Kerala Style Njandu (Crab) Roast

Have you seen this Njandu (Crab) roast recipe I’ve posted a few years ago? When I posted that recipe, I got some feedback saying “ hey you said it’s crab roast, but you’ve used prawns”. Yep, I substituted prawns for crab in that recipe. I’m not quite sure about the real reason (just to make me look good ;)

The thing is… when it comes to cleaning fish and meat or chicken for that matter, I’m not a big fan of doing it. To put it simply, I just don't know how to cut a whole chicken or fish, there I’ve said it! Also, if I’m being brutally honest, I don't have any desire to learn how to cut a whole chicken or fish. I’m more than happy to get it cut / sliced and cleaned ;)

So, for the longest time ever, whenever I saw crab in shops and asked whether I’d get it cleaned, I got a negative answer. That’s the reason why I used prawns in that crab recipe.

Anyways, recently a new online venture has started in Bahrain, where they home deliver fresh fish on a daily basis. Ok, let me make myself clear, this is NOT a sponsored post or I’m not associated with them in any way. I’m just sharing with you, that’s all.

My friends use it regularly and they recommended it to me. So one day, when I saw they had crab, I asked them whether it would be cleaned and delivered. To my excitement, they said YES and this recipe happened!

Honestly, I was quite excited to try out this recipe with crabs and “no substitutes” ;)

Yeah, the earlier recipe is also a crab roast. But… there is a difference here. That one is a coconut based recipe and this one doesn't have any coconut at all. Both are completely different in taste and flavours.

This is a spicy roast that goes well with rice or chapathi. I do hope you get to try this out and like it too. Let me know how it goes in the comments!

Here is the recipe…

Crab Roast
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Kerala Style Crab Roast (Njandu Roast)

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Keyword: crab, crab roast, kerala style njandu curry, kerala style njandu roast, njandu curry, njandu roast
Author: Maria Jose Martin


  • 550 - 600 gms cleaned crab
  • 1/2 tbsp each Crushed ginger & garlic
  • 1 Green chilli (chopped)
  • 2 Kudampuli (gambooge) (saoked in warm water for 10 mins)
  • 3 medium Onion (sliced)
  • 2 tsp each Crushed ginger & garlic
  • 1 tbsp Kashmiri Chilli powder
  • 1.5 tbsp Coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
  • 1/2 - 1 tsp Black pepper powder
  • 1/2 tsp Fennel powder
  • 1 big Tomato (chopped)
  • 1 - 2 tbsp + 1 tsp Oil (I used coconut oil)
  • Curry leaves
  • Salt


  • Cook cleaned crabs with 1/2 tbsp each crushed ginger & garlic, chopped green chilli, soaked kudampuli along with the water, salt , curry leaves and 1/2 - 3/4 cup water. It will take around 12 - 15 mins.
    Step 1 Crab Roast
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  • Heat oil in a wide and deep pan. Add sliced onion and cook till it browns.
    Step 2 Crab Roast
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  • Add 2 tsp each crushed ginger & garlic and curry leaves. Cook for 3-4 mins.
    Step 3 Crab Roast
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  • Mix together kashmiri chilli powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder, pepper powder and fennel powder with 1 tsp oil and 2 - 3 tbsp water to a smooth paste. Add this paste and fry for 3-4 mins till the raw smell goes and oil starts appearing. 
    Step 4 Crab Roast
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  • Add chopped tomatoes, salt and mix well. Cook till the tomatoes are done. 
    Step 5 Crab Roast
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  • Add cooked crab, along with cooking juice for more flavour (optional). Mix well and make sure the crabs are coated well with the masala. Add 1/3 - 1/2 cup of hot water. Cover and cook till the gravy becomes thick, almost dried and the crabs are coated well with the masala. Let it rest for half an hour for the flavour to settle in. 
    Step 6 Crab Roast
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This is a masala packed dish, so if you want to tone down it a bit, I suggest adding 1/2 cup of thin - medium cup coconut milk in the end.
Make sure the curry rests for half an hour at least, for the flavors to settle in. 
Tried this recipe? Let others know by...mentioning @mariasmenu or tagging #mariasmenu
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