Nandu Chettinad Kuzhambu / Crab Chettinad / Nandu Curry

Nandu Chettinad Kuzhambu / Crab Chettinad / Nandu Curry

Crab Chettinad:(Chettinad Style)
Crab Masala. Crab Curry. Crab in Hot and Spicy Gravy. Nandu Masala. Kekra Masala.This is my Dad’s favorite recipe. He used to take me to all the chettinad restaurants in Chennai. I enjoyed encountering the hot chettinad food for the first time. Though most of them think its hot and spicy….I bet, one will forget after tasting it. The spices used here in the restaurants are super strong, but its sort of right blend. However this is not authentic chettinad tho’…the original chettinad food is devoid of spicy food / non-veg!!! The one which we enjoy in Chennai restaurnats are all ‘fusion food’ between chettinad and Mughal:) Is’nt that exciting. One should probably try this cuisine style sometime in their life. I actually had hard time in guessing the ingredients….you know. Few are really hard for me to predict. My Dad helped me out in cooking this recipe for the first time.


Crab 1/2 kg cleaned and washed….if needed made into halves
Sesame oil 1 cup
Turmeric 1/2 spoon

To be fried with little oil and made into paste:

Sesame oil 4-5 spoons
Onion 1 chopped
Garlic 5-6 cloves
Ginger 3-4 inches chopped

To be roasted each separately and powdered:

Whole black peppercorns 1-2 spoon
Dry red chillies 3-4
Cinnamon sticks 2-3
Cloves 3
Cumin seeds 1-2 spoons
Poppy seeds/cas cas 1-2 spoons
Dhaniya/coriander seeds 1 cup
Fresh coconut 4″ size – chopped and slightly toasted- then made into paste.

For garnishing:

Fry crisply curry leaves in hot oil and set them aside. Maybe a large bowl full.


1. In a wide pan add oil and crab. Add salt plus turmeric powder and enough water to cook the crab. Maintain the flame in medium to high flame during this process. Cover the pan while cooking.

2. Once the crab is 3/4 cooked and at the same time all water gets evaporated……add the paste of onions, garlic, ginger and tomato now.

3. Cook them uncovered. Constantly keep stirring… make sure of the paste gets well absorbed to the crab at all its sides.

4. Once the raw smell of the paste is gone……add the powders of cinnamon, cloves, cumins, poppy seeds, dhaniya, pepper, dry chili and dry coconut.

5. Now stir fry them….till the raw smell of the powder is gone and oil shows up on top.

6. Garnish them with crisply fried curry leaves.

Serve with along with plain rice, idly, dosa or aapam.


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