Nandu Varuval/ Crab Fry

This is a very easy recipe for crab fry and you just cannot go wrong with it. Though I always prefer fresh ingredients, be it meat or seafood, this one is an exception and I chose to use the frozen variety. The frozen ones are pre-cooked but cooking them again with the masala does not take anything away in terms of taste and texture. Also the ones I picked from a local grocer here in Texas were already cleaned and broken down. You can also find frozen whole crabs which require some amount of cleaning. If you prefer fresh crabs, there is nothing better than that. It is a lot easier in India where the fresh variety are more easily available and plus, you can always get help with the cleaning.

I have used Dungeness crab but you can use the same recipe for blue crabs or any other variety. Dungeness crabs are much larger and if you plan on using a different type of crab, you can vary the number of crabs or the ingredient quantities accordingly.



Dungeness crab, frozen and pre-cooked – 2
Cinnamon – 2 inch piece
Cloves – 6
Ginger, chopped – 2 tbsp
Garlic, chopped – 4 tbsp
Onion, roughly chopped – 2 cups
Coconut, grated – 1 cup
Turmeric – 1 tsp
Chilli powder – 4 tsp
Coriander powder – 2 tsp
Salt – to taste
Oil – 1/4 cup


  • Grind cinnamon, cloves, ginger, garlic, onion and coconut into a fine paste
  • Heat oil in a wide vessel and add the ground paste
  • The paste has to be sauteed well for 20-25 minutes to get rid of the raw onion smell. This is the most important step in this recipe as this determines the taste of the entire dish
  • Add turmeric, chilli powder, coriander powder and salt
  • Add the crab and enough water to cook it. Cover and cook for 10-15 minutes. If you are using fresh crab, you would have to cook longer (approx – 20-25 minutes) till the flesh becomes opaque and tender
  • Open lid and continue to cook till all the water is absorbed and you get a thick consistency
  • Serve hot with rice


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