Curry crab stuffed dumplings

29.1.22 | Recipe by Renz

A twist to the traditional curry crab and dumplings dish. Though less work to eat, it still retains the same amazing flavor. Dumplings stuffed with a flavor-filled crab in creamy curry gravy.

A picture of curry crab stuffed dumplings on a metal place with a african print cloth and a hand reaching for the plate. Additional scallion in a bowl for garnish.


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You cannot think of Tobago and food and not think of our signature dish curry crab and dumplings. It is "ah we" dish.

It is a meal that we consider a grassroots combination. Popularly a "day at the beach" kinda meal where you can sit and take your time and eat blue crab with your fingers and sap up the sauce with your dumplings.

This classic dish became so popular that we eventually wanted to transform it to have some fine dining opportunities. Who wants to be dressed up and have to be cracking crab legs with curry sauce all over the place?

Here then comes the more refined version, of dumplings stuffed with curry crab meat and simmered down in a delicious coconut curry sauce.

These bite-sized, amazing dumplings can be eaten as an appetizer or at fancy events. Without the mess and hard work.

And if you love curry seafood, make sure you also make some yummy curry conch.


The list of ingredients might be a long one, but we need to build the flavors in this dish. A great combination of really fresh herbs and spices.

Ingredients needed to make curry crab stuffed dumplings

  • Crab meat - I used lump crab meat. as I felt it would be the best type to give the real crab experience. There is also fillet crab meat in cans like tuna. I would NOT use initiation crab meat.
  • Curry powder
  • Water
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • Green onion/scallion
  • Coconut milk - or you can use coconut milk powder and mix as instructed.
  • Vegetable oil
  • Pimento
  • Celery
  • Garlic cloves
  • Fresh thyme
  • Scotch bonnet pepper
  • All-purpose flour
  • Chadon beni/Culantro

Equipment (affiliate links)
Rolling pin
Heavy bottomed pot with a widebottom
Glass or cookie cutter


Preparing this dish is a labor of love.

It's almost like making pastelles. Having a train line for setup is best.

Each step of this process needs to be highly seasoned so we will be building flavors in each segment.

I suggest seasoning the crab meat, then making the dumpling dough. Then cook the crab meat and make the stuffed dumplings. Then finish everything off with the sauce process.

If there is one time you want to "mise en place" would be now. Have everything you need to be chopped up and set out.

The first few times I made this I was like a mad woman, so I've broken it up into sections in the order I would make it. 

Curry crab

In a bowl combine crab meat with lime juice, garlic, celery, scallions, culantro, and curry powder and leave to sit so that it can take on the seasoning for a little.

In your pot, heat oil on medium-high heat, add your curry powder let it burn, and get grainy. Do not let it get black.

Once that happens, add your crab with all seasonings and cook. This is crab so it doesn't have to cook too long. Just for a couple of minutes.

Add in the coconut milk and cook for five minutes. Once heated through, remove from heat and set aside.

A picture of the lump crab in a white bowl, seasoned up with curry and other herbs and spices.

Dumpling dough

This is almost like your regular boiled dumpling mixture. Only we want it to be a little softer than stiff. So when mixing we want a sticky dough.

This is what people are going to see, so we want the dough to be smooth so we will leave it to sit for about 15 minutes.

After making the curry crab, roll out your dough on a lightly floured surface. About 1" thick would be good. Use a cookie cutter or a glass and cut out rounds.

Take one of the rounds and using your rolling pin, roll out a little more.

Two hands taking cooked curry crab and folding the dumplings closed.

Dump some tablespoons of crab mixture into the lower center of the dough and then fold one end over to meet the other end. Use a fork and seal the ends together. MAKE SURE THEY ARE SEALED.

Set the filled ones aside on a lightly floured area and cover them with a damp cloth.

Repeat, filling each dough circle. Take the remaining dough and roll out again, cut out and fill.

Repeat till all the dough is used up.

Make sure the stuffed dumplings are covered.

Image of the filled dumplings, sitting on a gray plate.

Coconut curry sauce

By now, your dumplings would be stuffed and sitting covered on the side.

Now for us to make this delicious curry sauce to simmer the dumplings in.

In a wide bottom, heavy pot, heat oil, and add curry powder to make a grainy curry base. Once that's done add the remaining seasonings you have.

Add the coconut milk, water, and hot pepper. Taste for salt and black pepper.

Once boiling, slowly place your dumplings. Check to make sure they are properly sealed before putting them in.

Lower to medium heat, and let dumplings simmer. Occasionally, gently give each a little nudge to make sure they are not sticking to the bottom of the pan or to each other. Scoop liquid over the dumplings and they simmer.

If you have any leftover meat, add it to the pot.

Simmer for about 15 to 20 minutes.

Serve these hot.

Storage & reheating

If there are any leftovers, store this in an airtight container in the fridge. I would not suggest keeping this longer than overnight or even suggest freezing it for later.

To reheat, it's easy to do in the microwave. Make sure there is gravy over the dumplings then microwave in 40-second spurts.

Dumplings in coconut curry sauce in a metal grey plate, garnished with scallion, ready to be served.

Can this be made ahead?

Yes. Well no. Well, some. You can season and cook the meat up to the day before you want to serve this.

You can mix the dough for the dumpling a few hours prior, just make sure to cover it with a damp cloth so that it doesn't get hard from the air.


  • Don't add too much additional flour to the surface. It would add to dough and make it stiffer the more you add.
  • Properly salt all sections of the recipe. The meat, the dumplings (you don't want bland dumplings), and the curry sauce.
  • Make sure you properly seal the dumplings' ends. You do not want them to pop open and the meat escape.
  • Don't make them too big and try not to make them overcrowd the pot.
  • Cover the dough at any time you are leaving it to rest. It can get dark and stiff if left out to open-air.
  • If you want more sauce, add an additional cup of water and let it simmer.
  • Don't simmer down till all the liquid is gone. This continues to thicken after removing from the heat.
A opened dumpling on a fork showing the curry crab inside.

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  1. Lovely recipe, do you think I can cook the crab as per your recipe, and stuff it in the dumplings and freeze right away? Then when i'm ready to use them, steam or fry and add curry sauce? Trying to make alot of them in advance
    Thanks so much

    1. Hey. I have not done this myself but I don't see why not. My only worry would be the texture of the dumplings over time. But once you simmer it down in the curry sauce I feel like it should be good.


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