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Kakrar Jhal served in an aluminum plate

Kakrar Jhal (Step By Step) | Best Bengali Crab Curry

Kakrar Jhal or the Best Bengali crab curry is a winter favorite in West Bengal in India. This crab curry is cooked in Bengali style with chunks of potato, fresh water small crabs & a few staple spices. Kakrar Jhal tastes best with hot boiled rice.
4.75 from 4 votes
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Course: Dinner, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine: Bengali, Indian
Keyword: Best Bengali Crab Curry, Kakrar Jhal
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Cleaning Crab from scratch: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 200kcal
Author: Meghna Chakraborty



  • 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.


  1. 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.
  2. Discard the gills & the mandible & the apron too!
  3. Fry the masalas well. This helps to lock the flavors.
  4. Kakrar Jhal tastes best with boiled rice.
  5. 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!
Nutrition Facts
Kakrar Jhal (Step By Step) | Best Bengali Crab Curry
Amount Per Serving
Calories 200 Calories from Fat 45
% Daily Value*
Fat 5g8%
Carbohydrates 35g12%
Fiber 6g25%
Protein 19g38%
* Read our privacy policy - Calorie information is provided as a courtesy only and should be leveraged as an estimate rather than a guarantee.Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


Calories: 200kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 5g | Fiber: 6g