We were introduced to Ghee Roast, on our last trip to India. We had been to South India, to pay a visit to my husband's extended family. In a bid to try out local food, during our vacations, we chanced upon Crab Ghee Roast. Fresh water crabs cooked in compound butter flavored with spices and a finished off with a touch of molasses. We loved it so much, that we knew we had to find out a way of making it at home. My Husband made it with fresh Dungeness Crabs, as a part of the main course of our Friendsgiving Dinner last year and it was a huge hit. Friends and family who had seen the pictures or were a part of the dinner, kept asking us , for the recipe. Better late than never, as they say.

My knowledge of South Indian food is pretty less. So its always good to find out about all the hidden treasures of the wide spectrum of Indian home cooking. Ghee Roast is a popular item on the menu in the restaurants in Karnataka, as we noted during our travels in South India, last Summer. The gravy is supposed to be dry. The trick is to slow cook, but make sure that it doesn't get burnt. Nothing worse than burnt masala. As the name suggests, its cooked in clarified butter - Ghee. As it has a sizable amount of it, you cant miss this ingredient in the overall flavor. So if you are looking for a healthy recipe, this is probably not a good choice. Its finished off with a touch of Jaggery, which was quite interesting. The sugar helps in bringing all the flavors together at the end.

 I always think of an Entree in terms of what I can pair it with. Ghee Roast pairs well with steamed white rice and large Bourbon.

This recipe is pretty basic and can be applied for a protein of your choice. My husband has made it with boneless skinless Chicken Thighs (cut in cubes) and it tasted pretty well. That's what I like about a recipe, if yo can adapt it to different proteins. If you decide to make it at your home, please do write to me, on how it turned out. Would love to hear back. Hoping you love this, as much as loved it. Its now a very requested Entree in parties we host at home.


Ingredients : 
Dungeness Crab - 1 : Cut and Cleaned
Ghee - 2 tbsp + 1/4 cup + 1 tsp
Yogurt - 1 cup
Cumin Seeds - 1 tsp
Coriander Seeds - 1tbsp
Kashmiri Chilies - Dried - 4 to 5
Jaggery - 1/2 tbsp - Grated
Whole Peppercorns - 10
Cloves  - 8 to 10
Lemon Juice - 1/2 lemon
Tamarind Paste : 1 tbsp
Garlic - 5 to 7 cloves
Scallion : 2 tbsp: chopped (use if not using Curry Leaves)
Cilantro : 2 tbsp : Copped(Use if not using Curry Leaves)
Curry Leaves : 5 to 6 (Use if not using Cilantro and Scallions)


Make a marinade of yogurt, turmeric powder, salt and lemon juice and marinate the crab pieces for a couple of hours.

Dry roast the Kashmiri Red Chilies in a non stick pan. Take off the pan and cool them.

Put the pan back on heat and add 1 tbsp of Ghee and put peppercorns, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, cloves, and saute for a minute. Transfer to a blender jar, along with the dry roasted chilies, garlic cloves, and tamarind paste. Add a dash of warm water and grind to a paste.

Add 1/4 cup of Ghee to a non stick pan, and let it heat. Add the marinated crab and cook them on all sides, by turning them once . Be careful when you handle crabs, as you dont want the meat inside to start falling out. Once they are cooked on all sides, transfer them to a bowl.

Put the same pan back o the heat and add 1 tbsp of Ghee.

Add the spice mix you made, along with a few tablespoons of water. Mix well. Cook on medium heat. till the masala starts to separate from the oil.

Add the fried Crabs, and season with salt. Mix well.

 Add in the grated jaggery .

 In a different pan, saute some chopped scallion and chopped cilantro (coriander leaves) in 1 tsp of Ghee, till they are a bit soft. The original recipe, uses Curry Leaves, but Me and my Husband, are not great fans of Curry Leaves. Feel free to substitute these greens with curry leaves , if you prefer that.

Garnish with the scallions and cilantro and turn off the heat Serve warm.


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