These flavours take me back to my childhood, when my mother used to make a stuffed crab that I loved. She would take the meat out, boil the shell, stuff the meat back in, top it with cheese and bake it. Mine is a more refined version: I have loosely borrowed her recipe to make a pasta with similar flavours, and added a touch of Indianness with the baby shrimp pickle.

  • Serves


  • Cook Time


    Plus 7 hours the previous day to make and rest pasta


For Saffron Pasta Dough

  • 250 gm refined flour
  • 10 gm semolina
  • 2 gm salt
  • 1 gm saffron, soaked in 1 tbsp water
  • 10 ml olive oil
  • 2 large eggs

For Crab Stuffing

  • 200 gm shelled crab meat
  • 25 gm celery, finely chopped
  • 30 gm carrots, finely grated
  • 15 gm butter
  • 10 gm thyme, chopped
  • 10 gm garlic, chopped
  • 5 gm parsley, chopped
  • 15 ml olive oil
  • 10 ml lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper

For Chilli Shrimp & Crab Claws

  • 4 crab claws, cracked
  • 50 gm baby shrimp
  • 10 gm tomato paste
  • 5 gm parsley, chopped
  • 5 gm cumin powder
  • 5 gm chilli powder
  • 5 gm garlic, finely chopped
  • 25 ml white balsamic vinegar
  • 10 ml olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

For Bell Peppers

  • 200 gm red bell pepper
  • 50 gm red onion
  • 50 gm tomato
  • 20 gm garlic
  • 5 gm sage
  • 5 gm tarragon
  • 5 gm oregano
  • 30 ml olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

For Bell Pepper Cream Sauce

  • 80 gm red bell pepper, roasted and puréed
  • 15 gm parmesan cheese, grated
  • 15 gm butter
  • 10 gm parsley, chopped
  • 5 gm red onion, diced
  • 5 gm garlic, chopped and roasted brown
  • 5 gm thyme, chopped
  • 200 ml heavy cream
  • 100 ml vegetable stock
  • 50 ml white wine
  • Salt and pepper


For Making Pasta Dough

  1. Mix flour, semolina, salt and olive oil in a bowl with both hands, using your fingertips lightly. Mound up the flour, making a well in the centre.
  2. In another bowl, break two eggs, add in saffron and whisk well.
  3. Toss the beaten egg into flour well and add saffron. 
  4. Slowly combine all the ingredients together, kneading them into a dough. It should be firm and pliable, with a slight springiness to the touch. You can add a few drops of water and continue to knead if dough is too dry.
  5. Wrap it with plastic wrap and let it rest in the refrigerator for 2 hours.

For Crab Stuffing

  1. Sauté all ingredients – except crab meat and lemon juice – in a pan on medium heat, till they soften and are well combined.
  2. Remove from pan and set aside in a nonreactive bowl to cool.
  3. Once cool, add in crab meat and lemon juice, mix well, and refrigerate before using for pasta stuffing.

For Crab Ravioli

  1. With a pasta roller, roll out pasta dough into sheets 1 mm thick and approximately 60 cm (2 feet) long.
  2. Spoon 1 teaspoon-sized dollop of crab stuffing and repeat, creating two rows, down half the length of the sheet, evenly spaced from each other and the sheet edges.
  3. You should ideally fit 10 balls of filling in two rows of five each down half the pasta sheet.
  4. Next, carefully fold the uncovered half of pasta sheet over and onto the crab filling side to cover the mounds. Push down around the filling with your fingers to seal.
  5. Use a fluted (or plain) dough cutter to cut squares around the filling. The squares should be about 1-2 cm greater than the size of the mounds of filling.
  6. Trim away excess dough from the sheet to be reused for making more sheets.
  7. Transfer crab raviolis to a tray dusted with semolina or flour and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate till ready to cook.
  8. When ready to cook, boil a large pot of lightly salted water and cook for 2-3 minutes or till they start to float up. Remove, drain and toss in olive oil.

For Chili Shrimp & Crab Claws

  1. In a pan, sauté garlic, herbs and spices in olive oil on high heat till garlic starts browning.
  2. Add in unpeeled baby shrimp and cracked crab claws with tomato paste and sauté some more, agitating the pan contents constantly to prevent burning or sticking.
  3. After a couple of minutes, add in white balsamic vinegar and sauté till the vinegar evaporates. Adjust seasoning and set aside to cool.

For Bell Pepper Cream Sauce

  1. Combine all ingredients, making sure to cover the peppers, tomatoes and onions thoroughly with the olive oil, herbs, salt and pepper.
  2. Put them all on a foil-covered tray and roast in the oven at 180℃/350℉ for about 30 minutes till the skins of the tomatoes and peppers char and blister.
  3. Remove from the oven and let cool. Peel off the skin and discard the seeds, but save whatever pan juices remain. Put everything in a blender and purée to a smooth paste. Set aside.
  4. Sauté onion and garlic in butter in a pan on medium heat, till they turn translucent. 
  5. Pour in white wine and then the roasted bell pepper paste, and cook till the wine evaporates.
  6. Next pour in the vegetable stock, lower the heat and simmer. Spoon in the cream and continue to cook, reducing it further.
  7. Finish with grated Parmesan cheese and herbs.

To Serve

  1. While you’re finishing red bell pepper sauce, cook the ravioli in a pot of slow-boiling salted water. They will float to the top when done. This should take about 3-4 minutes.
  2. Remove from water and drain. Gently toss the ravioli in red pepper cream sauce.
  3. Finish with chopped parsley and a spoonful of chilli prawn and crab claw.
Rahul Akerkar

Rahul Akerkar

Rahul Akerkar, the chef-founder of Qualia in Mumbai, was Scroll Food’s Chef of the Month for June. He started his culinary journey 35 years ago in the US, returning to India in 1989. Since then, he has been busy changing the way we eat. Known for setting industry trends with his creative, ingredient-driven cuisine, and warm attentive hospitality, Rahul’s award-winning restaurants secured his position as one of India’s first successful, chef-restaurateurs. In his career, he has won many accolades – he was featured in Asiaweek’s Survey of “Kitchen Gods” in 2001 and was 28 on San Pellegrino’s List of Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants in 2013. More recently, he won Chef of The Year at the Times Food Awards 2016, Mumbai. He has been guest chef in several kitchens around the world, authored numerous articles, and frequently consults to the food and hospitality industry.

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