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Chettinad Recipes : Crab Rasam

A foolproof crab rasam recipe from the Chettinad cuisine, made with freshly ground rasam podi! Super delicious and yummy!
Course Main Dish
Cuisine chettinad
Servings 4 serving


For the rasam podi

  • 3 tbsps coriander seeds
  • 7 chillies red dry, preferably milder variety
  • 1 tbsp black peppercorns
  • 1 tbsp toor dal
  • 2 and 1/2 tsps cumin seeds
  • 3 shallots medium peeled and chopped
  • 7 large cloves garlic peeled and chopped

For the rasam

  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 onion medium finely chopped
  • 1 tomato medium finely chopped
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 10 - 12 curry leaves
  • 400 grams crab (or claws only)
  • to taste salt
  • 2 tsps lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup coriander leaves fresh chopped


  • For the rasam podi, dry roast the coriander seeds, red chillies and peppercorns for about one minute and then add the toor dal and cumin seeds. When the dal and cumin starts to brown slightly take them off the heat and let it cool a bit. In a mixer or a mortar pestle (I used the mortar pestle and I think that makes so much difference to the final product) grind the spices to a coarse powder. Add the shallots and garlic to the spice mixture and continue pounding until well blended.
  • In a pressure cooker, heat oil. When the oil is hot, add the cumin and onions. When the onions turn translucent, add the tomatoes, curry leaves. Fry for 2-3 minutes and then add the crab. Mix well and saute for about 2 minutes.
  • Pour 4 cups of water and salt and close the lid. Once the pressure builds up, reduce the flame and let it cook for about 7-8 minutes. Allow the steam to escape before you open the cooker lid.
  • Add the rasam podi (like I said I added only half), lime juice and some water if needed to achieve the rasam consistency. Boil for about 3-4 minutes and remove from heat.
  • Garnish with fresh coriander leaves and serve as a soup or with rice.


Note : I ended up using only half the rasam podi since it was just perfect for the spice levels my family is used to.
If you make this, share a picture with me on twitterinstagram or Facebook? I would love to hear what you have to say about it !
This recipe is part of the endeavor to create a collection of recipes of Chettinad Recipesin collaboration with a few bloggers who share the same passion of cooking. All the recipes from #thekitchendivas are pinned on thisPinterest board
Other Chettinadrecipes this week from #thekitchendivas.
Chettinad Pepper Chicken Masalafrom WhiskAffair
Urulai Chettinad (Potato curry)from Saffron Trail
Homemade Rasam Powderfrom FunFoodFrolic
Curd Ricefrom Archana’s Kitchen
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!