Spicy Crab Curry - Bangla Style

A spicy crab curry cooked with hot Indian spices, sliced red onion, and sliced potatoes (what we Bengalis call Chocchori Aloo.) It's best eaten with hot rice.

Prep Time:
25 mins
Cook Time:
30 mins
Additional Time:
1 hrs
Total Time:
1 hrs 55 mins
4 servings


  • 2 fresh Dungeness crabs, cleaned and with their shells cracked

  • 2 teaspoons ground turmeric

  • ½ teaspoon salt

  • 1 tablespoon mustard seed

  • 1 tablespoon hot water

  • 1 tablespoon mustard oil

  • 3 cups sliced red onion

  • 1 ¾ cups boiling potatoes, peeled, halved lengthwise, and cut crosswise into 1/4-inch slices

  • 2 whole cloves

  • 1 (1 inch) piece cinnamon stick

  • 2 pods green cardamom pods

  • 5 whole black peppercorns

  • 2 large tomatoes, coarsely chopped

  • 4 Thai green chiles

  • 1 ½ teaspoons garlic paste

  • 1 ½ teaspoons ginger paste

  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • salt to taste

  • 1 teaspoon white sugar


  • 1 wedge fresh lemon

  • ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro


  1. Rub the crabs with 1 teaspoon of the turmeric and 1/2 teaspoon salt; let them marinate for 1 hour. Combine the mustard seed and hot water in a small bowl and let stand for 10 minutes. Use a mortar and pestle to grind the seeds into a coarse paste.

  2. Heat the oil in a wok or kadhai over medium heat. Add the crabs and stir fry until they change color, about 4 minutes. Remove the crabs from the oil and set aside.

  3. Add the sliced onions to the wok and cook and stir over medium heat until the onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Raise the heat to high, add the potatoes, and cook, stirring constantly, for about 2 minutes. Add the cloves, cinnamon stick, cardamom pods, and peppercorns, and stir for thirty seconds.

  4. Stir in the tomatoes, ginger paste, and garlic paste. Halve three of the chiles and add them to the wok. Cook and stir for an additional minute or two over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium; add the remaining 1 teaspoon turmeric, the cayenne pepper, and the mustard paste and stir to combine. Add the crabs to the wok and pour in just enough water to cover the vegetables. Bring the water to a boil and stir in the sugar and salt to taste.

  5. Cover the wok, reduce the heat, and simmer until the potatoes are tender and the water is reduced by half, about 10 minutes. Remove the lid, stir, and simmer until the gravy is thickened, about 5 minutes more.

  6. Squeeze the lemon wedge over the finished dish. Garnish with chopped cilantro and sliced green chile and serve hot, with rice.

Editor's Note

Mustard oil and green cardamom pods are available in Indian groceries and specialty food stores. Black or white mustard seeds can be used to make the mustard paste.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

247 Calories
6g Fat
31g Carbs
19g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 4
Calories 247
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 6g 7%
Saturated Fat 1g 4%
Cholesterol 48mg 16%
Sodium 613mg 27%
Total Carbohydrate 31g 11%
Dietary Fiber 6g 22%
Total Sugars 8g
Protein 19g
Vitamin C 40mg 199%
Calcium 112mg 9%
Iron 3mg 16%
Potassium 1056mg 22%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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