Nandu Curry – Jaffna Style Crab Curry

Serves 4

Ahh I love crab curry!  It’s one of my favourite ways to eat crab and this recipe for Jaffna Crab Curry is one I’ve enjoyed since I was young.  It’s a treat and a comfort food all in one.   It’s so spicy, savory and absolutely delicious that I can keep munching on the succulent crab meat drenched in this amazing curry all day.   There have been days when I’ve been tempted to eat this for every meal.  OK, not just tempted; I actually have had it for every meal.  Ahem, it’s that good.  Also, for such a yummy curry it actually doesn’t take much time to make.  Tasty, easy and quick?  Let’s get started.


Jaffna Crab Curry – Recipe


  • 4 blue crabs, cleaned, cut in half and legs separated
  • 4 – 5 Tbsp. good quality spicy curry powder (go for a Sri Lankan or Madras style curry powder)
  • ½ tsp. turmeric
  • 1 ½ tsp. salt, or to taste
  • 5 cloves garlic, chopped
  • ½ onion, chopped
  • 3 sprigs curry leaves
  • 1 ½ tsp. fenugreek seeds
  • 1 Tbsp. tamarind pulp, seeds removed and resolved in 3 Tbsp. warm water
  • ½ cup thick coconut milk
  • 1 cup water, or more if you want a thinner curry
  • ½ tsp. garam masala (optional)
  • 1 tsp. sugar (optional)
  • 1 Tbsp. canola oil


  1. Combine the first 5 ingredients and set aside to marinate for 15 minutes.
  2. Once marinated heat oil in a large, heavy-bottom non-stick pan on medium and add onions, curry leaves and fenugreek seeds.  Saute until onion is slightly golden brown.
  3. Add the crab mixture and water, cover and cook until crabs are tender, 15 minutes.
  4. Add tamarind mixture, coconut milk and cook until all the flavours come together, 10 minutes.  Simmer for longer if you want a thicker curry.
  5. Add the garam masala and sugar, if using, stir through and remove from heat.


Serve with cooked white rice or pittu and watch it disappear.  You can also remove the crabs to a plate and strain the curry into a separate dish to serve to guests.


3 thoughts on “Nandu Curry – Jaffna Style Crab Curry

  1. Pingback: Chettinad Nandu Masala– Crab Curry in the Chettinad Style | Silk Route Chef

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