Mamta's Kitchen

Crab Curry from Bengal

Kekra Curry Bengali

Rakesh Kumar Gupta

Note from Mamta: This is the only proper dish that my husband Rakesh cooks. He learnt to make it a long time ago from a Bengali friend Molloy Mazumdar, and delights us with it every once in a while! When he makes it, it is usually in bulk and a few close friends are invited.

It takes quite a while to clean the crab. So, these days, he often makes it with tinned white crab meat and frozen crab claws bought from the Chinese supermarket. You will need 4 tins of white crab meat and a few crab claws.You can add extra crab claws to this dish when making from fresh crabs. Give it a try, it is quite delicious. Expensive, but delicious crab curry!

The pictures here show him making it with larger amounts than given in the recipe.

Serves 6-8


  • 2 large crabs of 750 gm. to 1 kg. weight each, approximately. Buy uncooked ones, if possible. You can use tinned white crab meat too or a mix of fresh and tinned.

  • 4 large onions, 200 gm. each

  • 8 cloves of garlic

  • 40 gm. or approximately 2-3" ginger

  • 3-4 large chopped tomatoes or one tin/carton of chopped tomatoes (200-250 gm.)

  • 150 gm. butter (1/2 tub)

  • 3 tbsp. oil

  • 2 tsp. Cumin (jeera) powder

  • 1 heaped tsp. red chilli powder, adjust to taste

  • 2 heaped tsp. coriander powder

  • 1 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder

  • 1 level tsp. salt, adjust to taste

  • 1 heaped tsp. Garam Masala


  1. Cleaning the crab:

  2. Place it upside-down on a chopping board. Pull off the legs and claws. Save any meat that comes out while pulling legs off. Lift up the �apron� (a triangular belly cover) with a knife and completely remove it, along with any external organs. Turn over, price off and discard the top, hard shell. Twist off claws and legs. Use a nutcracker or small hammer to crack open the leg shells. You can take meat out of some of the claws, while leaving some complete, for people to pick the meat out with a crab claw or small fork. Remove the gills, the dead man's fingers in the front. Throw these away. Remove internal organs and the mouth and discard. The body should now contain succulent white meat and fat/mustard. This is all edible and adds flavour. Break the body open and pick out all the meat from the body and all the chambers. For our family, this is the most sought after meat!

  3. Making Curry:

  4. Mince onion, ginger and garlic into a paste in a food processor.

  5. Peel and chop potatoes, if using.

  6. Heat the butter and oil together.

  7. Add onion, garlic, ginger and fry on medium heat, until light brown and oil separates. This takes quite a while.

  8. Add all spices and stir fry for 20-30 seconds, to release flavours.

  9. Add chopped/tinned tomatoes and continue to stir fry until oil separates again and the gravy looks oily.

  10. Add crabs and stir-fry at high for 3-4 minutes.

  11. Add the potatoes now, if using.

  12. Add enough water to just cover the whole mix, bring to boil and simmer for 20-30 minutes.

  13. Serve hot with Boiled Rice.

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