crab salad with mango and coconut

A crab salad, using fresh crab, mango, coconut and lime. Andeguru kosumalli is fresh, light and flavoursome. It also surprises people to learn it is a common Indian dish – this is a well-known Mumbai salad.

This crab salad can be served as a meal or as a starter. As presented here it will serve four as a light meal, or up to eight as a starter.

This is a Bollywood dish. Think film stars, lounging around the pool. “What shall we have for lunch? I know! We shall have the cook prepare Keith’s grandmother’s crab and mango salad!”.

If there was ever a recipe to encourage you to use fresh coconut, this would be it. Mango out of season? Try peaches instead. But whichever you use, please do not use canned fruit – the taste is just not the same. Equally, please don’t use canned crab. It is worth the bother to get crabmeat from your fishmonger. Or even break a crab up yourself.

Make this dish with packet coconut, canned fruit, and canned crab, and you will wonder why you bothered. Make it with the freshest ingredients you can get, and it is a remarkable dish.

If food presentation is your thing, there is much you can do with this recipe. The recipe, as described, has it served as a simple communal dish, with the mango diced into the crab mixture, and then placed on top of the leaves. As an alternative, you might make individual serves, and use the leaves and mango to dress the servings. You could use a food mould to shape the serving, and you might also keep some of the green parts of the spring onions to garnish the final dish.

You could serve the crab and mango part in individual cos lettuce cups.

This is a basic dish that will benefit from your serving imagination.

In my grandmother’s notes, this dish was quite different. She did not believe in using any raw food that wasn’t peeled. Her version uses wilted spinach or silverbeet. Serving fresh salad leaves, was, in her opinion, what you did before sending your guests or family to hospital with a bad case of the local trots. Fortunately, times have changed. My thanks to some of the people I mention on the influences page for opening my mind to modern cuisines.

I must insist that this is an Indian dish when I serve it. It is so different to what people expect of Indian cuisine. If you need to prove it, point to the chaat masala.

the recipe

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  • 75 g coconut - grated
  • 1 lime
  • 1 red chilli - finely chopped
  • 400 g crab meat - cooked
  • 3 green onions - finely sliced
  • 2 tbsp coriander stalks - finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp mint leaves - coarsely chopped
  • ½ tbsp salt
  • 1 pinch ground black pepper
  • 3 mangoes - chopped

for serving


  • Place coconut in large bowl and add four tablespoons of boiling water. Stir well. then stand for ten minutes.
  • Grate the rind from the lime and add to coconut. Juice the lime and add to the coconut. Add the chopped chilli and mix well.
  • Add flaked crab meat and green onions. Gently mix, cover and chill for 30 minutes or until required.
  • When ready to serve, gently stir in coriander stalks, mint leaves, and season with salt and pepper. Add more lime juice if desired.
  • Add mango, and stir gently to combine.

to serve

  • Place washed and dried leaves on serving plate, and turn out crab, coconut, and mango salad onto them. Sprinkle with the chaat masala and coriander leaves.
  • Serve with the lime wedges.


  • This recipe presumes you can buy cooked fresh crab meat from your fishmonger. If this is unavailable, you will need to prepare and cook the crab meat, which will add about 15 minutes to preparation time. Clean and shell the crabs and steam for around 10 minutes.
  • Always use fresh coconut in this recipe.

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Serving: 150 g | Calories: 272 kcal | Carbohydrates: 33 g | Protein: 22 g | Fat: 8 g | Saturated Fat: 6 g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1 g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1 g | Cholesterol: 42 mg | Sodium: 1761 mg | Potassium: 865 mg | Fiber: 7 g | Sugar: 24 g | Vitamin A: 5699 IU | Vitamin C: 104 mg | Calcium: 131 mg | Iron: 3 mg

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