Crab Xacuti

Crab Xacuti

While we were in Goa, if you recollect the market visit where we clicked a picture of those delicious goan sausages, we also came across some lively crabs, pun intended. They were still well moving about, anyway we managed to get 8 crabs for Rs100, that was a pretty good deal.

Would never get a price like that in Mumbai and tough to get them so fresh. Anyway, a friend of my mothers called Roslyn, wanted to prepare this dish for us, so here comes the next recipe, the Crab Xacuti. A special thanks to Roselyn for her help with this recipe 🙂

fresh crabs
Anyway, although Roslyn used a ready to mix Xacuti masala, you can always refer to the Chicken Xacuti recipe to get the authentic goan xacuti masala.

Crab Xacuti Ingredients:

1 Coconut
4 – 5 Pods of Garlic
2 Onions
Curry Leaves
Green Chillies
Small Ball of Tamarind

If you don’t have a ready to mix Xacuti Masala, you need these ingredients for the masala below, and follow the procedure from this recipe.

6 Red Chillies (Kashmiri Chillies)
1/2 Scraped Coconut
2 Teaspoon of Cloves
1 Teaspoon Haldi Powder
8 Pepper Corns
1 Teaspoon Jeera
1/4 Teaspoon Methi Seeds
1 Tablespoon Khus Khus
1 Teaspoon Badee Saunf (Moti Saunf)
4 -5 Flakes Garlic
1 Table Spoon Corriander Seeds
1/2 Teaspoon Til
1/2 Onion
Although Roslyn used a ready mix, the dish turned out really tasty.

cleaning the crabs
Firstly you need to wash the crabs and snap their claws, remove the really thin ones if you don’t want them in the dish. But it sure will add some flavor at least.
snapping claws
To snap the claws you need to hold the crab with one hand and twist and pull the claws with the other.
declawing the crabs
After your crabs are done you need to put them on the fire with enough water to just cover them, boil for 15 minutes.
ball of tamarind
While thats getting done, work on the masala, crush the pods of garlic, chop the onions and keep them aside.
chop onions
pods of garlic
Grate one coconut and add the garlic to it.
grated coconut
Add a teaspoon of the Xacuti masala to the coconut, remeber if you are making your own masala following the other recipe, you will use only half a coconut here as there would be half in the masala, also you would need to add more masala than a teaspoon around 1/4th of the masala and no garlic.
blending masala with coconut
Roslyn’s dish uses a lot more coconut and the masala is a ready mix, so it misses the original xacuti colour. But it did taste really really good as well 🙂 If you want the authentic colour, use less coconut with the chicken xacuti recipe.
bagaar ingredients
In the mean time saute the onions, garlic and curry leaves, add some of the masala to the saute and fry it.
add some xacuti or shakuti masala to the saute
By this time, your crabs should have boiled and hopefully cooled down for you to begin splitting them open.
boiled crabs
Split the crabs by pulling on the top and lower halves,you can clean out the meat and throw out some of the shells if you like.
split the crabs into half
remove the eggs and store
Keep the eggs and other edibles in some part of the boiled crab water that you can use to cook with the
split the halves into two
The lower part of the crab abdomen can be split in to two further halves if desired, I do not know why, perhaps the masala is absorbed much better.
add the crabs to the fried onions
Add the crabs to the saute.
add xacuti masala
Add the xacuti masala, to the dish and let it come to a boil with occasional stirring.
cook crabs with xacuti
Add the water that you kept aside with the eggs and edibles.
add crab water to the dish
Bring the dish to a boil and let it simmer for a few minutes.
stir till done
You’r Crab Xacuti is ready, sorry no pictures for splendid photography as, we were in Goa. After Roslyn made the dish my wife and I went walking through Panjim doing some photography, drove all the way to Dona Paula and from there connected back to Bamboli. Scenic and beautiful in the monsoons 🙂
ready to eat crab xacuti
Add the coriander for garnishing and presentation. I do hope you enjoy the crab xacuti, will have our next recipe up soon!

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Flaviano Dsouza
9 years ago

Take the thin claws boil it and pound it then put it in thin muslin cloth and squeez the juice.use the juice for cookin the crabs see the taste

9 years ago

Thanks for the suggestion 🙂

9 years ago

🙂 Welcome!

Sanjay Vaidya
9 years ago

Made it this afternoon. We get cleaned crab in Bangalore (Not being near the coast so shell and halved) In coconut oil fried the onions,curry leaves,garlic,green chillies,1/2 coconut followed by the masala then the crab.Checked the seasoning added the tamarind water and BOOM susegad.Thxs.

5 years ago
Reply to  Sanjay Vaidya

@sanjay Vaidya lol susegad not used correctly can say viva la goa instead 😉

Apolonia Dias
Apolonia Dias
10 years ago

I would suggest that you should clean the crabs first before boiling and not boil and then clean and thereafter put the same stock into it. I am Goan and I understand, we are used to this. However, have you noticed that the stock is bitter and unhygienic.

12 years ago

Curry leaves rarely a part of goan authentic cuisine

Siddesh Joshi,Goa

Gaurav Panakel
Gaurav Panakel
12 years ago

Another variation (do not boil the crabs separately)- Clean up the raw crabs by opening them up, then cut the body into two halfs. Add the raw crab to the masala and cook. The taste would be awesome!!! Hope you guys will like it

12 years ago

Hi Clyde. Am living in Newcastle at the moment and had a desire to cook up some Crab Xacuti. Despite being a pretty good cook and a Goan, I have never really cooked Goan Food. When you have 2 parents who do it so well, seems a little pointless. Now that they have managed to achieve the dream of retiring to Goa 7 months of the year; don't have them to fall back on. So Google it was to look for a recipe, found quite a few but wow I also found your site. I think I may be a regular visitor from now on. I am salivating just reading all the names of the dishes. I love the look of the site, it actually feels Goan. I think a few Goan songs playing in the background would just finish off the experience for all us NRG (Non Resident Goans). Thanks again, will re-post once I have tried out the recipe. Adrian Vaz

13 years ago


Do you have a full view of that chopping board? The partial view I see, looks like a little pigling, would love to see what the complete board looks like 🙂

13 years ago

Wow! The crabs look yummy. Thanks for the recipe.

13 years ago

Thank you. Sounds yum yum.

6 years ago

Hi Clyde
The intial part of the recipe says 4-5 pods of garlic, did u mean flakes? In another section it states to add the garlic to the grated coconut and then in the next section it states to add the garlic to frying onions. Could you please specify how mch garlic and when and how to use it.


5 years ago

Sorry but I found all the references to other recipes confusing. Could you make the instructions a little clearer?