In Memory Of Karen Nicole Smith, 1972 - 2016

How To Cook Curry Lobster The Caribbean Way.

If I were to count using my fingers the amount of times this dish was cooked in our home growing up, I’d have room left to count 10 other dishes. Curry lobster (or lobster curry as our Guyanese cousins say) never made it to our dinner table as far as I could remember. However curry crabs (simmered in freshly made coconut milk)  served with flour dumplings was a regular thing. Let’s mimic that curry crab recipe, with the use of these succulent lobster pieces for what could only be described as the ultimate curry lobster.

Quick lobster note… lobsters found in the tropical waters of the Caribbean are different than the ones most North Americans are familiar with (like Maine lobsters). The Caribbean lobster tend to be a bit more boney (spiny), there’s a subtle difference in taste and they have no claws. I remember snorkeling in the pristine waters of Tobago (Buccoo Reef) a few years back and catching my first ever spiny lobster. With no means of sparking up a fire and cooking it.. let’s just say that was the last time a lobster got away from me!


You’ll Need…

2 lobsters (about 3lbs)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tomato
1 tablespoon Caribbean green seasoning
1/4 teaspoon roasted geera (cumin)
1/4 teaspoon amchar massala (optional)
4 cloves garlic
1 small onion
2 sprigs thyme
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 scotch bonnet pepper
1 cup water

2 tablespoon veg oil
3 tablespoon curry powder
1/4 cup water to cook the curry
1/4 onion for cooking curry

Wash, clean and cut the lobster into pieces. I used a Maine lobster, so I had claws (crack then a few places for the marinade and curry to do it’s thing from the inside -out)…  season with the salt, tomato, garlic , onion, garlic, green seasoning, amchar massala, black pepper, roasted geera, thyme and scotch bonnet pepper.  Please allow this to marinate for at least 2 hrs in the fridge. Remember to take it out of the fridge about 15 minutes before you’re ready to start the curry, so it comes back to room temp before cooking.

Heat the oil in a deep pot on medium heat and add the diced 1/4 onion. Lower the heat to low and let it cook for 2 minutes. Meanwhile in a small bowl, mix the curry powder and 1/4 cup of water to form a sort of thick paste. Pour in the curry mix and cook on low for about 3-5 minutes, until it starts to cook down, go grainy and start to clump. (see images below)

The goal here is to cook off the raw curry taste and to really intensify the overall curry flavors. Turn up your heat if you find that it’s not cooking down. You should have a thick paste, with signs of the vegetable oil you started off with.  If you’ve not already done so, turn the heat up to medium high and start adding the marinated lobster pieces to the pot, stirring as you do to pick up all that great curry flavors from the bottom of the pot. Try to coat all the pieces of the lobster with the curry base we created. Place the lid on the pot and bring to a boil. It will release it’s own juices. Let that simmer for a couple minutes, then remove the lid and turn up the heat.

The goal now is to intensify the combined flavors of the curry, seasonings and lobster. Burn off any liquid. In the same bowl you marinated the lobster, pour in the 1 cup of water and stir to pick up all remaining marinade. Pour in the water (mixed with any remaining marinade) into the pot and bring to a boil.

The lobster will go a brilliant red/orange color as it cooks and stand out brilliantly against the rich greenish color of the curry sauce. With the pot uncovered, let that cook for another 4-6 minutes or until the lobster is cooked to your liking (try to not overcook). Personalize this curry lobster by tasting for salt and adjusting accordingly and the the gravy or sauce should be as thick as you like.

Since I had my mom’s help in cooking this tasty curry lobster, she usually finishes off her curry dishes with a topping of finely chopped shado beni (aka culantro, chadon beni or bandanya), if you can’t source shado beni, cilantro works great. Add when you turn off the stove.

You can get creative by using coconut milk instead of the 1 cup of water, but I personally find that it mellows the overall taste too much and takes away from the lovey flavors of the lobster itself.

Before you go, don’t forget to check out the latest cooking videos, connect with me on twitter and join our community on facebook. oh yea! leave me a comment below – it’s appreciated.

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Recipe for cooking curry lobster (lobster curry) as it's done in the Caribbean.
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  1. Paul
    January 10, 2018 / 10:56 am

    Hi Chris – Are we using a “Live” lobster here – that we cut in half?

    Or are we using a Frozen one that has been thawed?

    I am assuming the former – that is still alive. correct?


  2. Chef Shawn
    May 8, 2016 / 5:46 pm

    Vyckie i know this was asked a long time ago. But to clean the lobster.. Get a sharp heavy chopping knife. Lay the lobster flat and stick the knife in the middle of the body facing either the head or tail. Try to slice downward in one motion then turn the lobster so it’s facing the opposite direction and repeat. You should then have two halves length wise. From here it’s up to you really how clean you want it… You will see allot of disgusting looking stuff there most of it will be the liver that some people like then right behind where the eyes are is the digestive area. clean all of this out. along the tail there is also part of the digestive area that runs along where the top of the tail would have been. (like Shrimp) make sure to remove that part as well… (IT may not always be there as slicing in half may have removed it. From this point wash season and serve.

  3. Louise
    April 7, 2014 / 6:15 pm

    Thanks for the recipe, it sounds delicious. A couple of questions, shouldn’t i use coconut milk like your Mother did with the crab curry? And what specifically is the green seasoning? I won’t be in the islands, but cooking this in New England, so need some locally available seasonings. Also, how about the dumplings? Thank you again!

  4. Shirley
    February 25, 2014 / 2:11 pm

    Hi Chris,

    Instead of using water in your lobster for the sauce, use coconut milk, it will give it a different taste and full of flavours.

  5. Pamela
    December 29, 2013 / 3:35 am

    I just found your website today!!!! I am so happy!! I finally saw you making the famous hot souce I ate in St. Croix many years on vacation!! And now this lobster stew, similar to what a friend served me in the USVI. Nothing like listening to you talking with that wonderful accent, and teaching me how to cook. This is heaven…

  6. Frantzy aka Trinaitian
    December 20, 2013 / 6:42 pm

    Chris, anytime i need an idea or method on make a dish I make a B-line to your web site. I also enjoy your videos.

  7. vyckie vail
    December 19, 2013 / 11:28 am

    could u pls show how u break apart d lobsters???????????? my aunt used 2 make curry crab but, she wud nvr show us how she broke them apart……………..

  8. December 6, 2013 / 3:56 pm

    I am sure to try that recipe soon my son love lobster it was very enjoyable to watch and informative for me who will be trying it for the first time.lots of love to your mom.

  9. Deborah
    November 29, 2013 / 7:42 pm

    I absolutely adore your web site. This recipe for lobster curry … oh my goodness … pure exquisiteness! Your web site is pure deliciousness! A good variety of dishes to choose from. Nothing like a comforting curry on a cold winter day. Thanks for the site and keep the recipes coming!

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