This beloved Goan to the core recipe has a strange name but BIG on flavor. Crab Xec Xec or Shek Shek as it’s called is made by roasting Spices, Coconut, Onions, Ginger & Garlic together and simmering crab in it. The contrast between the roasted masala or spice blend with the sweetness of the Crab is heavenly.

Of course in coastal Goa, seafood is fresh right out of the Indian Ocean. Here in Canada, I make do with frozen Ceylon Blue swimming crabs – they are still from the Ocean though. I find the use of these pre cleaned & pre cut Crab really convenient, but you can use whatever type of Crab you like.

There are many types of Crab curries served in Goa but with it’s unmistakable roasted flavour, the Xec Xec is unique.

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Crab Xec Xec – Goan Crab Curry

2.83 from 28 votes


  • 2 lbs of Crab
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • ½ tsp Turmeric
  • Spice blend
  • 12 Kashmiri Chillies
  • 2 tsps Coriander seeds
  • 2 tsps black Peppercorns
  • 1 tsp Cumin
  • 6 cloves
  • 1 cup fresh grated Coconut
  • 1 cup diced Onion
  • 1 inch piece Ginger
  • 6 cloves
  • 2 inch ball Tamarind in ½ cup hot Water
  • 1 cups Water approx.
  • 2 tbsps of coconut oil
  • 1 cup of sliced
  • 2 tbsps sliced green Chillies
  • ½ a tsp of Turmeric
  • ½ cup Water
  • Salt to taste
  • Coriander to garnish


  • If using frozen crab, make sure it’s defrosted and rinse well before adding salt and turmeric and leave aside
  • Soak the tamarind in hot water, once soaked remove any seeds
  • In a tava or pan, roast the whole spices, followed by the coconut till brown and then add the onion, ginger & garlic
  • Make a powder spice blend by adding the Kashmiri chillies after they’ve been de stemmed and de seesed together with all the other whole spices
  • Add the coconut, onion, ginger and garlic, soaked tamarind and the water as needed to blend to a smooth paste
  • Heat up a saute pan and add the coconut oil, and saute the sliced onion and green chilli slices
  • Once the onion is golden brown, add the masala or spice blend together with the turmeric and allow to heat up
  • Add the crab and salt to taste
  • Add water to the processor and add this in as well
  • Cook the crab for about 7 mins on each side
  • Serve with rice and a simple salad