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Kerala Crab Roast Recipe

Crab Roast

  • Author: Shalini
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 6 persons 1x


Kerala Style Crab Roast or Njandu Roast (ഞണ്ടു പിരളൻ) is a popular seafood delicacy in Kerala where the crab is cooked in shallots, onions, and tomato and simmered in flavorful aromatic Indian spices.


  1. 750 gm Crab, washed and cleaned
  2. 4 Onions, large, sliced
  3. 1/2 cup Shallots, sliced
  4. 1 tsp Mustard Seeds
  5. 1 tsp Fenugreek Seeds
  6. 3-4 Green chilies, slit
  7. Curry leaves
  8. Salt
  9. Pepper
  10. 1/8 cup Coconut Oil
  11. 1 cup Hot Water
  12. 2 tbsp Corinader powder
  13. 1 tbsp Kashmiri Red Chili powder
  14. 1 tsp Red Chili powder
  15. 1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
  16. 1 tbsp Garam Masala powder
  17. 1 tsp Fennel powder
  18. 3 Tomatoes, sliced

To Grind:

  1. 10-12 Shallots (ചെറിയ ഉള്ളി)
  2. 3 tbsp Garlic, sliced
  3. 2 tbsp Ginger, chopped
  4. 1 tbsp Fennel (പെരുംജീരകം)
  5. 1 tbsp Peppercorns


  1. Wash and clean crabs and set aside.
  2. Grind the ingredients- shallots, garlic, ginger, fennel, and peppercorns coarsely and keep aside.
  3. To make Kerala Crab Roast, heat a pan and add coconut oil.
  4. Once hot, add mustard seeds and fenugreek seeds.
  5. Once the seeds splutter, add the sliced shallots. Saute for a couple of minutes.
  6. Add the sliced onion and saute until golden brown.
  7. Add curry leaves and green chilies.
  8. Add the ground shallot mixture and combine well.
  9. Cook for a couple of minutes until the raw smell of the ground mixture goes.
  10. Add the sliced tomatoes and combine well until tomatoes turn mushy and oil starts leaving the sides of the pan.
  11. Add all the spice powders - turmeric powder, Kashmiri red chili powder, Red chili powder, Corinader powder, Garam masala, Fennel powder, and Pepper powder. Mix well.
  12. Add the cleaned crabs and mix well. Make sure that all the crab meat is coated well with the masala.
  13. Cover and cook the crab on medium heat for about five minutes. After five minutes, mix well. 
  14. Add about a cup of water and mix again. Cover and cook for another ten minutes.
  15. Serve hot with rice, appam, or ghee rice.


  1. You can always add another cup of hot water if you want to turn this Crab Roast into a Crab curry.
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Category: Side
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Kerala

Keywords: crab roast, kerala style crab roast, njandu roast, kuttanadan njandu roast, crab pepper fry