Crayfish Curry


I’ve been using this recipe for Crayfish Curry for over 2 years now. When I asked my friend (who shared it with me) for the recipe credit, I was so surprised to see that it was Salwaa Smith of @capemalaycooking

Salwaa, now residing in the UK, and I were part of a panel of speakers at a Webinar yesterday. It was the first time that we ‘met’, and to think I’ve been using her recipe now for the longest time!

Type: Crayfish Tails

How to order: Request that your fishmonger butterflies them. When eating, all you need to do is lift the meat out of the shell.

Cost factor: Crayfish is reserved for special occasions. It’s not eaten usually on the regular. One way of cutting the cost down would be to serve it with rice and/roti and purchase a slightly larger portion (usually 1 per child and female, 2 for male adults).


  • 1kg crayfsh tails is approx 8 tails
  • Half a cup of oil
  • 3 large onions grated

  • 2 medium tomatoes, grated

  • 2 tsp coriander powder

  • 2 tsp cumin powder

  • 1 tsp turmeric

  • 2 strong green chillies, deseeded and chopped

  • 1 tsp red chilli powder

  • 4 large cloves of garlic, grated finely

  • 2 tsp fine salt or to taste

  • 1 tbsp lemon juice

  • 1 tsp garam masala

  • 1/2 cup water or as needed


  1. Heat the oil in a pot and sauté onions on low heat till the onions are light brown in colour. The browning of the onions are important. Mix in the grated garlic and green chillies. Fry till it turns golden-brown stirring all the time.
  2. Add the tomato and cook till the onions and tomatoes are soft (about 5 to 10 minutes)..
  3. Add drops of water to prevent the onion mixture sticking to the bottom.
  4. Now add all the spice powders except the garam masala and mix well to combine the spices with the onion mixture.
  5. Gently stir in the crayfish tails and salt.
    Cook on high for about 5 minutes.
    Add the water. Cover and allow it to simmer on low heat till the crayfish meat is cooked and tender about 15 minutes or until the shell of the crayfish turns pink. Stir every few minutes.
    Stir in the garam masala and lemon juice. Garnish with finely chopped fresh coriander leaves.

I served mine with Mielie Meal Roti.

<a href="" target="_self">Naqiyah Mayat</a>

Naqiyah Mayat

Author & Creative Entrepreneur

Naqiyah Mayat is a connoisseur of luxury, elegance and beauty. Her lifestyle brand is built around a philosophy of sophistication and aspiration.



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