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  • Sasi

Here’s How The Paniyars of Gudalur Catch Crabs And Fry It

Updated: Apr 10, 2021


Catching crabs requires patience, practice, and luck, not necessarily in that order. Crabs burrow into the muddy or sandy banks of rivers and ponds where they hide from plain view.


Remove the straw of the coconut leaf and use an insect as bait

In order to lure crabs out, you should offer a small bait in the form of an insect. First you attach the bait to the end of a thin coconut leaf straw and drop it inside a crab burrow. The crab will then smell the bait and try to catch it. Slowly pull the bait out of the burrow and the crab will follow it outside. When the crab comes after the bait we should not be visible to the crab’s eye. In case the crab sees humans, it will retreat back into its burrow. That is why it is important to be patient and bring the bait out of the burrow slowly. After luring the crab out, you should slowly grab the crab by its shell, making sure it cannot use its sharp claws. You should be careful about your hands while holding the crab. The crab's claws are as sharp as knives. Even the slightest mistake and the crab can hurt our hands.

Crabs live inside borrows on the banks of lakes and rivers

Instructions to cook:

  • First wash the crabs you have caught thoroughly.

  • Then pour oil into the cooking pot and let it heat.

  • Now place the washed crabs in it and fry for a few minutes.

  • Add chili powder, turmeric powder, salt and other masalas you like.

  • Fry the crab well.

  • The tasty crab fry that we were waiting for is now ready.

Crab Rasam to cure diseases:

  • Crabs make for a delicious fried curry, and are also excellent ingredients for Rasam. It is believed that crab Rasam helps treat coughs, colds, and flu.

  • It is mainly used by Adivasis to get rid of cough and phlegm.

Important tip:


Catching crabs is a bigger challenge than cooking the crab.


About the Author: Sasi is from the Paniyar Tribe of Gudalur, Tamil Nadu. He represents the Adivasi Muneertra Sangham (association for Adivasi welfare) that fights for Adivasi rights especially Human Rights and Land Rights.


This article is created as a part of the Adivasi Awaaz project, with the support of Misereor and Prayog Samaj Sevi Sanstha.

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