Crab Shala Recipe – Easy Kitchen Guide

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By Dr. Leah Alexander | Published on September 28, 2023 | Last Updated on September 28, 2023

Crab shala is a delicious seafood dish that originates from the coastal regions of India. It’s a perfect blend of tangy, creamy, and savory flavors that will leave your taste buds wanting more. This is versatile and can be served as an appetizer or main course.

Impress your friends and family with this easy-to-follow guide that requires minimal ingredients and time. So let’s get started on creating the perfect crab shala dish!

Whether you’re a seafood lover or looking to try something new, this dish is sure to become a favorite in your household. Keep reading for step-by-step instructions.`

Crab Shala Recipe

What is Crab Shala? 

Crab shala is a popular dish in the coastal regions of India. It is traditionally made with fresh crab meat cooked in a creamy tomato-based sauce infused with herbs and spices.

The dish has a perfect balance of tangy, savory, and slightly spicy flavors that make it a crowd-pleaser. Crab shala is often served as an appetizer or main course and can be enjoyed with rice, pasta, or crusty bread.

It is a versatile dish that can be customized to suit individual preferences by adjusting the spice level or adding other ingredients like vegetables or seafood. Overall, crab shala is a delicious and satisfying dish that brings the taste of coastal India to your plate.

Why You’ll Love This Crab Shala?

  • One of the best things about crab shala is that it’s incredibly easy to make. With minimal ingredients and simple steps, you can have a restaurant-quality dish in no time.
  • The combination of flavors in this dish is truly unique and tantalizing. The tanginess from the tomatoes, creaminess from the heavy cream, and freshness from the herbs create a symphony of flavors in every bite. And the addition of crab meat takes this dish to a whole new level of deliciousness.
  • Crab shala is also a versatile dish that can be modified to suit different dietary restrictions. It can easily be made vegetarian by omitting the crab meat and adding more vegetables or tofu.
  • In addition, this dish is budget-friendly as it uses canned crab meat, making it accessible for those who may not have access to fresh seafood.

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Ingredients 

  • Crab meat: This is the star of the dish, so make sure to use fresh or high-quality canned crab meat for the best results.
  • Garlic: Adds a delicious savory flavor to the dish.
  • Olive oil: Used for sautéing and adds a nice richness to the overall flavor.
  • Onion: Adds depth and sweetness to balance out the other flavors.
  • Dry white wine: Brings a nice tang and acidity to the dish.
  • Fresh herbs: Use your choice of parsley or basil for a pop of freshness and color.
  • Salt and pepper: Essential seasonings for any dish.
  • Red pepper flakes (optional): Add some heat if you like a little kick in your dish.
  • Heavy cream: Gives the sauce a luxurious and creamy texture.
  • Crushed tomatoes: Add depth of flavor and pair perfectly with the seafood.
How To Make Crab Shala Recipe

Step by Step Directions 

Step 1

Preparing the Crab Meat

  • If using fresh crab meat, make sure to clean and remove any shells or cartilage.
  • If using canned crab meat, drain it and set aside.

Step 2

Sautéing Garlic and Onion 

  • In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat.
  • Add minced garlic and chopped onion, sauté for 1-2 minutes until fragrant.

Step 3

Adding Wine and Herbs

  • Pour in the white wine and add chopped herbs (parsley or basil).
  • Let it simmer for about 5 minutes until the liquid has reduced by half.

Step 4

Cooking the Crab Meat 

  • Add the crab meat to the skillet and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  • Cook for 2-3 minutes until the crab meat is heated through.

Step 5

Making the Sauce

  • Pour in the heavy cream and crushed tomatoes, stirring to combine.
  • Let it simmer for an additional 2-3 minutes until the sauce thickens slightly.

Step 6

Serving and Garnishing

  • Serve the crab shall over your choice of pasta or rice.
  • Sprinkle with additional herbs, red pepper flakes (if desired), and a squeeze of lemon juice for added freshness and brightness.
Crab Shala Copycat Recipe

Tips 

  • Use high-quality canned crab meat for the best taste.
  • Adjust the spice level by adding more or less red pepper flakes.
  • For a vegetarian option, omit the crab meat and add more vegetables or tofu.
  • Serve with crusty bread to soak up all the delicious sauce.

Nutrition Information 

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How to store Crab Shala?

Crab shala is best enjoyed fresh, but you can store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. To reheat, simply warm it up in a skillet over low heat until heated through.

Add a splash of cream or water if the sauce has thickened too much. Do not microwave as this may cause the crab meat to become rubbery.

What other substitute can I use in Crab Shala? 

Here are some alternative ingredients you can use to make a variation of crab shala:

  • Shrimp: Substitute shrimp for the crab meat for a different seafood twist.
  • Tofu: For a vegetarian option, swap out the meat with tofu and adjust the cooking time accordingly.
  • Chicken: Want to try something completely different? Use diced chicken or shredded rotisserie chicken instead of crab meat for a protein-packed dish.
  • Vegetables: Add your choice of vegetables like bell peppers, zucchini, or mushrooms for added texture and flavor.
Crab Shala Copycat Recipe

Crab Shala Recipe

Crab shala is a delicious seafood dish that originates from the coastal regions of India. It’s a perfect blend of tangy, creamy, and savory flavors that will leave your taste buds wanting more. This is versatile and can be served as an appetizer or main course.
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Author: Dr. Leah Alexander
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Indian
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories: 282kcal

Equipment

  • Skillet
  •  Stirrer

Ingredients

  • 2 lb fresh or canned crab meat
  • 6 garlic cloves minced
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 small onion chopped
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • Chopped fresh parsley or basil for garnish
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 cups canned crushed tomatoes

Instructions

  • Preparing the Crab Meat, Prior to cooking, ensure that the fresh crab meat is thoroughly cleaned, removing any unwanted shells or cartilage. For canned crab meat, drain well and set aside.
  • Sautéing Garlic and Onion, In a generously sized skillet over medium-high heat, warm up some olive oil. Following this, add the minced garlic and chopped onion to the pan. Stir fry for approximately one to two minutes until fragrance fills the air.
  • Adding Wine and Herbs, Pour in a helping of white wine, and toss in your desired amount of freshly chopped herbs (parsley or basil are both delightful options). Keep the heat to a steady medium-high temperature for around five minutes. Check back every so often, waiting until half the liquid has reduced.
  • Cooking the Crab Meat, Gently place the crab meat into your heated skillet, and sprinkle with the appropriate amount of salt and pepper. Let sit for a brief time while you prepare the sauce.
  • Making the Sauce, Once again, using your trusty spatula or spoon, stir in heavy cream and crushed tomatoes into the mix of crab meat in the skillet. Continue to cook until gently thickened to perfection.
  • Serving and Garnishing, For presentation purposes, serve your finished crab shala over a bed of pasta or rice. Add an extra sprinkle of fresh herbs for added color and flavor, along with a hint of red pepper flakes to give the dish a little kick if desired. Lastly, don’t forget a generous squeeze of lemon juice to add that final touch of brightness to the overall taste.

Notes

  • Use high-quality canned crab meat for the best taste.
  • Adjust the spice level by adding more or less red pepper flakes.
  • For a vegetarian option, omit the crab meat and add more vegetables or tofu.
  • Serve with crusty bread to soak up all the delicious sauce.
Keyword: Crab Shala Recipe

FAQs

Can I freeze Crab Shala?

It is not recommended to freeze crab shala as the texture of the crab meat may change once thawed.

Can I use other types of seafood in this dish?

Yes, you can use other types of seafood like shrimp, scallops, or even fish in this dish. Just adjust the cooking time accordingly to ensure they are properly cooked.

Can I make this dish spicy?

Absolutely! You can add more red pepper flakes or even some fresh chili peppers for added heat to your crab shala.

Conclusion

Crab shala is a must-try dish for seafood lovers and those looking to add some new flavors to their meals. With its simple ingredients, easy steps, and customizable nature, it’s the perfect dish for any occasion.

So next time you’re craving something delicious and different, give this crab shala a try and experience the taste of coastal India in your own home! So, don’t wait any longer and get cooking this mouth-watering dish today.

If you enjoyed this article, make sure to share it with friends and family, and let us know how yours turned out! Happy cooking! Thanks for reading this article.

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Author Profile

Dr. Leah Alexander, M.D., is a board-certified Pediatrician in New Jersey and has been working at Elizabeth Pediatric Group of New Jersey since 2000.
She also has a passion for culinary arts that extends beyond the medical realm. After completing culinary school at the French Culinary Institute, she started Global Palate, LLC, a catering firm, in 2007. She ran her own six-year-old catering company and served small group parties as an owner and executive chef.

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