Crab Xéc Xéc


Crab Xéc Xéc is a very fragrant and scrumptious Goan curry. Crabs are cooked in a roasted spices and coconut paste based curry. The roasting of all the ingredients for the masala paste is what elevates the flavor of this curry and takes it to a whole new level. The resultant dish is a finger licking good curry with sweet and delicious crabs.


This was yet another of Mom’s featured dishes in her regular Sunday lunch menu along with pilaf and a salad, whenever fresh crabs were in season. Since mom is here with me, I thought I’d learn it from her hands on. Needless to say it turned out super yummy. From roasting the spices to sauteing that masala paste, my kitchen was filled with such an amazing aroma, that aroma itself was enough to let me know that it was this crab curry if I didn’t know what was cooking coz it’s fragrance has been imbibed in my head ever since I was a kid. Blissful!


Enjoy this delicious crab curry with rice or just dunk the bread in it, either way you will love it! And of course the crabs, the highlight of this dish, are delectable as well. They retain their sweetness whilst simultaneously absorbing the beautiful flavors of the curry. Do give it a try 🙂

Ingredients: Measuring cup used,  1 Cup = 250 ml

About 1 pound of crabs ( I used steamed frozen crabs)

1 cup freshly grated coconut

4-5 Kashmiri red chillies

2 tablespoon coriander seeds

1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds

8 peppercorns

4 cloves

4 garlic cloves

1 inch ginger

pinch of turmeric

1 cup roughly chopped onions

2-3 tablespoons oil, preferably coconut oil

salt to taste


1. If you are using fresh crabs, discard the main shell, then remove the claws and legs of the crabs. Clean the crabs well and season with salt and set aside. If using already steamed crabs, make sure they are clean and set aside.

2.Dry roast the coconut on medium low heat until golden brown. Set aside in a plate.Next dry roast the red chillies, coriander-cumin seeds, peppercorns, cloves on medium low heat for about 2 minutes or until fragrant. Be careful in roasting as the spices may burn and turn bitter. Remove from the heat and transfer to a bowl/plate. (If left in the hot pan they may continue roasting and turn dark and bitter).




3.Add 1 teaspoon of oil in the same pan, saute onions until slightly golden brown.

4. Transfer the roasted coconut, spices, onions, turmeric, tamarind , ginger and garlic in the food processor/grinder, add little water at a time to make a smooth paste ( Approx  1 cup water).

5.Heat oil in the pan, add the ground paste.

6.Saute for a couple of minutes on medium heat, until most of the moisture is lost, and the paste is cooked well. Rinse the blender jar with few more tablespoon of water and extract the remaining masala, add to the pan, and continue sauteing for another minute.

7. Add about 1 cup of water, bring to a boil. Add salt to season.

8.Add the crabs, mix well in the curry. Cover and let it simmer on low heat for about 10-15 minutes or until the crabs are cooked through. If the gravy is too thick, you can add some water.



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  1. Loretta says:

    Oh my Freda!!! What are you trying to do to us Goans who don’t usually indulge in such delicacies everyday? 🙂 Love Crab xec xec and love the recipe. Even though its breakfast time here, I want a bowl of that with sannas so I can savor every bit of that delicious curry. I’m bummed, I haven’t had crabs this summer and we get some lovely ones here on the Atlantic Coastline – the Maryland blue crabs are delicious here. Send your Mum over my way would you please? Tantalizing!

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