Local cuisine is always what I’m looking to explore when I visit a new country. It provides insights into different cooking methods, spices, ingredients, and eating habits, which can reveal a lot about the culture, people, and history.
Sri Lanka’s cuisine draws significant influence from South Indian cuisine while maintaining its unique identity. Being an island located in the Indian Ocean with a tropical climate, coconuts and seafood hold great significance in Sri Lankan culinary traditions. Fish is typically prepared as curries, and coconut, in various forms, takes on a prominent role in their cooking.
Crab curry, especially when prepared by the lovely Suda at the Doghouse in Ahangama, is undeniably one of the most extraordinary meals I have ever had. Each time I visit Sri Lanka, I eagerly anticipate savoring this delightful dish. The crab curry at Doghouse is meticulously made using fresh lagoon crabs caught by local fishermen and cooked with freshly extracted coconut milk from the “Doghouse” garden. Lagoon crabs, in particular, possess more meat compared to sea crabs, making them incredibly delicious.
When enjoying a crab, it is crucial to take your time and relish the experience, setting aside conventional table manners. A crab demands to be devoured without any reservations, as if no one is watching; otherwise, you might find yourself solely eating rice. I once even chipped a tooth while cracking the shell, but I have no regrets about it 😀
If you’d like to try making crab curry at home, here’s a recipe:
- Grind the coconut, blend it with water, and squeeze out the coconut milk.
- Clean the crabs by removing the top shell, bottom piece, and innards.
- Cut the crabs in half, break the large claws, and place them in a pot with fresh coconut milk.
- Add turmeric powder, chili powder, curry powder, dried goraka, cardamom, cloves, fenugreek seeds, salt, murunga, curry leaves, chopped onion, and garlic.
- Mix all the ingredients and cook over medium heat for approximately 15 minutes.
- Add pandan leaves, green chili, and tomato.
- Cook for an additional 10 minutes, then remove from heat.
- Wash tamarind in a cup of coconut milk, discard the tamarind, and add the milk to the curry.
Enjoy the crab curry with rice and a chilled Lion beer!
Keep any leftovers for breakfast and relish them with freshly baked bread the following day. The flavors tend to intensify and taste even better.
Indulge your taste buds with the irresistible flavors of Sri Lankan Crab Curry. This recipe takes you on a culinary journey, infusing aromatic spices, tender crab meat, and creamy coconut milk into a harmonious blend of textures and tastes. With every spoonful, you’ll savor the rich and complex flavors that make Sri Lankan cuisine truly remarkable. Whether you’re a seafood lover or simply seeking a new culinary adventure, this Crab Curry is sure to captivate your senses and leave you craving for more. Gather your ingredients, embrace the enticing aromas, and embark on a flavorful voyage to Sri Lanka’s culinary paradise. Bon appétit!