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Crab Curry or Peethala Iguru

Crab curry or Peethala iguru is a fragrant medley of spices and aromatics. Its spicy punch sets the sweet flavour of the meat sing.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Servings: 4 to 6 servings
Author: Padma


  • For the paste:
  • 1 inch Ginger
  • 6 garlic pods
  • 1 cm cinnamon stick
  • 4 Cloves
  • 2 teaspoons poppy seeds
  • 2 Tablespoons desiccated coconut
  • ¼ cup hot water for grinding
  • To season:
  • 1 cm cinnamon stick
  • 3 cloves
  • 1 cardamom
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Other Ingredients:
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable Oil
  • 1 large Onion finely chopped
  • 2 to 3 green Chilies finely chopped
  • 1 large tomato finely chopped
  • A sprig of Curry leaves
  • 2 teaspoons of red chilli powder Adjust to suit your spice levels
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • Required salt
  • 1 kilogram Crab cleaned and pre-cut (Fresh or frozen (thawed))
  • ½ cup finely chopped coriander divided
  • ½ teaspoon garam masala powder


  • Grind ingredients under “For the Paste” in a blender to a fine paste using hot water.
  • Heat oil in a pressure cooker over medium heat.
  • Season with ingredients under “To season” and stir for a min till you smell the aroma of the spices.
  • To this add chopped onions and green chillies.
  • Sauté till they turn slightly brown in colour.
  • Add curry leaves and stir for a minute..
  • Now add tomato pieces and sauté till it becomes mushy.
  • Add ground masala paste, red chilli powder, turmeric powder and salt.
  • Mix well and sauté till the raw smell goes off.
  • Add crab pieces and sauté for 2 minutes. Add some chopped coriander.
  • Now add required water till the crab pieces immerse and add required salt.
  • Adjust the consistency of the gravy to suit your requirement.
  • Close the lid of the pressure cooker and cook for about 2 whistles and turn off the heat.
  • Once the pressure subsides, open the lid of the pressure cooker.
  • Finally sprinkle garam masala powder and garnish with remaining coriander.
  • Serve with vegetable pulao, coconut milk rice, roti, paratha, idli, dosa, or just with plain rice accompanied with rasam.


If you are not a sea food lover try the same curry with chicken. Vegetarians could try with paneer and vegans could try with tofu.
This is a fiery curry, so if you prefer a milder flavour, reduce the chilli powder to taste.
Using hot water to grind the paste will aid the poppy seeds to grind easily.
Cooking in pressure cooker saves time.
You can also cook in a skillet over medium heat for 12 to 15 minutes and then simmer to low heat for 5 minutes. When the oil starts to separate, turn off the heat.
Crab or any seafood for that matter does not absorb a lot of salt or spices unlike other meat, so add salt or spices with care.
You can use ginger garlic paste in case you do not have fresh ginger and garlic and grind only the other ingredients for the paste, but definitely there is a difference in the taste.