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Crab Pepper Masala

  • Author: Nithya Narasimhan
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Diet: Halal



This Crab Pepper Masala is AMAZING! with layers of flavor that you will be obsessed with. The freshly ground pepper masala gives you an earthy, mesmerizing taste with the right punch of heat. 


  • 1 kg crab 


Ingredients to Grind: 


  • 2 tablespoon peppercorns 
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 10 garlic pods 
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 3 tomato 
  • 2 onion 
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder 
  • 1 teaspoon salt 

To make crab pepper masala : 


  • 2 tablespoon sesame oil 
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds 
  • 2 sprigs curry leaves 
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder 
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kashmir red chili powder 
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper powder 

To garnish 


  • 1 sprig of coriander leaves. 


  1. Wash and clean the crabs. 


Let’s make a ground pepper masala: 


  1. To a blender add peppercorns, fennel seeds, turmeric powder, garlic, cumin seeds, Pulse for a couple of times to grind the spices.  
  2. Then Add Diced tomato, onion, chili powder, and salt to the same blender, Pulse the onion and tomato to a fine puree( you can add 1 or 2 tbs of water for easy grinding). Pepper masala has ready now. 


Let’s make crab pepper masala: 


  1. To a deep saucepan or Kadai add sesame oil, once the oil heats up, add cumin seeds and 2 sprigs of curry leaves. Let the flavors of the curry leaves get infused in the oil. 
  2. In goes the ground pepper masala. Bring down the heat, cover with the lid, cook the masala for 10 minutes stirring occasionally. The raw smell of the pepper masala has to disappear. The color change has to change from light to dark and you can see a thin glaze of oil on the sides of the pan. It is a sign the pepper masala has been well cooked. 
  3. once the masala has cooked, add chili powder, Kashmir chili powder, and pepper powder. Stir and cook again for 5 to 6 minutes. Make sure the spices do not stick to the bottom of the pan. 
  4. Finally, Add the washed crab, Stir and mix the masala to the crab. Check for the salt. 
  5.  Add water and allow the crab to cook. It takes around 15 minutes. The masala has to coat the crab, that is the right consistency to turn off the heat.
  6. Sprinkle chopped coriander leaves and serve. 


Crab: You can use any crab here, whatever easiest or most economical for you. Fresh crab has more flavor which gives you better Crab pepper masala. Look for blue crabs is generally considered to be the best tasting. 


Peppercorns: The dominant spice is peppercorns, you may use less or more as your preference. 


Fennel seeds: This one humble ingredient pairs extremely well with. Crab gives you more flavor & tastes this recipe. 


Oil: I have you used cold-pressed sesame oil, you can use any oil as per your taste. 


Garlic: I have taken 10 garlic pods that blend well with the masala. 


Grind the spice: You need to gound the spice first in the blender before you add onion and tomato, that helps in easy blending. 

  • Category: Maincourse
  • Method: stovetop
  • Cuisine: indian

Keywords: crab pepper masala,chettinad crab, nandu varuval