Nandu Masala
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Nandu Masala

Nandu Masala -simple home style crab masala made with blue crabs. 
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Indian, south indian, Tamilnadu
Keyword: crab, crab masala, curry, masala, nandu, seafood, varuval
Servings: 4
Author: Mullai Madavan


Ingredients - for masala paste

  • 3/4 cup coconut grated
  • 1 teaspoon poppy seeds/ kasa kasa
  • 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds / sombu
  • 1 each cardamom
  • 4 each cloves
  • 1 inch cinnamon stick
  • 1/2 cup water

Ingredients - for masala

  • 10 each blue crab / nandu
  • 1 cup onions chopped
  • 1/2 cup tomato chopped
  • 6 each baby onions / sambar vengayam
  • 2 long green chilli
  • 1 tablespoon ginger crushed
  • 6 cloves garlic crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon red chilli powder hot variety
  • 2 teaspoon coriander powder /malli thool
  • 1.5 teaspoon crystal salt / kallu uppu kosher
  • 3 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 6 each curry leaves
  • 2 tablespoon coriander leaves for garnish
  • 5 each curry leaves for garnish


  • Grind all ingredients listed under first list - coconut, poppy seeds, black peppercorns, fennel seeds, cardamom, cloves & cinnamon with water to make a thick paste. Keep this aside.
  • Heat coconut oil in a pan and season with cumin seeds and curry leaves.
  • Saute regular onions and baby onions along with green chilli, crushed  ginger and garlic until lightly translucent.
  • Add in chopped tomatoes and saute along until soft.
  • Now add in turmeric powder, red chilli powder, coriander and salt. Fry the masala powder really well until the leaves oil. 
  • Add cleaned crab pieces and mix to coat the masala all over.
  • Cook the crab for roughly 3 minutes until it partially cooks... 
  • Now add in the ground masala paste and cook further for another 3 to 5 minutes until the crab cooks thoroughly. 
  • As you cook, the masala thickens to a semi solid. Check for salt and add if needed.
  • Switch off and garnish with chopped coriander and curry leaves.