Kullyache Tondak – (Goan Crab Masala)

Kullyache Tonak – Goan Crab Masala is crabs cooked in Goan style with coconut cream and Goan chili bombs.

Kullyache Tondak – (Goan Crab Masala)

Kullyache Tondak – (Goan Crab Masala)

Recipe by Ushakal GroupCourse: SeafoodCuisine: IndianDifficulty: Medium


Prep time


Cooking time




  • Crabs – 5 (medium sized)- clean, wash and separate claws from the head

  • Onions – 3 (2-finely chopped, 1-chopped lengthwise)

  • Garlic cloves – 2-3

  • Dry chillies – 4

  • Green chilli – 1

  • Coriander seeds – 2tbsp

  • Poppy seeds – 1tbsp

  • Whole pepper – 4-5

  • Cloves – 5-6

  • Cinnamon stick – less than 1/4th inch of a stick or ½ tsp cinnamon powder

  • Mace – 1/4th flower

  • Whole nutmeg – 1/8th or 1/4th tsp nutmeg powder

  • Star anise – 1 flower

  • Fennel seeds – 1/4th tsp

  • Turmeric – 1/2th tsp

  • Tamarind pulp – 1 ½ tsp

  • Coconut oil or any other cooking oil you use – 3tbsp

  • Coriander leaves (for garnish)

  • Grated coconut – 1 cup

  • Salt as per taste

  • Pinch of sugar


  • Heat 1 ½ tbsp of oil. Once it becomes smoky, add garlic. Add the lengthwise chopped onion.
  • Once the onion turns pinkish and soft, make a hole in the middle and add the spices as follows: cinnamon, nutmeg, star anise, pepper, cloves, fennel seeds, mace, poppy seeds, dry chillies, green chillies and coriander seeds. Let it leave its aroma. Mix it together.
  • Add the grated coconut. An easier option would be to roast the grated coconut separately (maybe the previous day also) till it turns dark brown without oil. Add this to the above mixture. Sauté it for some time. (if added without roasting previously) add turmeric and tamarind pulp once the coconut turns dark brown. Let it cool. Add some salt and grind it into a fine paste.
  • Add 1 ½ tbsp of oil in a pan. Let it heat. Add 1/4th tsp of turmeric powder. Add the cleaned crabs. The crab claws need to be hammered at a few places so that they have cracks and the meat absorbs the spices. Give it a stir. Add some salt. Cover and cook on low flame for 1-2 minutes. Add 2-3 tbsps of water and cook till the crabs are done.
  • Once cooked, add the ground paste. Add water as per consistency required (I use 1 ½ cups), cover and cook till it boils. Add the finely chopped coriander. Add salt and tamarind pulp as per taste. When you’re happy with the taste, add a pinch of sugar just before putting off the flame.
  • Crab masala or kullyache tonak goes well with rice, bread (pau, unne) or phullkas.
  • Best to have it after about an hour and after reheating the tonak.


  • You can also add coconut milk at the end instead of water to give it a richer taste. This can also be an option to reduce the pungency if required.
    Crab masala needs at least an hour’s time to build taste.
    Tastes even better the next day.

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