"Momma, I want Crab Biryani! Momma, I want to go to sea!" My five-year-old was demanding two things that are completely unrelated yet related! I though found both the demands good and on time as well! We didn't have Crab Biryani for long and neither we opted for a trip in recent months. This, however, is the season of crabs and a trip is what we needed. I cooked the Biryani for her and went on the weekend trip last week.
Her favorite Crab delicacies!
I found Pasta's Crab-meat Biryani request quite funny. She has had Crab a few times and mostly in form of Crab cake but not in form of a typical curry or a rice-based dish. Moreover, I don't even know where has she heard of this dish! However, Crab dum Biryani is a great mixed-rice delicacy and I took no time to purchase the Crab.
The nearby market these days is loaded with fresh crabs and I ended up picking around 6 medium-sized crabs. Though I didn't make Crab Biryani with the entire purchase. I made some Butter Garlic Crab as well. I will be sharing the recipe for Butter Garlic Crab soon.
Crab Biryani or Crab Pulav! Is it authentic?
The word Biryani is derived from "Biryan" and also "Brinj". Biriyan is a Parsi word that means fried before cooking and Brinj stands for Rice. Initially, this dish was prepared only with meat, however, with time people started using other ingredients such as seafood, vegetables, etc while making Biryani and people started accepting the variations.
Now the question is whether to call this dish Biryani or Crab Pulao. In brief Historian Sohail Nakhvi is in opinion; Biryani is richer, however, Pulav is not. He also opined that Biryani is all about juiciness. Thus mine is Crab biryani, not Pulav.
It is, in fact, quite easy to make crab dum Biryani. A few fresh Crab, rice and a few spices, and an hour of cooking over dum are enough to make this dish. I prefer the typical "Dum" process to make Biryani and the Crab meat Biryani is no exception. I made it with around 300g of Rice and 3 Crabs.
Here's how I make Crab Biryani at home!Print
- Total Time: 50 mins
- Yield: 5 People 1x
An easy recipe for Crab biryani. It takes just one hour to make this delicacy.
- 3 Crab
- 300g Basmati Rice
- 4 Onion
- 4 Tbsp. Tomato Paste
- 1.5 Tbsp. Ginger Paste
- 2 Tbsp.Garlic Paste
- 200g Hung Curd
- 6 Green Chili
- 4 Tbsp. Vegetable Oil
- 2 Tbsp. Ghee
- 1.5 Tsp. Turmeric Powder
- 1 Tsp. Red Chilli Powder
- 1 Tsp. Cumin Powder
- 1 Tsp. Coriander Powder
- 1 Tsp. Garam Masala Powder
- ¼ Tsp. Mace Powder
- ¼ Tsp. Nutmeg Powder
- 1 Tsp. Sugar
- 1.5 Tsp. Salt or to Taste
- 2 Bay Leaf: 2
- 1-inch Cinnamon Stick
- 2 Black Cardamom
- 4 Green Cardamom
- 2 Dry Red Chilli
- ½ Tsp. Sahi Jeera
Fried Onion or Beresta:
- Finely chop two onions and deep fry those and keep aside.
Cooking the Crab:
- Wash Crabs thoroughly with hot water.
- Take Crab along with ½ Tsp. Turmeric Powder and ½ Tsp. Salt and boil it with water for 5 minutes and discard the water. This step is optional but advisable to follow to avoid allergies etc that may occur from consuming crab.
- Marinade Crab with Turmeric Powder and Salt.
- Finely chop the remaining Onion.
- Heat Oil in a deep-bottom vessel and shallow fry the Crab.
- Once done temper the remaining oil with Bay Leaf, Cinnamon Stick, Black Cardamom, Green Cardamom, Dry Red Chilli, and Sahi Jeera.
- Add chopped onion and fry till it turns translucent in color.
- Now add Ginger and Garlic Paste followed by Tomato paste and chopped Green Chilli and fry till the raw aroma goes and oil comes out from the edges.
- Add Turmeric Powder, Red Chilli Powder, Cumin Powder, Coriander Powder, Mace powder, and Nutmeg powder followed by salt and Sugar, and cook for a minute.
- Add Hung curd and cook over the slow flame for 3-4 minutes.
- At this point add fried crabs and cook over the slow flame for 3-4 minutes.
- Add ½ cup of water and cook for 2 minutes.
- Switch the flame off.
Cooking the Rice:
- Soak Basmati Rice in water for 15 minutes and discard the water after washing the rice for 2-3 times.
- In the meantime, boil 3 liters of water in a vessel along with salt.
- Once the water starts boiling pour soaked rice and cover the vessel with a lid and cook for 5-6 minutes at high temperature. The rice must be cooked ⅔ but not fully.
- discard the water and pour semi-boiled rice over a plate.
Arranging the rice and crab for Dum to make biryani
- lightly fold Ghee in semi-cooked rice.
- Pour ⅓ of the rice into a vessel.
- Top it with half of the cooked Crab, gravy, and fried onion followed by a little Garam masala powder.
- Top it with ⅓ rice followed by Crab, gravy, fried onion, and Garam masala powder.
- Cover the crab with the rest of the rice.
- Place a lid over the vessel and seal the sides using flour dough.
- Place a Tawa/ pan over the flame and place the Vessel over the Tawa and cook the Biryani for 8-10 minutes on low flame.
- Switch the flame off.
- Open the lid after 15 minutes and using a spatula lightly mix the rice and crab.
- Serve Crab Biryani hot with Raita and other condiments.
- You may substitute Oil with Ghee and vice versa.
- You may increase or decrease the amount of Crab based on requirements.
- I prefer to break the crab before cooking the dish.
- Proper washing and cleaning are really important for crabs. You may check the video I have shared below where I have elaborated the crab cleaning process
- Prep Time: 10 mins
- Cook Time: 40 mins
- Category: Main
- Method: Cooking
- Cuisine: Indian
- Serving Size: 150g
- Calories: 555
- Sugar: 11g
- Sodium: 807mg
- Fat: 18.6g
- Saturated Fat: 5.7g
- Carbohydrates: 70g
- Fiber: 4.8g
- Protein: 24.6g
- Cholesterol: 96mg
Keywords: crab biryani recipe, crab pulao recipe, nandu biryani recipe, debjanir rannaghar
Crab Cleaning process video
Side Dish Recipes
(to match with crab meat biryani)
- Chicken Chaap (also known as Chaap Bhaja)
- Bengali Desi Murgir Dum (also known as Bengali Country Chicken Curry)
- Bangladeshi Chicken Roast (also known as Biyebarir Chicken Roast)
- Kakrar Jhal (also known as Bengali Crab Curry)
- Mutton Mincemeat Curry with Potato Chunks (also is known as Bengali Keema Curry )
- Mutton Haleem (also known as Hyderabadi Haleem)
- Bengali Pork Curry (also known as Pork Jhol)
- Pandi Curry also known as Coorgi Pork
- Doi Maach (also known as Fish in Yogurt Curry)
- Keema Kaleji (also known as Keema Kalija | Indian mutton mincemeat and mutton liver curry)
- Aar Macher Kalia
- Chitol Macher Muitha (also known as Chitoler Muitha)
- Crab Malai Curry (also known as Narkel Dudh-e Kakra | Kakra Malai Curry)
- Dim er Surua (also known as Bengali Egg Surua or Egg Stew)
- Egg Tadka (also known as Kolkata street-style Dim Torka)
- Chettinad Egg Curry (also known as Chettinad Muttai Masala)
Have you tried the Crab Biryani Recipe from Debjanir Rannaghar!
Do let me know how it came out. Also, I would love to see a picture of the same which you can share here at email@example.com. Meanwhile, on Instagram, you can use my hashtag #debjanirrannaghar and in addition, you can tag me at @foodofdebjani.
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