Goan Crab Masala (Crab Xacuti) Recipe with Step by Step Pictures

Goa, may be small in size....but has a heart that is as big as it can get. Having been a Portugese colony for several years, the Goan culture and cuisine is a tantalizing mix of Konkani and Portugese flavours. The diversity in the sea food preparations will leave you amazed and will be a treat to your taste buds.

So today we will be sharing the recipe of Crab Xacuti, a yummy Goan delicacy.

Xacuti is a Goan speciality. Xacuti is a curry prepared in Goa, India, with complex spicing, including white poppy seeds, sliced or grated coconut and large dried red chilies. It is usually prepared with chicken or lamb. It is also known as chacuti in Portuguese.
You can buy a ready to mix Xacuti Masala from the market.
However if you want to prepare Xacuti Masala at home, you will need these ingredients:-

  • 4-5 Red Chillies
  • 1/2 scraped coconut
  • 8-10 pepper corns
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp poppy seeds
  • 1 tbsp Corriander Seeds
  • 1 inch cinnamon stick
  • 5 cloves
  • 2 green cardamom
  • 1/4th of a nutmeg 
  • 1 small flake of Mace

For the curry:-

  • 3 fresh crabs
  • 2 onions finely chopped
  • 2 tomatoes 
  • Around 10 garlic gloves
  • 1 inch size fresh ginger, scarped and cut into cubes
  • 1 tsp of turmeric powder
  • 1tsp of red chilli powder
  • 5 tbsp of oil
  • Salt to taste
  • A pinch of sugar
  • 2 tsp Tamarind pulp
  • Coriander for garnishing
  • Get the crabs cut and clean by the fishmonger. Remove the really thin legs if you don't want them in the dish. Now wash the crabs and pat dry. Sprinkle lemon juice, turmeric and salt on it. Toss and allow it to sit for half an hour.

  • While you allow the crabs to sit, work on the masala.
  • Take a pan and heat it on medium flame. Dry roast all the ingredients kept aside for Xacuti masala , except the scrapped coconut. You will have to dry roast the scrapped coconut separately. So after dry roasting, transfer all the condiments and spices in a grinder, add a little water and grind to a smooth paste.

  • Heat oil in a pan and lightly fry the crabs.

  • Take them out and add 2 bay leaves to the oil. Dunk in the chopped onions and sauté till light brown. Add tomatoes and ginger-garlic paste. Sauté and cook well till the tomatoes become soft and are mashed well.

  • Add the Xacuti masala paste, salt, sugar, turmeric powder and red chili powder. Cook for another 5 minutes or till the oil separates.

  • Now add the crabs and coat well with the masala. Add 2 cups of water.

  • Cover and let it cook for about 15 minutes on low flame. Let the whole dish cook properly.
  • Uncover and add the tamarind pulp. Stir and cook for another 5 minutes. Make sure there isn't too much gravy.
  • Switch off the gas and transfer it to a bowl. Garnish with coriander leaves. Serve Goan Xacuti crab curry with roti or steamed rice. 

Hope you find this recipe helpful. Don't forget to pour in your comments. Would love to hear what you feel...


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