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Goan Recipe – Stuffed Masala Crab

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Goan masala stuffed crabs

Using prepared dressed crabs makes this Goan recipe so much easier.

This authentic Goan recipe for masala stuffed crab brings back wonderful memories of travelling through Goa.

One of my favourite meals when I visit Goa is Goan masala stuffed crab. There, they use small blue crabs or fresh water mud crabs which we can’t get where I live.

For my version of this famous Goan recipe, I use dressed brown crabs. Ordering dressed crabs from your fishmonger takes away most of the work needed to make this recipe.

In the warmer months, I usually purchase my crabs live, boil and clean them and pick out all the meat before proceeding with this recipe and cooking them in the BBQ over indirect heat.

Cooking with brown crabs.

Brown crabs have a lot of wet, runny brown meat that needs to be thickened. This isn’t the case with all crabs so if cooking from live, you may need to adjust this recipe.

Shop-bought dressed crabs are usually thickened with bread crumbs but you could also boil a medium potato until soft, grate it and add that to the meat mixture instead.

Make this Goan recipe your own…

I have experimented with this Goan masala stuffed crab recipe and think I now have the perfect ingredient combo!

That said, everyone has different taste preferences. That is especially so with spicy Indian food.

Feel free to adjust this recipe. Taste as you go and ensure it is perfect before the final cooking. Adjust the spices to your own preferences and you will have the perfect stuffed crab.

Want to try some more authentic and delicious Goan recipes? Here you go…

Chicken Xacutti
Authentic Goan Sausage
Goan Beef Croquettes
Goan Beef Kofta Curry
Goan Pork Vindaloo
Swordfish Ambot Tik

Making Goan Masala Stuffed Crabs

My dressed crabs just as I purchased them from my fishmonger.

Making Goan Masala Stuffed Crabs

As we use less oil, the cooking process takes a little longer. Slowly fry the onions and chillies over medium heat.

Making Goan Masala Stuffed Crabs

Stir in the garlic, curry leaves and remaining ground spices. Then mix it with the crab meat.

Making Masala stuffed crabs

Stuff the crab shells with the masala crab meat and brush lightly with the egg wash.

Making Goan stuffed masala crabs

Dust each crab with about 1/2 tbsp semonlina and then drizzle each with 1/4 tbsp butter.

Goan Masala stuffed crabs

Bake in a 200c (400f) oven for 15 – 20 minutes or until heated through and toasted on top.

Make these Goan masala stuffed crabs! You’ll be glad you did. 

Yield: 4

Goan Masala Stuffed Crabs

Goan Masala Stuffed Crabs
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes


  • 4 brown dressed crabs
  • 1 tbsp rapeseed oil
  • 1 large onion – finely chopped
  • 3 green chillies – finely chopped
  • 10 fresh or frozen curry leaves - roughly chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic – minced
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 3 tbsp cider or coconut vinegar
  • 3 tbsp coriander - finely chopped
  • 1 egg – beaten with 1 tablespoon water
  • 3 tbsp course semolina
  • 1 tbsp melted butter


  1. Pre-heat your oven to 200c (400f).
  2. Heat the oil over medium heat in a large non-stick frying pan. Add the finely chopped onions and fry, stirring often until soft and translucent. About 8 - 10 minutes should do it. As we are using a small amount of oil, you will need to watch the onions carefully so that they don't burn. Stir in the green chillies, curry leaves, garlic and the ground spices and stir to combine. Fry for a further 30 seconds and the stir in the vinegar and chopped coriander. Taste it and add salt to taste. This is a good time to adjust spicing too so add more chilli powder to taste if you want to and/or more vinegar.
  3. Remove this masala from the heat and pour it into a large bowl to cool. Add the crab meat from the shells and stir in all up well.
  4. Transfer this masala crab meat in equal amounts back to the crab shells. Melt 1 table spoon of butter in the pan. Lightly brush each of the crabs with the egg wash. You won't use anywhere near as much as you have. Sprinkle each equally with the semolina and drizzle the butter over the top.
  5. Place the crabs on a baking tray in the centre of the oven and roast for 15 - 20 minutes or until heated through and lightly browned on top. Serve immediately.

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