Kankadaa Jhola / Crab Curry Oriya Style


Odisha on the eastern coast of India is famous for ‘Lord Jaganath Temple at Puri, Konark Sun Temple and serene Chilka Lake. It has 485 km of long coastline along the Bay of Bengal with many pristine beaches like Puri Beach, Gopalpur on Sea, Chandipur & Chandrabhaga Beach. The Oriya cuisine mainly uses mustard oil. It is less oily & spicy as compared to the other states. The people are also very simple & friendly like the food. The lengthy coastline & proximity to big lakes make seafood, freshwater fish and crabs essential ingredients of Oriya dishes. Here is the recipe of one of my favourite Oriya crab curries – KANKADAA JHOLA



  • 6 big crabs (called as Kankada in Oriya)

  • 3 Onions chopped & ground into paste

  • 1 tomato puree

  • 1 ½ tsp ginger garlic paste

  • 1 tsp garam masala

  • 1 ½ tsp red chili powder

  • ½ tsp turmeric powder

  • 1 tsp cumin seeds

  • 1 tsp coriander powder

  • 4-6 black pepper

  • 4 tablespoons of mustard oil

  • Salt to taste

  • Water as per requirement


  1. Wash & clean the crabs properly. Separate the claws. Cut the main body into 2 pieces. Wash again.

  2. In a big vessel, fill water for boiling. Add the smaller claws to the boiling water with a pinch of salt & turmeric. This water will be used for curry.

  3. In a pan or wok, heat the mustard oil. Add cumin seeds & black pepper. Let it splutter.

  4. Then add the garlic-ginger paste. Fry the paste on low flame till it becomes light brown.

  5. Repeat the same for onion paste. Sauté it till it becomes golden brown.

  6. Add garam masala, red chili powder & coriander powder. Sauté it well. DO NOT over burn.

  7. Add tomato puree and mix it well with the masala & oil.

  8. Then, add the crabs, the big claws, salt and mix thoroughly with the masala. Cover with lid & let it cook for 7-10 minutes.

  9. Finally, pour the boiled water of the smaller claws and bring to a boil & then simmer for 10 minutes.

  10. Your Kankadaa Jhola is ready to be served with hot rice.


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