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Curry Crab Recipe with dumplings so tasty

curry crab reciep

Curry Crab recipe

Since arriving in the Uk we have always made crab curry and dumplings (a Tobago speciality) with brown crabs. But now we have discovered velvet swimmer crabs a good alternative if you can get them. They are inexpensive and eco friendly (apparently they breed rapidly and the ocean is full of them). But for us the big thing is how sweet they are and how easy to get the flesh out by biting through the legs and claws. Brown crabs have hard shells so you need to crack the claws with a pliers or rolling pin before cooking otherwise your guests cannot get all the goodness inside.

8 live spinner crabs made enough for 4 people and at £5 for 8 that’s an economical meal. If you use Brown then you will need one each about £10. Curry crab and dumplings is one of the worlds great dishes. It will rarely be served in restaurants as eating it is so messy but half the fun.

In the USA lobster country Massachusetts and North the restaurants are prepared the staff give you huge bibs and bowls of water to wash your fingers, but the UK just isn’t there at all.

Its important to use uncooked crabs. We get all our shellfish from The Berwick Shellfish company LINK TO WEBSITE

curry crab recipe

As you can see in the photo these crabs make a lovely meal which goes so well with the bland wholesomeness of simple dumplings made with plain four salt sugar and water.

Caribbean Curry Crab Recipe (for 4)

This meal is a must if you visit Tobago. In Trinidad they use land crabs, sold at the roadside by small boys on long poles about 6-8 to a bunch. In the UK we use medium brown crabs or swimmer crabs. It is essential they are live crabs, hard to get in the UK unless you know a fisherman.

This goes well with our scotch bonnet hot sauce. Buy that by clicking below

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curry crab recipe

Curry Crab with dumplings

Tackle this dish once and you will have it again and again. Its that first time "oh what to do with a live crab" that stands in the way of an awesome tasty dish
Prep Time 1 day
Cook Time 1 hour
Course Main Course
Cuisine Caribbean
Servings 4
Calories 250 kcal



  • 4 medium live crabs Its not nice to kill crab, we put ours in freezer for about an 30/60 minutes to dull their senses. Take off the top shell with a knife and split the crabs in two and clean everything soft away until your left with two halves. Crack the  large claws (called gundies in Trinidad) with a rock or pestle.
  • 3 cloves garlic chopped
  • salt and black pepper and teaspoon of curry powder
  • 1 bunch coriander chopped
  • 1 tomato chopped
  • 1 inch fresh ginger chopped
  • 1 Onion chopped
  • 1 sprig Thyme
  • 1 hot pepper chopped


  • 1 tbsp curry powder mixed to a paste with water
  • 1 cup lager beer
  • 3/4 cups half and half coconut milk and water
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt


  • 1 lb flour plain
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • water to mix to a dough


Crab Curry

  • After a time for the seasoning to get into the meat (at least 2 hours but can be overnight).
    Heat oil in a pot and add 1 tbsp. curry powder mixed to a paste with water. Let cook down a little to gain fragrance and then add the crab and stir gently. After about 5 minutes add a cup of Heineken or similar lager, water and coconut milk. About maybe a pint or so all together, enough to cover. Add 1-2 teaspoon of sugar. Turn down heat and simmer for twenty minutes, uncover and reduce at high heat until gravy thickens, also add a bit more coriander chopped.


  • While the crab is cooking take a pound of plain flour and add 1 tsp salt and 1 tsp sugar, mix with water to form a firm dough. roll to a cylinder about 1-5 inches and slice into pieces to make about 10-12 dumplings. Add to boiling salted water and boil for 20 minutes then drain.


Put dumplings on plate and spoon crab over. This is a messy but satisfying meal where the real taste is in the dumplings and gravy and any crab you can suck is a bonus really.
Keyword caribbean crab, curry crab, curry crab and dumpling