Curry Crab and Dumplings: Recipe Inspired by In the Interim

Arnaldo James. Messenger 2.2, 2022.

Arnaldo James. Messenger 2.2, 2022. Inkjet print. 36 x 36 in. Courtesy of the artist

For the exhibition Christopher Paul Jordan and Arnaldo James. In the Interim: Ritual Ground for a Future Black Archive, artist Arnaldo James created a photographic series in response to Christopher Paul Jordan’s work. James collaborated with craftspeople in Trinidad to design mas inspired by the African Yoruba tradition and the Caribbean mas tradition as part of the annual the Trinidad and Tobago Carnival. Mas is short for masquerade, referring to the masquerading tradition celebrated in most of the English-speaking Caribbean during Carnival.

In celebration of the cultures of Trinidad and Tobago, chef Bryce Martin aka Chef Buddha of Island Soul has created a recipe you can try at home. Curry crab and dumplings is an iconic dish from Trinidad and Tobago, featuring crab cooked in a coconut milk curry paired with dumplings made from any kind of flour, such as cassava or cornmeal.

We hope you will also plan a visit to the Frye Art Museum to see the exhibition in person—Christopher Paul Jordan and Arnaldo James. In the Interim: Ritual Ground for a Future Black Archive is on view at the Frye through May 15, 2022.



Curry Crab

  • 1.5 lbs Dungeness crab, legs*

  • 1 medium-sized tomato, diced

  • 1⁄2 - 1 habanero pepper, diced

  • 1⁄2 white onion, chopped

  • 1⁄2 cup red and green bell peppers

  • 1 1⁄2 tbsp ginger, diced

  • 1⁄2 - 1 cup Madras curry powder (or your choice of yellow curry powder)

  • 1⁄2 - 1 tsp salt

  • 3-4 Caripoulé curry leaves

  • 1⁄2 - 1 cup of water

  • 1 cup of coconut milk

  • Green onions, optional

*Note: The traditional dish uses crab, but you can use any meat, vegetable, or protein option, for which you may have to adjust the quantity a bit for this recipe.



  • 1 cup all-purpose flour

  • 1⁄2 - 1 tsp fine Himalayan salt

  • 1/3 cup cold water



Curry Crab

  1. Place the crab legs in a bowl and toss with habanero pepper, white onion, red and green bell pepper, half of the tomatoes, 1 tbsp of ginger, 1⁄2 cup curry. Toss and set aside.

  2. In a large saucepan (big enough to hold the crab) over medium heat, add vegetable oil. Once hot, add 3-4 curry leaves, 1⁄2 cup curry, 1⁄2 tbsp ginger, other half of tomatoes, and salt. Lightly stir for 1 minute. Add 1⁄2 cup of water and bring to a boil.

  3. Once it boils, add your crab mix and cook for 1 minute. Stir occasionally. Add 1 cup of coconut milk. Bring to a boil. Turn the heat down and let it simmer. If the sauce begins to reduce, add a little water.


  1. Bring a small pot of water to a rumbling boil. In a bowl, mix together flour and salt. Add in 1/3 cup of water and knead until it forms into a dough.

  2. With a rolling pin, roll out dough to 1/4" thick. Cut into squares and add to pot.

  3. Once the dumplings float to the top, they are ready.


Serve the crab hot alongside dumplings. Garnish with green onions. Salt to taste. Enjoy!


Download This Recipe as a PDF


Bryce Martin, aka Chef Buddha, has been the executive chef of Island Soul since 2009. Before this, he gained experience at various Caribbean-style restaurants, including Casuelita’s Caribbean Café in Seattle. Bryce trained at the prestigious Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York. He is driven to enhance the dine-in and catering menu to appeal in both flavor and appearance. In addition to his culinary work, he manages inventory, purchasing, schedules, payroll, and staff training. At Island Soul’s sister restaurant Arleana’s, opening in Kirkland, WA in summer 2022, Bryce will be the general manager. Like his father Theo, owner of Island Soul, Bryce is a youth advocate in the community.

Bryce Martin, aka Chef Buddha