Crab masala (khekdyach Tikhla)


Kokan is a rugged section of the western coastline of India. I belong to Sindhudurg, which is an administrative district in Konkan Maharashtra. The staple food in all over Konkan is rice and fishes. Rice crop is grown and harvested in large quantity in the Konkan region. The Arabian Sea is to the west, so fishes and seafood are consumed more.

As seafood is the staple food, the cooking and making are famous all over the world. Many tourist places like Goa and Malwan are getting importance because of food and beaches.

The taste of the fish or crabs is a bit different in the US than what we get in India, but I try my best to cook it to get the same. I bought crabs from Asian store which are cooked and frozen. I have observed that this crab has lot flesh to eat. The taste is also similar as what we get sea crabs in India.

This recipe name Khekdyach tikhla. Khekda means crab and tikhla means a thick curry which coats only the main ingredient, as in here its a crab. Many tikhla are of fish instead of crab. The recipes are altogether different of crab and fish.

Come let us dive in with crabs to make this yummy and tasty recipe.




Crab 2 pounds

1 large onion (chopped)

1 tomato pureed.

1 tsp turmeric powder

1 tsp chili powder

1 tsp malwani masala

2 pcs kokam

4 to 5 leaves Kadipatta (curry leaves)

(Vattan) I make this and keep in refrigerator last for a week, but useful for any other recipes. I have put into tikhla only a tablespoon.

Dry Ingredients

8 to 10 black pepper

4 to 6 cloves

1/2 tbsp poppy seeds

1/2 tbsp coriander seeds

4 to 5 dry red chilies

1-inch cinnamon

2 to 3 green cardamon

Dry roast and make a powder in a mixer jar.

Wet Ingredients

1/2 cup fresh grated coconut

1/2 cup desiccated coconut

2 large onion

4 garlic cloves

2-inch ginger

2 tsp oil.

  • Heat kadai and pour oil put onion, garlic, ginger and fry till translucent.
  • Remove and in the same kadai add fresh coconut and roast till it changes color to light brown. Keep aside. Next roast desiccated coconut till light brown.
  • Let it cool, then in same mixer jar grind wet ingredients together with dry ingredients to form a paste. Add little water if needed.



  • Heat kadai, add oil followed by chopped onion, curry leaves and a pinch of salt.
  • Let the onions get soft, add tomato puree an cook till it leaves oil.
  • Add the vattan 1 tbsp and let it cook for 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Add red chili powder, malwani masala, turmeric powder, and salt according to taste.
  • Now put crabs and cook covered for 5 to 10 minutes on medium flame.
  • Do not add water, if too dry than can add 1/4 cup of water.
  • As here, I got cooked crab so it’s not taking much time. But if you get uncooked then it will take longer to cook.
  • Once cooked add kokam to it. Make sure kokam are added lately.
  • Garnish with chopped coriander.


  1. Spiciness can be adjusted according to taste.
  2. If you don’t need tikhla, you can add Vattan more to make a gravy or curry accordingly.



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