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Kekada Chat (Crab Malabar)


  • 1 pound cooked crab meat, fresh or frozen and thawed
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 or 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
  • 3 cups coarsely diced fresh tomatoes
  • Salt, to taste
  • 2 scallions, green and white parts, finely chopped
  • Lettuce leaves (for garnish)
  • Chopped cilantro (for garnish)


  1. Pick over the crab meat and cut into 1-inch pieces.
  2. Heat the oil in a large skillet with a lid over moderate heat and cook the onions, stirring frequently, until golden but not brown.
  3. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.
  4. Add the paprika, thyme, fennel seeds, and cayenne and cook for 2 more minutes.
  5. Add 1 cup of the tomatoes. Lower the heat and simmer covered for 15 minutes.
  6. Remove from the heat and gently fold in the crab meat.
  7. Cover and refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours.
  8. Immediately before serving, add salt to taste and fold in the remaining tomatoes and chopped scallions.
  9. Serve on a bed of lettuce, garnished with the chopped cilantro.

Serves 6 to 8 as an appetizer.

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