Crab masala (kekda ka saalan) is a popular dish from the culinary traditions of the coastal regions of the Indian subcontinent. It is a traditional breakfast dish in the region that is prepared using shrimp and is simmered in spices (coriander, turmeric, cumin, mustard, etc.) and aromatic oil.

If you’ve been following the blog, you’ll know we recently posted an entry about a new recipe for crab masala, based on a recipe served in a roadside restaurant in the south of Goa. The recipe is essentially a masala of various spices—some traditional, and some that we’ve never seen before. Since the recipe is a family recipe, our cookbook editor couldn’t get the precise ingredients needed to create the dish. It’s a simple dish, but there are some special ingredients that can make or break it.

I remember receiving a couple of crab masala (that was the name then) pickles from an Indian friend when I was in college. I could eat it with ketchup, but it tasted better without it. The crab masala pickle is a spicy pickle made with fresh mango, red chili, fenugreek seeds, mustard, and a little bit of salt. It is made by soaking the mango in water for a few hours. The pickles are then boiled for another few hours until done. The pickles are ready to be served after the chili is blended to form a paste.

Crab Masala is known in Hindi and Urdu as kekda ka saalan. My mother used to make this crab meal, and the whole house would fill with the fragrance, alerting us that crab was being prepared for supper. You may make this crab masala as a curry or in a dry form like masala using the same ingredients. I like my crab fried or in a dry masala with a little sauce but plenty of heat.

Crab is an unique meal that is only served on holidays or weekends due to the time it takes to remove the shells while eating. However, we love eating it since it is really tasty. Only when we are at home do we consume it. We must eat it cautiously, because its claws may injure us.


    • 800 gms crab (make each crab into halves)
    • 4 to 5 tbsp oil

For paste

    • 2 onions (medium)
    • 2 medium-sized tomatoes
    • 1/3 cup coconut

For gravy

  • 4 to 5 tbsp oil
  • Cloves — 4 cloves
  • 3 green cardamoms
  • 1 cinnamon stick (2 inch piece)
  • 4 to 5 green chilies (slit)
  • 1 tomatillo
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons ginger and garlic paste
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1/3 cup coriander leaves
  • if necessary, salt


  • Clean the crab well and remove its claws before cooking it. One crab should be cut in half.
  • To make a smooth paste, crush the onion, tomato, and coconut together into a fine mixture.
  • Because crab requires more room to cook, use a larger pot or kadai.
  • When the oil is hot, add the entire spices, onion paste, all powders, ginger, garlic paste, green chilies, and chopped tomato, mix well, then add the water and simmer for 8 to 10 minutes.
  • Now add the crab to the half-cooked sauce, shut the lid, and the crab should be well submerged in the gravy; if necessary, add a little water.
  • Cook the crab until the gravy has been reduced and the crab has become pink. On medium heat, it will take 12 to 15 minutes.
  • After a few minutes, you’ll see that the gravy has thickened and decreased.
  • Now cook it for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring constantly.
  • The crab should be thoroughly covered in sauce; how much gravy you use is entirely up to you.
  • If you prefer a dry form, keep the cover off and simmer until the gravy is completely dry. Garnish with coriander leaves.
  • As you can see in the photo, I only saved a little amount of gravy.
  • You may consume it by mixing it with plain rice and crab gravy.
  • It’s best served with simple rice and rasam.


  • If there is more water than is required for boiling the crab and making the gravy, it will take longer to make a thick gravy.
  • You may add a little water and boil it if it gets too dry.
  • Because it will be hot, you may cut down on the chilli powder.
  • Crab, like fish and prawns, cooks quickly.
  • You may also adjust the amount of oil according to your needs.
  • When the gravy is half-cooked, you may add crab if desired.


Crab masala is one of the most common dishes in Delhi, and it is famous for being a typical appetizer or an accompaniment to almost every main course dish. It is also a very popular dish in any occasion as it is very tasty, spicy and delicious. Crab masala is made from various spices, ginger, garlic, lemon juice and salt. Crab masala is a very easy dish to make. You can make this dish easily at home with the help of your favorite ingredients.. Read more about crab curry andhra style and let us know what you think.