Curried crab and dumplings

Gary Rhodes with Debra Sardinha Metivier makes a traditional one dish meal from Tobago
By Gary Rhodes
Curried crab and dumplings
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4 as a starter
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Effort: medium


For the curried crab

  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 small white onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 3 tbsp Madras curry powder
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 300 ml water
  • 1 red or green pepper, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp green seasoning, (see cook's note)
  • 1 x 400 ml tin coconut milk
  • 1 crab, cut into large pieces in the shell
  • 1-2 tbsp cooked brown crab meat
  • squeeze lime juice

For the dumplings

  • 150 g plain flour

Tips and Suggestions

for the green seasoning, see recipe Tobago green seasoning.

Shrimps, prawns or diced lobster can be used instead of crab.


1. For the curried crab: heat the oil in a pan and gently fry the onion and garlic until softened. Add the curry powder, turmeric and cumin and cook over a low heat for a minute, stirring.

2. Add half the water to loosen the mixture, and cook gently for a further 5-10 minutes.

3. Add the pepper and the green seasoning and stir well. Pour in the coconut milk and remaining water. Add the pieces of crab to the sauce and simmer for about 10 minutes. Meanwhile make the dough for the dumplings.

4. For the dumplings: put the flour in a bowl and stir in enough water to make a smooth pliable dough. Turn out onto a floured work surface and kneed until smooth. Leave to rest for 20 minutes

5. Take a 7cm piece of the rested dough, roll to a long sausage shape and cut in to 1cm pieces. These can now be added to the curry pan, thickening the liquor as they cook.

6. Simmer the curry for a further 8-10 minutes. To finish stir in the brown crab meat and add a squeeze of fresh lime just before serving.

7. Cut and roll the remaining dumpling dough into small balls, then roll thinly into 7cm circles.

8. Drop then flat dumplings into salted boiling water. When they float to the surface, they are ready. Drain and pat off any excess liquid.

9. Serve the flat round dumplings with the curried crab.

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