Seared Soft-Shell Crab

Soft shells from the Pacific or Atlantic coast are delicious when fried or pan seared. The final sprinkle of amchur adds an unexpected tang at the end. Goes wonderfully with our banana raita!

6 soft shells| 50 minutes + 3 hr marinade


6 soft shell crabs 

1 Tbsp minced garlic 

1/2 cup plain yogurt

1 tsp ajwain

2 tsp coriander seeds, crushed

1 serrano pepper, minced

2 Tbsp finely minced mint leaves

1 tsp turmeric

1 1/2 tsp salt

Chickpea masala for coating

2 cups chickpea flour

1 tsp salt

1 tsp black pepper

Amchur for sprinkling

Oil for pan frying


  1. Clean the crabs and transfer to a bowl. Combine the garlic, yogurt, ajwain, coriander seeds, mint leaves, Serrano pepper, turmeric and salt and toss gently with the crabs. Let the crabs sit in the marinade for a minimum of 20 minutes up to 6-8 hours.

  2. Combine the chickpea flour, salt and black pepper in a large bowl.

  3. In a shallow frying pan, heat up the oil. Dredge each soft shell crab in the chickpea mix until it is evenly coated and gently drop into the oil. Depending on the size of the pan, repeat with one or two more soft shells. Sear on each side for 2-3 minutes. Drain on paper towels. Sprinkle with amchur and serve immediately.

  • ideas / variations

    • Substitute chickpea with rice and plain white flour, however flavor will not be as good. 

    • Substitute yogurt for coconut milk.

    • Soft shell crabs can also be deep fried.