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Crab and Potato Cake with Mustard and Cumin

Crab and Potato Cake with Mustard and Cumin

his simple crab cake recipe works best with a combination of white and brown crab-meat in a seventy thirty or eight twenty ratio. If you wish to display its looks then reduce the brown element. There are some elements of a classic crab dish with my added touches. 

Recipe is supplied by Love British Food Ambassador Cyrus Todiwala, OBE DL - Cafe Spice

To serve 3-4 with curry rice and accompaniments, make smaller cakes for 6-8 for a starter, or smaller still for canapes.


  • 1-2tbsp Pure Coconut Oil
  • 1/2 tsp Mustard Seeds
  • 1/2 tsp White Lentils (or split yellow peas)
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin Seeds
  • 1tbsp Fresh Ginger, chopped
  • 1tbsp Green Chilli, chopped
  • 6 baby shallots, chopped
  • 1/4tsp Asafoetida Powder (optional)
  • 2tbsp Fresh Coconut, grated (or soak 1tbsp desiccated coconut in 50ml warm water for 30mins to use)
  • 2tbsp Tomato, diced
  • 250-300g White Crab Meat
  • 1tbsp Brown Crab Meat
  • 1tbsp Coriander, chopped
  • Salt
  • 3 large Potatoes, boiled and mashed
  • 200g Rice Flour or Medium Semolina (Breadcrumbs will do)
  • Plain Flour, to dust3-4 Eggs
  • Oil for shallow frying
  • Crushed peppercorns
  • Curry leaves


  • Get all your chopped ingredients divided into bowls, in order of the recipe.
  • Heat your oil in a wok until nearly at smoking point and reduce heat to medium. Toss in the mustard seeds, keep a loose lid on, holding it above the top so that when they crackle and pop they don't go all over. When you get the nutty aroma and popping reduces add the white lentil (Urad Daal) or split yellow peas and stir watching until the lentil changes colour slightly. Immediately add the cumin, stir until the lentils now turn a little brown. Do not let them burn. The white lentils adds a super flavour for all this.
  • When the lentils change colour add the ginger, chilli, shallots and asafoetida and sauté until the shallots become soft and pale. Now add the coconut and sauté for approx. two minutes or so but bear in mind that the coconut will stick so using a flat wooden spatula will help. You need to dry some of the moisture out as well as to give the coconut a toasted aroma. It may take a bit longer but ensure you get the coconut tasting slightly toasted.
  • Add the tomato and add a toss or two or the crab meats and mix well. Toss the remainder of the crab and mix until the crab is hot or well heated through, then add the chopped coriander and salt to taste. Remove and cool in a dish
  • Add crushed peppercorns and some shredded curry leaves to the mashed potatoes.
  • Make equal sized mashed potato balls, flatten in the palm of your hand and fill with a tablespoon of the crab mix, carefully encase the filling inside the potato and smooth into a cake and crumb as normal using the coating of your choice. Make any size but ensure that no cracks are visible before you start crumbing. To crumb: roll in flour, then egg then the crumb of choice - semolina/rice flour or breadcrumbs.
  • To fry: add approx 1 inch of oil to frying pan. First one side and then turn over and side fry. Drain on a kitchen towel before serving.
  • To serve: Either serve on a base of plain coconut curry sauce or spiced mayonnaise or a spicy Oriental coleslaw.