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Onion and Pepper Crab

Onion & Pepper Crab

This onion and pepper crab marries the delicate flavours of crab meat with the subtle sweetness of onions and the punctuated fieriness of black pepper.

Exotic seafood recipes doesn’t have to be difficult to cook.

Crab meat is soft, delicate and mildly sweet in flavour. While cooking with crab, you have to be extra careful to ensure that the understated flavours of crab meat is not masked by the other ingredients.

In this recipe, we slow cook the crabs with some simple, basic ingredients like onions and black pepper. And the result, is a seafood lover’s dream!

Tip: Looking for tips on cleaning crab? Check out this post.


Onion & Pepper Crab
Onion and Pepper Crab



Onion and Pepper Crab
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5 from 1 vote

Onion & Pepper Crab

This onion and pepper crab marries the delicate flavours of crab with the sweetness of caramelized onions and the punctuated fieriness of black pepper.
Prep Time40 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time1 hr 30 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Kerala
Servings: 4 serving


  • 4 - 5 medium crab
  • 3 medium onions
  • 2 inchs ginger
  • 10 - 15 pods garlic
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons black pepper coarsely ground
  • salt to taste
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 sprigs curry leaves
  • 2 green chilies optional


  • Chop the ginger and garlic into lengthwise slivers. Coarsely grind the black pepper. Ensure the texture remains coarse. Easiest way to achieve this consistency is by giving whole black peppers a quick blitz in a blender. Thinly slice the onions. Clean and cut the crabs into pieces. If you using green chilies, slice them as well.
    Onion & Pepper Crab - Ingredients
  • In a skillet, heat some oil , and fry the ginger and garlic. Fry on a medium flame, till they start turning to a beautiful golden brown colour. This mild frying will release a wonderful aroma. We want the final dish to retain these flavours.
  • Now add the onions, mix well and continue frying while stirring occasionally.
  • Once the onions turn translucent, add the ground pepper and mix well. Fry till the onions start to caramelize.
  • Add the crab pieces, salt and mix well.
  • Add the sliced green chilies. This is optional. Add chilies only if you want to add some chili heat to the gravy.
  • Pour a cup of water, mix well and cook on a low flame with the lid closed.
  • Cook for about 15 minutes. Open the lid. The crabs will be cooked by now. If you are using mud crabs, the shells will turn to a beautiful orange-red by now.
  • Add some curry leaves. Cook for another 10 minutes or so on a high flame to reduce the gravy. I usually reduce it to a thick consistency. If you want more gravy, don't cook for long on the high flame.
    Onion & Pepper Crab
  • I usually serve this with some bread. The bread will soak up all the goodness of the thick sauce, and believe me, you would want some bread to wipe your plate clean once you start eating this!
    Onion & Pepper Crab


  • I used mud crabs, other crabs will work perfectly too


  1. 5 stars
    Tried it. Adipoli

  2. The take it easy chef

    Hi Muhsina, thank you! Even I love sea crabs. Like you mentioned the sea crab meat has a nice, subtle sweetness. Thank you for the suggestion. I’ll also try with prawns next time.

  3. Hi, I tried this recipe. I used sea crab. It’s yummy. I loved it’s little bit sweet tasted crab. I tried the same recipe with prawns. It’s very tasty.

  4. The take it easy chef

    Hi Yeleena,
    Thank you so much!
    Cleaning crabs is not very difficult. Once you figure out the technique on what to keep and what to discard, it wouldn’t take much time. I was planning to put together a “How to” article for cleaning and prepping crabs. Let me try to get something out soon!

    In the meantime, keep sharing your feedback and comments!

  5. Yeleena Thomas

    Hi. Loved your recipe and your caption that exotic seafood doesn’t have to be difficult to cook. I have always wanted to cook crab at home but my hubby does not buy them stating I do not know how to clean them. Do you know? Can you share knowledge on how to break the crab, which pieces to use and how to clean? That will be much appreciated.

  6. Looks brilliant. What are poppadums?

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