My First Attempt At Making Crab Curry

So last night I tried something I had never cooked before…CRAB! Yip, I cooked crab. I never thought I would ever cook crab from my kitchen but I must say I have always been intrigued and wondered about how it’s cooked and how it tastes with the shell still intact. I have eaten crab sticks before in sushi but that’s just about it.

I actually came across it by chance when I was at our local SPAR (a supermarket) and I was looking for some fish in the frozen foods section. As I was browsing through I saw a blue SPAR packaging with the words “Mozambique Blue Crab Portions”. I knew I had to buy it there and then! 🙂

I usually come across crab cakes but I had never seen crab pieces or even a whole crab. I know it is probably best to buy crab fresh but since I don’t know of any seafood places that sell fresh fish in Pretoria, this had to do. If you guys know of any please let me know 🙂 However, these crab portions are frozen immediately after they are caught so I was not too worried about them not being fresh.

What was even better is that at the back of the package there was a recipe for Crab Curry so I did not need to look for a recipe.


As per package instructions I left them overnight in the fridge to thaw so by the time I was ready to make supper the ice had dissolved.

As you can see, the crab portions are made up of crab legs with a part of the body (middle part of crab) still intact.
A closer look...
A closer look…

I followed the recipe at the back of the package but I made a few tweaks here and there depending on what I had already in my kitchen… I substituted the can of tomatoes with fresh tomatoes; I chopped up about 4 medium tomatoes. I also added fish spice and salt since the recipe did not mention anything about seasoning but I wanted to make sure my crabs were seasoned enough. The recipe also mentioned using “soaked tamarind pulp“. I had no clue what that was but thanks to Google now I know 🙂 (Click the link for an explanation)

Apparently tamarind has a sweet and sour taste, so I improvised and substituted it with lemon juice  and brown sugar. I squeezed out juice from one lemon and I put in about 2 teaspoons of brown sugar.

Below is the original recipe…So feel free to follow it exactly or make your own adaptations.



800g SPAR Blue Crab Portions

4 tablespoons (60 ml) SPAR Sunflower oil

1 medium onion, finely chopped

2 tablespoons (30 ml) SPAR Garlic Puree with Ginger

2 tablespoons (30 ml) mixed masala

1 teaspoon (5 ml) turmeric

1 410g can SPAR Diced Tomatoes

4 tablespoons (60 ml) soaked tamarind pulp

Fresh coriander to serve



1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan, and saute the onion until golden brown.

2. Add the garlic puree with ginger, mixed masala and turmeric. Then add the can of tomatoes and soaked tamarind pulp. (I added the lemon juice and brown sugar here instead of the tamarind pulp)


3. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 – 10 minutes.

4. Add the crab pieces, season with fish spice and salt, then cook for 30 – 40 minutes. (Remember that once the crab is cooked it has to turn a bright orange colour)


Cooked crab pieces. The colour has turned orange.
Cooked crab pieces. The colour has turned orange.

5. Garnish with fresh coriander and serve over rice.


It was a little tricky to eat at first and I find that the crab pieces did not have that much meat, especially by the crab legs. Most of the meat is on the body (middle part) of the crab. I liked the taste (almost a sweetish taste) and the masala gave it a nice spicy kick.

I think next time when I make it, I will serve it on it’s own as a snack because there is such little meat on it. Be warned, it can get messy with trying to get the meat out of shells lol.


2 thoughts on “My First Attempt At Making Crab Curry

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