Next time you have live crabs at the market, bring home and make this Mangalore-style Crab Sukka Recipe – a specialty from an Indian coastal city from the state of Karnataka. You will love the earthy flavours from blending whole spices with fresh coconut and a whole lot of crabs. Serve with roti or rice for the perfect seafood meal.



  • 6 crabs (cleaned and cut into pieces)
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 cups coconut fresh grated
  • 1 onion large (finely sliced)
  • 4 whole red kashmiri chillies
  • 3 whole long red chillies
  • 5 - 6 cloves garlic
  • 1.5 cups water
  • 1.5 inches ginger
  • 1 tsp tamarind paste
  • 3/4 tsp coriander seeds
  • 3/4 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1.5 tbsps vegetable oil
  • 2 sticks curry leaves
  • 1 tbsp coriander leaves (finely chopped)
  • salt (to taste)


  • Once the crabs are cleaned and cut into pieces, marinate with salt and turmeric powder, set aside for about 20-30minutes.
  • In a mixer grinder, add all the whole chillies, garlic, ginger, coriander and cumin seeds. Blend into a coarse paste with some water (just enough to mix). Once blended nicely, add in the fresh grated coconut and the tamarind paste but only blitz for about 5 seconds so that the coconut is still rough.
  • In a pan heat oil. Add the finely sliced onions and fry until softened. Add the ground spice and coconut paste and cook for a couple of minutes on medium to low flame, stirring regularly.
  • Add the crabs along with warm water and cover to cook. This should take about 10-15 minutes. Taste and adjust salt if necessary.
  • In a separate pan, prepare the tadka. Heat some oil, add the mustard seeds and let them splutter. Add the curry leaves and toss in directly into the crabs masala.
  • Garnish with finely chopped coriander leaves and serve immediately.