Goan Style Crab Curry | Kullyanche Tonak | Kulli Xacuti | Kurli Masala Gravy | Khekada Rassa | Khekadyache Kalvan recipe with detail step by step instructions and a video. Kullyanche Tonak is a delicious, spicy and flavourful Goan curry made from crabs. In Konkani, crabs are referred to as ‘kullyo’ and ‘tonak’ means a spicy coconut based gravy. Hence, this tasty crab curry is called as ‘kullyanche tonak’.
Cutting and Cleaning Crabs for Curry
The biggest challenge faced by new cooks in general is how to clean the crabs. The thought of cutting and cleaning the crabs is scary and terrifying. Nowadays, mostly you can get the sharp clawed pincers removed while buying the crabs at local markets or supermarkets. Once the pincers are removed, it is easier to clean the crabs. You can find detail instructions and a video demo about ‘cutting and cleaning crabs‘ in our ‘How To’ section.
Goan Crab Curry Preparation
The recipe to make Goan crab xacuti is pretty simple and easy. The recipe uses basic spices easily available at home. The masala for the gravy comprises of onions, whole spices and fresh grated coconut. It is very important that each of these ingredients be fried in coconut oil till brown. This step is a little time consuming but will definitely enhance the taste of the gravy and give it a nice dark brown colour.
How to serve Goan Crab Curry?
After preparing the crab curry, I strongly suggest that the curry be allowed to rest for atleast an hour before serving. Resting the curry allows time for the crab meat and the spices to blend well together and thus enhancing the taste of the gravy. In Goa, we usually serve this curry with hot Goan pao or undo. The combination of this spicy crab xacuti with hot pao is just finger licking awesome!! Alternately, you can also serve kullyanche tonak with sliced bread, roti or white rice.
You might also like some of our other Goan curries like chicken xacuti , mackerel uddamethi , alsande tonak, oyster curry and sungtacho ros.
You can check out more of our Goan recipes here.
Check out more traditional and authentic Goan recipes on our youtube channel Bhukkad Recipes. Do not forget to like, share and subscribe!!
- 6 crabs
- 2½ medium size onions – finely chopped
For Gravy Masala
- 10 cloves
- 22 peppercorns
- 1½ inch cinnamon stick
- 5 red chillies
- 1½ Tbsp coriander seeds
- ½ Tsp poppy seeds
- 1 Tsp turmeric powder
- ½ medium size onion – thinly sliced
- 2 cup fresh grated coconut
- small ball of tamarind
- salt as per taste
- coconut oil
- Soak the tamarind in 2 Tbsp of water. Keep aside.
- Heat 1 Tsp oil in a tadka pan. Add cloves. Fry the cloves till their colour turns darker. Transfer to a mixer jar.
- In the same pan, add peppercorns. Fry the peppercorns till their colour turns darker. Transfer to a mixer jar.
- In the same pan, add cinnamon. Fry the cinnamon till its colour turns darker. Transfer to a mixer jar.
- In the same pan, add red chillies. Fry the chillies till their colour turns darker. Transfer to a mixer jar.
- In the same pan, add coriander seeds. Fry the coriander seeds till their colour turns darker. Transfer to a mixer jar.
- Heat 1 Tsp oil in a large pan. Add poppy seeds and thinly sliced onion. Fry on a low flame till onion turns brown.
- Add coconut. Roast the coconut on a medium flame till brown.
- Add turmeric powder. Mix well. Roast for a minute and switch off the flame. Let it cool down.
- Add the above coconut mixture and soaked tamarind to the spices in the mixer jar. Add water as required for grinding. Grind into a fine paste. Keep aside.
- In a large vessel, add the crabs, finely chopped onions and a pinch of turmeric powder. Add just enough water such that all the crabs are immersed in water. Mix well.
- Cover and cook on a high flame for 2 minutes. Once it starts boiling, reduce the flame to medium and cover and cook till the crabs are done. Open and stir in between so that the crabs are cooked uniformly on all sides.
- Once the crabs are cooked, add the ground coconut paste. Add water to adjust consistency of the gravy to desired level.
- Add salt. Stir well.
- Bring the curry to a boil. Boil for 3 – 4 minutes. Switch off the flame.
Tips & Tricks
- For step by step instructions on how to cut and clean crabs, you can refer to our post in the “How To’s” section of this website. You can also watch our “How to cut and clean crabs” video on our YouTube channel ‘Bhukkad Recipes’.
- Allow the curry to rest for atleast an hour before serving. This resting time allows the crab meat and the spicy flavours to blend well and elevates the taste of the dish.
- The onions, whole spices and coconut needs to be fried well in coconut oil till brown. This perfect browning will give the curry its dark brown colour.