Curried Crab & Dumplings

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves:


Appears in

Sweet Hands: Island Cooking from Trinidad and Tobago

Sweet Hands

By Ramin Ganeshram

Published 2018

  • About

This dish is from Shairoon Nicholas of Santa Cruz, located in the valley of Trinidad’s Northern Range. Most blue crabs come from the Mayaro area along the southeast coast. Popular throughout the country, this dish is a particular favorite on Tobago, Trinidad’s sister island.



  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • Pinch of coarse salt
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder


  • 4 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 8 blue crabs, backs removed and innards cleaned out
  • 1 medium onion, grated
  • 6 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon each finely chopped fresh chives, oregano, cilantro, and thyme
  • teaspoons coarse salt
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • ½ cup Trinidad curry powder
  • ½ cup coconut milk
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste


Make Dumpling Dough

Combine the flour, salt, oregano, and garlic powder in a bowl. Using an electric mixer to blend, slowly add about ¾ cup of water, just until dough comes together into a ball. Knead by hand for 2 minutes to form a firm, hard dough. Set aside to rest for 15 minutes.

Prepare Crab

Pour the lime juice over the crabs, toss well, and rinse with cold water. Combine the onion, garlic, and herbs with 1 teaspoon of the salt to form a loose paste. Smear this paste over the crabs and set aside.

Heat the canola oil in a heavy-bottomed deep pot. Reduce the heat and add the curry powder and cook the curry, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Add the crabs and toss well to coat.

Add the coconut milk, ¼ cup of water, and black pepper to taste. Stir well and cover the pot. Simmer over low heat for 15 minutes, then remove the lid and simmer until the liquid reduces by one-third.

Cook Dumplings

While the crabs are cooking, complete the dumplings by dividing the dough into walnut-size balls. Roll each ball between your palms to form an egg shape. Flatten each between your hands to form thick patties. Bring 4 cups of water to a boil with the remaining ½ teaspoon of salt. Add the dumplings and simmer at a moderate boil for 15 minutes. Drain.

To serve, place the drained dumplings on a deep serving platter. Arrange the crabs over them and pour the sauce on top.