Go Back

Crab Pepper Masala ( Pepper Crab)

Akum Raj Jamir
Crab pepper masala is a delicous and finger licking good preparation of crab that is bursting with whole lot of flavor and taste. Pepper crab is super easy to prepare with minimum basic pantry staples and turns out extremely flavorful. Serve Chettinad crab fry or nandu varuval as a appetizer/starter or as a side dish with steamed rice.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Course Appetizer, Side Dish
Cuisine Indian
Servings 4


  • Frying pan
  • mortar and pestle
  • Spatula


  • 1 kg crab
  • 2-3 tablespoon  oil
  • 3 tablespoon  black peppercorns coarsely ground
  • ½ teaspoon  cumin seeds
  • ½ teaspoon  fennel seeds
  • 4 whole dry red chilli (broken)
  • 1 sprig curry 
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 2 teaspoon  coriander powder
  • ½ teaspoon  garam masala powder
  • 1 tablespoon  salt or as per taste
  • 1 tablespoon  ginger garlic freshly ground or paste
  • 2 large onion  chopped
  • 2 medium  tomato  chopped
  • ⅓ cup coconut grated (5-6 tablespoon)


  • To begin making the crab pepper masala recipe, clean and wash crab well. I kept  them as whole. You can cut then into pieces or into two.
  • In a frying pan add in oil and allow to heat up.
  • Add in the cumin seeds and fennel seeds.  Allow to crackle.
  • Add in the dry red chillies and curry leaves. Saute for 2-3 seconds.
  • Add in the chopped onions and saute until onions turn translucent.
  • Add in the turmeric powder, coriander powder, salt and mix well.
  • Add in the ground ginger garlic and saute for 1 minute. 
  • Add in chopped tomatoes and saute until the tomatoes turn soft and mushy. 
  • Add in the coconut and 2 tablespoon coarsely ground black peppercorns and mix well.
  • Add in the crab, stir and mix well to coat all the crab pieces well with the spice masala.
  • Cover the pan with lid and cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes stirring in between. 
  • Add in water and garam masala powder. Give a quick stir. Cover and cook further for about 5 minutes.
  • Add in the remaining 1 tablespoon ground peppercorns and few curry leaves.
  • Stir well and cook on high heat for about 2-3 minutes or until the moisture is evaporated completely and you get a nice thick masala base. 
  • Your crab pepper masala is ready. You can garnish with chopped coriander leaves and serve. Enjoy!



  1. You can use any crabs of your choice for this recipe.
  2. Black pepper is the dominant ingredient here so use generously. 
  3. Do not overcook the crab, they will turn dry and rubbery. 
  4. Use freshly ground peppercorns rather than store bought pepper powder. 
  5. Coconut is optional but highly recommend using it. 
  6. You can use sesame oil or coconut oil for the recipe. 
Keyword Chettinad crab fry, crab fry, crab masala, spicy crab