Africa Recipes – Goan Crab Curry


  • A couple of female chuwaka crabs
  • coconut milk
  • several shallots
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 3 tomatoes
  • a teaspoon of cumin seeds
  • turmeric
  • a pod of tamarind
  • a cluster of cocum seeds
  • green chilli sliced in half (seeds removed)
  • red chillies


  • To kill the crab, remove the carapace from its body (less painful than steaming), and after snapping off the female’s tail, place into a respective pot.
  • Steam the crab for 5 minutes.
  • While the crabs are steaming, split the coconuts (easy to do if applied to a bowl of warm water and the copra grated on a metal spur called a ‘kibao cha’).
  • Use a strainer to thicken the coconut milk.
  • Grind the cumin seeds and garlic. Also, cube the tomatoes and dice the shallots.
  • DO NOT USE ANY OIL FOR THIS RECIPE—its what separates it from being Goan.
  • Mix together milk with the shallots, chopped tomatoes, cumin and garlic
  • (Tip: add chilli flakes and tomato sauce for good measure).
  • Give the mixture a stir and add in the cocum seeds, the tamarind – mulched in water, and even half a chilli (minus seeds).
  • Adding this half-chilli gives it a spicy flavour, called ‘Aboozy’.
  • Finally add in a haircut of fresh coriander.
  • Give it a brisk whisk and then slip in the crab.
  • (Tip: Add a little salt for good measure).