Kakrar Jhal or Bengali style Crab curry is the most common preparation of crab in almost every Bengali household. Bengalis love potato & so, this crab curry contains big chunks of potato that are nicely seared with the masala & simmered with the crab! This Kakrar Jhal is the best Bengali crab curry that you will ever have. Needless to mention that it’s one of the easiest crab recipes too that’s packed with outrageous flavors. Yes, crab meat is super tasty, if you are a seafood lover you’ll l definitely love this Crab curry recipe in Bengali style.
Are you scared of this decapod crustaceans or Crabs?
I am dear readers! I admit that I am super scared when I see them moving in the store! Their sharp claws send a cold terror message.
Why do I still eat it? Because they are not alive anymore…Lol! and the crab meat is super tasty.
Though it’s a tedious process to clean a crab & to eat it yet that delicious meat hiding inside the exoskeleton is enough to make you cook this Indian crab curry more often!
Yes, it definitely takes time to crack the exoskeleton to reach that tasty meat! But, the reward is manifold!
So, be prepared to invest a good amount of time to relish your Kakrar Jhal!
If you are just like me living in some foreign land where the shop keeper doesn’t clean the crabs for you unlike in India.
Than, read this. It’ll help you to clean your crab step by step.
Sssshhhhh! I am very bad at handling crabs, so I pass that task to my soul-mate 😛
Table Of Contents
Some Interesting facts about Kakrar Jhal (Step By Step) | Best Bengali Crab Curry
What is Kakrar Jhal?
Kakra Jhal is a simple & delicious Crab Curry that’s cooked in Bengali Style with big chunks of Potato.
It’s the most common Crab preparation in every single Bengali household.
Kakrar Jhal is cooked with common spices and goes extremely well with steamed white rice!
Kakra = Crab
Jhal = A sauce that’s not very runny.
This Bengali style crab curry is popularly eaten during the winter months back in Bengal.
Because small fresh water crabs are commonly available in abundance in the local fish markets during that time of the year.
Though, here in the USA we feast on this Kakrar Jhal throughout the year as crabs are available in the Asian stores all 365 days of the year!
How to Clean Crab?
Making a delicious crab curry or Kakrar Jhal is not at all difficult.
But, Cleaning a crab is a tedious process that takes some time. No, cleaning a crab is not difficult if you plan it!
Clean it the day before you plan to cook this easy Indian Crab curry recipe!
It’s really difficult to explain in words as “How to Clean crab” because you won’t understand if I say take out & discard the gills & the mandible and take out the apron (not a kitchen apron…Lol! a crab has an apron too!)
See what I mean! It makes sense right?
Well, so to keep things simple and easy to understand, I request you to go through this post.
It will help you to learn “How to clean Crab” all by yourself.
Hope, you will find it helpful!
How can you serve Bengali style Crab curry or Kakrar Jhal?
Kakrar Jhal is best enjoyed with hot boiled rice. Seafood lover Bengalis love this combo always!
This Best Bengali crab curry is cooked with few spices & consists of less gravy. So, do not expect a runny sauce.
This is just to make the crab meat flavor shine through the curry sauce!
An overwhelming blend of spices will surely kill this Kakrar Jhal so do not use more spices than mentioned on the recipe card.
Can you freeze Kakrar Jhal?
Some recipes are just not meant to be frozen!
And today’s Kakrar Jhal is one such recipe that’s unfortunately not freezer friendly!
But, with a little planning you may keep things rolling happily 🙂
Clean the crab, fry them & store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator a day or two before you decide to prepare a Bengali Style Crab Curry!
That way you will save so much time!
How long can you store Kakrar Jhal?
Kakrar Jhal keep well for 2 days in the refrigerator when kept in an airtight container.
I won’t dare to cross the 2 days mark! The gravy tastes meh after 2 days period. Firstly, because this crab curry contains potatoes & secondly because it’s not that pungent & oily gravy that preserves well!
But, again the choice is yours.
How do you make Bengali Crab Curry or Kakrar Jhal Step By Step:
- Start by Cleaning the Crabs.
- Next, over medium high heat fry the potato chunks in mustard oil until golden. Keep aside.
- In the same oil fry the crabs until you get a nice aroma & the color changes to orange. Set aside when done.
- In the same oil add bay leaf & dried red whole chilies & allow them to sizzle for a few seconds.
- Next, add the sliced onions & fry until the onion becomes light golden & limp but not crisp.
- Now, add the onion paste + ginger garlic paste & saute until the raw smell completely disappears.
- Add the dry masalas or spices now like – turmeric powder, red chili powder, cumin powder & Bengali garam masala powder. Saute until the raw smell disappears & oil oozes out.
- Add the tomato puree + tomato paste. Saute until oil oozes out.
- Add slit green chilies.
- Next, add the crab pieces & saute well so that they get a nice coating of the Bhuna masala.
- Pour hot water & give everything a good mix.
- Add the shallow fried potatoes & Mix well.
- Cover & cook until the potatoes are done!
- Serve hot. Enjoy!
Do not miss some awesome Bengali Recipes from Foodies Terminal:
- Neem Begun – Stir fried eggplants with neem leaves in Bengali style.
- Bengali Ghugni recipe – Instant Pot.
- Posto Chicken – Bengali style chicken cooked in a poppy seed base.
- Goat Curry – Instant Pot.
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Recipe Card for Kakrar Jhal (Step By Step) | Best Bengali Crab Curry
Kakrar Jhal (Step By Step) | Best Bengali Crab Curry
- 5 small crabs (cleaned & washed)
- 3 medium potatoes diced in big chunks (peeled)
- 1 medium tomato (pureed)
- 1 medium onion sliced
- 1 medium onion pureed
- 1.5 tbsp Ginger Garlic Paste
- 2 small bay leaves
- 2 Dried Whole Red Chili
- 1 tsp Turmeric Powder
- 1.5 tsp Red Chili Powder
- 1 tsp Cumin Powder
- 1 tsp Bengali garam masala
- Salt (to taste)
- 4-5 whole green chilies (slit)
- Begin by washing & cleaning the crabs thoroughly.
- Smear some turmeric powder & salt on the cleaned crab pieces & set aside.
- In the meantime fry the potatoes in mustard oil over medium high heat. Fry them until nice & golden. Set aside.
- In the same oil (add some more if needed) fry the crab pieces until the color changes to orange & you get a lovely aroma. Set aside when done.
- Next, in the same kadhai or pan add some more mustard oil if needed & add the bay leaves + the dried red chilies. Allow them to sizzle for a few seconds. Do this over medium high heat.
- Next add the sliced onions & saute until they become golden from the edges & limp but not crispy. Do not over fry them.
- Now add the onion paste & the ginger garlic paste. Saute until the raw smell completely disappears and oil oozes out.
- Next, add all the dry spices namely turmeric powder, cumin powder, red chili powder & the bengali garam masala. Give everything a good mix & saute unti nice, fragrant and oil leaves the sides.
- It’s time to add the pureed tomato & the tomato paste. Give everything a good mix & saute until oil oozes out.
- Add the slit green chilies & mix well with the Bhuna masala or kosha moshla.
- Next, add the fried crab pieces & mix everything very well so that the crab pieces are uniformly coated with the kosha moshla or bhuna masala.
- Add hot or warm water, mix well.
- Add the fried potatoes, mix well. Cover & cook over low flame until the potatoes are well done. Do the prick test (with a fork or toothpick) to check if they are done. It should take around 5-6 mins to get fully cooked.
- Garnish with some more garam masala if you like the taste, mix well & serve hot with hot boiled rice. Enjoy.
- Crabs must be cleaned very well with warm water, sometimes they need a good scrub in order to clean the algae layer that gets accumulated over its feet.
- Discard the gills & the mandible & the apron too!
- Fry the masalas well. This helps to lock the flavors.
- Kakrar Jhal tastes best with boiled rice.
- If you do not have Bengali garam masala then skip using it in the crab recipe. But do not replace it with any other Garam Masala. It will alter the taste of this Indian Crab curry recipe.
Measuring cup used, 1 cup = 240 ml & 1 teaspoon = 5 ml.PLEASE NOTE: Nutrition values are my best estimates. If you rely on them for your diet or special diet, use your preferred nutrition calculator!
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