Barbadian Curry Crab

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Bajan Curry Crab - Barbadian Recipes - Caribbean Recipes

Barbadian Curry Crab (Courtesy @iambus | Instagram)

Succulent crab, creamy and slightly sweet coconut milk, and plenty of spice go into making this delicious Barbadian curry crab. It’s the perfect dish for those who love coconut, with triple the coconut ingredients – there’s coconut milk, toasted coconut flakes, and desiccated (dried and grated) coconut. Coriander, cumin, and whole peppercorns are freshly toasted and ground in this recipe for maximum flavor, but if you’re pressed for time you can get away with using pre-ground spices.


  • 2 1/4 lb crab meat
  • 1/4 cup coriander seeds
  • 1 1/2 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tbsp black peppercorns, whole
  • Sea salt to taste
  • 5 1/2 oz white wine vinegar
  • 2 oz desiccated coconut
  • 1 tbsp grated ginger
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 1 large green chili, chopped
  • 1 white onion, chopped
  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 medium ripe tomato, chopped
  • 10 fresh curry leaves, diced (or fresh Cilantro)
  • 1/2 oz turmeric, peeled and minced
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp pepper sauce
  • 9 oz unsweetened coconut milk
  • toasted coconut flakes


  1. Heat a small pan over medium heat. Add the coriander seeds, cumin seeds and whole peppercorns and stir constantly until seeds become toasted and fragrant, about 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely.
  2. Grind the coriander seeds, cumin seeds, and peppercorns with a pinch of salt using a mortar and pestle or a spice grinder. Transfer the spice mixture to a food processor and add the vinegar, shredded coconut, ginger, garlic, chili and onions. Blend to form a paste.
  3. Heat oil in a large, heavy pot over low heat. Add the paste and saute until it is fragrant and some of the liquid has evaporated, about 5-10 minutes.
  4. Add the tomato, curry leaves or cilantro, turmeric, chili powder, and a pinch of salt. Cook until tomato pieces are tender and falling apart, about 5 minutes.
  5. Add the crab and 4 1/2 oz. of water. Increase the heat to medium and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until crab pieces are cooked through, about 10 minutes.
  6. Add the coconut milk and gently stir. Simmer for about 5 more minutes, until the sauce has thickened.
  7. Serve hot with a sprinkle of toasted coconut.
Adapted from Loop Barbados.