa for introducing me to this dish.

I also tried Shynee’s crab masala with remaining crabs. It was amazing. Read more here.

If you want to learn how to clean crabs, click here.

Cleaned crabs 4-5
Red chili powder 1 tea spn
Tamarind extract 1/4 tea spn (Squeeze the thick juice of small line sized tamarind if extract cannot be found)
Garlic 3-4 small (use 1-2 if using big ones)
Rava (sooji) 2 tbl spns
Turmeric a pinch

Ginger can also be added along with garlic to this dish. But I didn’t include it.
Only the stomach part is used for the fry. Do not use the legs.

Crush garlic (and ginger if desired). Apply it to crabs along with chili powder, tamarind, turmeric and salt. Leave it for around 1 hr so that the masala seeps in. I marinated it overnight.
Heat tava and spread some oil on it. Roll the crabs in sooji(rava) and fry on tava. Close the crabs with a lid. Fry on a low flame. After 5-6 mins, turn them. Take care not to burn. They usually take bit more time than fish fry.

Serves : 2-3
Preparation time : 20-30mins (excluding marination time)

18 thoughts on “Crab fry”

  1. Hi,

    This receipe looks gr8.After reading ur fish-lovers and crab-lovers thing,i remembered our family, where i like fish,doesn’t like crab,whereas my sister is gr8 fan of crab,who doesn’t like fish.

    I hope my sister will sure enjoy this receipe,will inform about this receipe.

  2. hey Shilpa, you shd try crab cakes as well. It’s available in the sea food section in grocery stores. It’s the crab meat thats cooked,seasoned and shaped into little patties. You can fry them with breadcrumbs to set off a delicious meal!

  3. Usha, I am sure your sister would like this. Let me know if she tries it :).

    Thanks Preeti. I will look for them.

    Shaheen, they are blue crabs got from a Chinese store here. I haven’t tried any other type as they look huge. (dungeness and snow crabs)

  4. Shilpa, I want to try this recipe today and am not sure if I have to cook the crab in a steamer before frying. Did you get the cooked frozen ones or the fresh ones.

  5. Divya, I got raw crabs only. You need not cook them before frying. Believe me they get cooked from inside also when you fry them on the tava. I had the same doubts when I got the recipe :).

  6. I am a fan of crabs too, but not from childhood. I ate it for the first time after marriage. We don’t buy if often because of the difficulty in cleaning. Our local farmer’s market has live crabs.
    Aayi’s recipe looks great.

  7. Pingback: Crab/Njandu Masala « Spices of Kerala

  8. You should try “Fried Blue Crabs” the way we do here in the Lowcountry of South Carolina. Mix crab boil, melted butter & milk. Soak crabs in mixture for a few minutes, then coat with seafood breader and deep fry in peanut oil. If you’ve ever had fried crabs before you will love this recipe.

  9. Just stumbled upon this website…

    Thanks for posting the crab recipe! Looks great!

    I love cooking myself especially crab curry, but never had tried crab fry this way! I have seen the blue crabs here in chinese stores…can’t wait for my next experiment!

    Cheers, Hemanth

  10. This is an absolutely fantastic website. Your recipes are such a joy to read, and I am certainly set to try some.

    It is rare to come across someone so genuine in food writing, nowadays.

    Keep up the good work.

    —A Britain-based admirer of yours (and your mother’s) recipes.

  11. Hi Shilpa,

    Can you pls. let me know how to clean crab? I tried this recipe last night and I could just get the shredded crab meat out from the shell. Also, I cooked it on very low fire and still the meat was not cooked. (finally baked it in the oven) Also, since the meat was shreded, I did not know how to fry it, so mixed breadcrums in it and made patties! 🙂 It tested great inspite of all the distaters!

    Shilpa: How to clean crabs

  12. I just watched “Water” by Deppa Mehta and was looking for some recipes and found your site . I LOVE it! I like to introduce our children to food from all over the world and appreciate the effort you have taken to share your food culture with everyone. You should ask for “soft shelled crabs” at your local fish market and try your recipes as you can eat the crab shell and all!They are amazing fried and also very good sauted plus you eat the shell so you do not need to pick out the meat.You do still clean them the same but keep the legs on as they are very good! Thanks again!

  13. hey there,

    never ever in my life i have tried cooking crab or saw someone doing it, but always waned to give it try, it would be very helpful if u can do pictorial or video for ones absolutely new to seafood cooking


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