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5 from 1 vote

Simple Crab Curry Recipe

This crab curry is so delicious with loads of heat. Cooked the South African way in a spicy, hot tomato based sauce.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: South African
Keyword: crab curry, hot and spicy crab curry, indian curry, south african recipes
Servings: 4


  • 1 kg cleaned crab
  • 1/3 cup light olive oil or canola oil
  • 3 large cloves garlic minced
  • 2 tbsp masala
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 large onion finely chopped
  • 2 sprigs curry leaf
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
  • 4 green chillies slit in halves
  • 10 small roma tomatoes makes 2 cups once blended
  • 2 tsp kashmiri chilli powder
  • 1 tsp tamarind
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • salt


  • Wash the crab and rub some coarse salt into it to get it really clean. Make a few random cracks in the crab shells
  • Heat the oil in a large pot. Add the minced garlic and fry for a minute
  • Add the crab, 2 tbsp masala, turmeric and salt and allow it to fry for 10 minutes on low heat
  • Add the onion, curry leaf and green chillies. Saute until the onion is translucent
  • Remove the skin from the tomatoes and blend them. Mix it into the crab
  • Add the chilli powder and chopped coriander. Allow it to simmer on low heat until the tomatoes are cooked and it reduces into a thick sauce. About 30 minutes
  • Mix the tamarind into the warm water. Strain and add to the curry. Simmer for another 2-3 minutes
  • Garnish with more coriander. Serve hot with rice


  1. If you don't like tamarind you can leave it out completely
  2. If you don't have masala you can use chilli powder and add half teaspoon each of cumin and coriander powder. And a 1/4 teaspoon of ground fennel
  3. The tomatoes I used were perfect but if your tomatoes are too acidic add a pinch of sugar and adjust accordingly
  4. Like most seafood curries it always tastes better the next day. So this curry can be made ahead and refrigerated
  5. The crab weighed 1kg after it was cleaned
  6. You can increase or reduce the amount of heat your prefer in this curry by adjusting the amount of chilli powder and chilli