Crab pepper fry (Nandu milagu varuval)

Nandu milagu varuval is a popular dish in Karnataka and other parts of India. It is a popular breakfast and brunch dish. This dish is totally different from the traditional puli gosht. It is somewhat spicy and tastes delicious. It is prepared by soaking the coriander leaves, garlic, curry leaves, ginger, pepper, mustard seeds, and curry leaves in water. Then the ingredients are added to a hot oil. The dish is cooked for 15 minutes.

Nandu milagu varuval is a traditional crab pepper fry, this garlic sauce is a variation of the popular coconut curry. The recipe is similar to that of the coconut curry, except that the curry paste used is a garlic paste, instead of a coconut paste. The result is a slightly different flavor than the coconut curry, which is why this recipe is called varuval.

To celebrate the festival of Thaipusam we decided to throw in some crabs to our big crab curry. This is a traditional Thai curry dish made with crabs, red chillies, ginger and coconut milk. Crab meat is well-known for its delicate, sweet meat and its versatile flavour. We usually serve this with chicken as the main dish, but tonight we’re having the curry with fish.

Crab pepper fry is a South Indian (Tamil Nadu) seafood delicacy that is infused with fennel seeds powder and black pepper powder, creating a mouthwatering and flavorful crab meal. It’s obvious from the name, Crab pepper fry (Nandu milagu varuval), that it’s spicy and peppery. The crab pepper fry is not entirely dry, but it is semi-dry with a thick gravy coating.

I used excellent, hefty, and meaty blue crabs that my fishmonger cleaned for me. After its two large claws were detached, the crabs were halved. Because crab cannot be eaten quickly, every crab meal prepared at my house must be exceptional. Crab is often only prepared on weekends or during holidays. We must also consume it with caution, since its claws may do us harm. It has recently become my son’s favorite shellfish, alongside prawns, making the procedure exhausting for his father, who now needs to remove the flesh, watch him eat, and then do the same for him. It takes time and patience, but the work is definitely worth it. My crab pepper fry works great with simple white rice and rasam, but we like to combine the extremely spicy hot masala with a squeeze of lemon and serve it over rice.

Time to prepare: 15 minutes

Time to cook: 45 minutes

Tamil Nadu cuisine

spiciness: spiciness, spiciness, spiciness, spic

3–4 servings


  • – 2 crabs (blue crabs)
  • 5 tbsp. oil
  • 2 medium sliced onions
  • 1 1/3 cup chopped tomatoes
  • Cloves (about 5 cloves)
  • 5 green cardamoms
  • 2 cinnamon sticks (3 inch lengths)
  • 1 tbsp ginger and garlic paste
  • 3 green chillies, slit
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon black pepper powder (freshly and coarsely crushed)
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds powder
  • 25 curry leaves
  • a pinch of salt (to taste)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup coriander leaves (chopped)
  • slices of lemon


    • Cut the crabs in half, remove the large claws, and thoroughly clean them in water. Keep it on hand.
    • In a large saucepan or kadai, heat the oil and add the entire spices, cloves, cinnamon, and green cardamom when it is hot. Allow it to sputter for 2 to 3 seconds before adding the onion. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes, stirring often, until they are transparent and tender.
    • Sauté for 2 minutes with the ginger and garlic paste. After that, add the tomatoes and simmer for 3 minutes.
    • Add the chili powder and turmeric powder, stir well, and simmer for 3 minutes on medium heat, or until the tomatoes are mushy and thoroughly combined with the onion mixture. If the spices begin to burn, add a little water and continue to simmer. Close the cover and start cooking. In between, stir.
    • Add the crabs to the onion mixture and stir thoroughly. Mix in the salt and water one more. On a high heat, cook for approximately 2 minutes. Then cover and simmer for 4 to 5 minutes, or until the crab shells are pink.
    • Open the cover and stir in the curry leaves, 1 teaspoon black pepper powder (freshly crushed and somewhat coarse), 1 teaspoon fennel powder, and green chilies. On a medium heat, cook for 3 to 4 minutes. In between stirrings, make sure the crab masala doesn’t cling to the bottom.
    • The oil begins to separate from the crab masala on the sides, indicating that the pepper crab fry dish is nearly done.
    • Check the seasoning and taste the masala at this point. The crabs should be cooked, and the masala should be well distributed throughout the crab (the crab has absorbed the flavour). Stir in the coriander leaves for 2 to 3 minutes before turning off the heat.


  • Continue down if you like the dish to be darker in color, as I do.
  • Mix in the coriander leaves, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds powder.
  • Close the cover and cook for 5 to 8 minutes. In between, stir. Turn off the light.
  • Crab pepper fried goes well with simple rice and rasam. You can also pour some lemon juice over the crab pepper fry and serve it with rice – it’s delicious.


  • The spiciness of green chilies and chilli powder is determined by how spicy they are. As a result, make the necessary adjustments to the quantities.
  • If you don’t want it to be too spicy, leave off the green chilies and decrease the chilli powder.
  • If the masala is becoming burned, you may add a little water at the end and fry it.
  • Once your crab pepper fry has reached a semi-dry or fry-like consistency, turn off the heat.


This is a dish that is prepared in several parts, but the nendoroid has to be assembled before they are cooked. The nendoroids are named Nandu milagu varuval, which means crab pepper fry. First, the small crab is picked up by the hands and placed in a small frying pan. It is then dipped in the oil and fried until it is fragrant and crispy. When it is ready, it is placed in a bowl with the small amount of curry powder.. Read more about crab fry recipe and let us know what you think.

Una is a food website blogger motivated by her love of cooking and her passion for exploring the connection between food and culture. With an enthusiasm for creating recipes that are simple, seasonal, and international, she has been able to connect with people around the world through her website. Una's recipes are inspired by her travels across Mexico, Portugal, India, Thailand, Australia and China. In each of these countries she has experienced local dishes while learning about the culture as well as gaining insight into how food can be used as a bridge between different cultures. Her recipes are often creative combinations of traditional ingredients from various different cuisines blended together to create something new.