Recipe courtesy of Anjum Anand

Spiced Crab Cakes with Tamarind Mayonnaise

The peppery tamarind mayonnaise complements the crab cakes wonderfully and a lightly dressed salad helps to make it a lovely lunch.
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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 42 min
  • Prep: 30 min
  • Cook: 12 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
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Crab Cakes 

4 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 small onion, finely chopped

1 Thumb-size piece fresh ginger, peeled, and finely chopped

2 small cloves garlic, finely chopped

2 teaspoons ground coriander

1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon red chile powder

1 teaspoon garam masala

Kosher salt

2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1 ounce fresh cilantro leaves and stalks, chopped

14-ounces prepared crab meat

1 large free-range egg

2 1/2 tablespoons mayonnaise

9 to 10 pieces of thick bread, made into crumbs in a food processor

Tamarind Mayonnaise

3 ounces prepared mayonnaise

2 ounces or 1/4 cup milk

1 tablespoon tamarind paste,* or to taste

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Kosher salt

Handful fresh cilantro leaves and stalks, chopped

Lightly dressed fresh salad leaves, to serve


  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. 
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a nonstick pan and fry the onion for about 4 minutes, or until the onions are soft. Add the ginger and garlic, and cook for another 40 seconds. Stir in the coriander, red chile powder, garam masala, and salt, to taste, and cook for another 20 seconds then take the pan off the heat. Place the mixture into a large bowl. 
  3. Add the lemon juice, fresh cilantro, crab, egg, and mayonnaise to the onion mixture in the bowl. Stir the ingredients well and add the bread crumbs. Divide the mixture into 8 equal portions and form each into a circular shape. 
  4. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a nonstick pan and cook the crab cakes in batches over a low, moderate heat for about 2 minutes on each side, or until the crab cakes are golden brown, adding more oil as needed. 
  5. Place the cooked crab cakes on a baking sheet and place them into the oven to stay warm while you cook the others. 
  6. For the tamarind mayonnaise: Place the mayonnaise, milk, tamarind paste, black pepper, salt, to taste, and cilantro into a bowl and whisk together. Adjust the seasonings, to taste. 
  7. To serve the crab cakes, take the warm crab cakes out of the oven, and put them on a plate and serve with a spoonful of the tamarind mayonnaise. Place the fresh lightly dressed salad leaves on the side.

Cook’s Note

*Can be found at specialty Asian markets