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%Crab Malai Curry Recipe Debjanir Rannaghar

Crab Malai Curry | Narkel Dudh-e Kakra | Kakra Malai Curry


Creamy and flavorful Crab Malai Curry! A modified version of Bengali Chingri Malai Curry wherein fresh Crabs are used instead of Prawns.


Units Scale
  • 1kg Crab
  • 300ml Coconut Milk
  • 2 Onion
  • 2 Tomatoes
  • 1 Tbsp. Ginger Paste
  • 1 Tbsp. Garlic Paste
  • 4 Green Chilies
  • 2 Tsp. Turmeric Powder (to be used in cleaning and also while cooking)
  • 1 Tsp. Red Chili Powder
  • 1 Tsp. Bengali Garam Masala Powder
  • 1 Tsp. Sugar
  • 2 Tsp. Salt (to be used in cleaning and also while cooking)
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • 2 Dry Red Chili
  • 1-inch Cinnamon Stick
  • 3 Green Cardamom
  • 3 Tbsp. Mustard Oil
  • 1 Tbsp. Ghee


Crab Cleaning

  1. Wash crabs with water.
  2. Remove the outer shell and the triangular part covering the abdominal part and discard. 
  3. Now separate the legs followed by the Claws.
  4. In Bengal, we eat the legs (and for sure the claws).
  5. Now use a sharp knife (or similar) to insert from where the triangular part was removed.
  6. Pressing through, remove the inner shell and discard that too.
  7. You may need to use a hammer to loosen the shell!
  8. Now take each leg and hammer it lightly and then remove the thread and discard.
  9. Check if there is crab butter inside the body. If present, wash the crab very carefully after extracting the butter.
  10. Add this to the gravy and it will take the curry to another level.
  11. Bring a vessel full of water to boil along with 1 Tsp. each of Salt and Turmeric Powder. 
  12. Add crabs to it and cook for 2 minutes and then discard the water. 
  13. The crabs will be used safely after this process. This is optional yet a necessary one I prefer to avoid stomach problems.
  14. You Better check the video to understand the process of crab cleaning. In case you are using cleaned and packaged crab, you don’t need to follow this step.
  15. This cleaning process takes around 30 minutes for around 10 crabs. As this is optional I am not considering it as part of the cooking process.
  16. You can do this beforehand and store the cleaned crabs in the refrigerator for future use. I generally do that.

Making the Crab Malai Curry

%Crab malaikari making

  1. Take cleaned crabs and marinade those with ½ Tsp. each of Salt and Turmeric Powder and give a rest of 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, make a paste of Onions and Tomatoes separately.
  3. Now heat Mustard Oil in a pan.
  4. Fry the crabs for 1 minute. While frying; add those in one go as you do not need to deep-fry the crabs but shallow fry those. 
  5. Once done, strain the crabs from the oil.
  6. Add half of the ghee to the remaining oil.
  7. Now temper the Ghee and Oil mix with Bay leaves, Dry Red Chili, Cinnamon Stick, and also Green Cardamom.
  8. Cook for a minute on low flame. 
  9. Now add Onion paste and cook till the onion changes color and stated leaving oil from the edges. 
  10. Once done, add ginger and garlic paste and cook till the raw aroma of garlic goes away completely. 
  11. Now add Tomato paste and also green chilies (I cut those into halves).
  12. Mix and cook for 2-3 minutes or till the raw aroma goes away and the mixture leaves oil from the side. 
  13. Now add Red Chili Powder, Sugar, ½ Tsp. Salt and also ½ of the Bengali Garam Masala and give a thorough mix.
  14. Once properly cooked, add coconut milk and mix.
  15. Add one cup of water and bring it to a boil.
  16. Now add fried crabs.
  17. The crabs should be soaked in the gravy but there should not be excess liquid. 
  18. Bring it to a boil and cook till the gravy and the crabs are on the same level. 
  19. It should take around 5 minutes on medium flame.
  20. Once done, add the remaining Bengali Garam Masala and remaining Ghee and give a gentle mix.
  21. Serve the Crab Malai Curry hot with steamed rice.


  • You do not need to boil the crabs and discard the water if using packaged crab. 
  • In case you are using fresh coconut milk; 2 coconuts will be needed.
  • While extracting the milk, use the 2nd level milk (extracted from the scrapped coconut after getting the thick milk) using excess water. In this case, do not add extra water while cooking the gravy. 
  • As I have used packaged coconut milk, I had to add water for the perfect consistency of the gravy. 
  • Instead of Bengali Garam Masala, you can use Sahi Garam Masala. However, I do not like spices overpowering crab and hence, I use a lighter spice mix.


  • Prep Time: 30min
  • Cook Time: 30 min
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: cooking
  • Cuisine: Bengali


  • Serving Size: 200g
  • Calories: 483
  • Sugar: 6.2g
  • Sodium: 1509mg
  • Fat: 29.4g
  • Saturated Fat: 16g
  • Carbohydrates: 13g
  • Fiber: 3.8g
  • Protein: 43.1g
  • Cholesterol: 207mg

Keywords: Crab Malai Curry, Crab curry with coconut milk, Bengali crab curry, debjanir rannaghar

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