I remember the crab man coming in Sri Lanka with baskets on his shoulders full of fresh crab.
As a child, we would gather around to watch the crabs scuttling away and him catching the ones selected by my mother, and the man splitting them in two by ripping off the shell and putting it straight into a pot for the cook to take away and prepare.
To find this recipe was a delight….as Crab curry is still my favorite..next to garlic prawns of course…
- 8 crabs (factored at 2 medium-sized crabs per person)
- 1 1/2″ lump of tamarind
- 1/2 cup hot water
- 2 large onions sliced
- 2 large tomatoes sliced
- 10 dry red chillies (use less if you do not want a hot curry)
- 2 tbsps garlic paste
- 1 tbsp ginger paste
- 1 1/2 cups grated fresh coconut
- 2 tbsps coriander powder
- 2 tbsps cumin powder
- 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
- 1/2 tsp red chilli powder
- 2 green chillies slit
- 2 tbsps vegetable/ canola/ sunflower cooking oil
- Hot water for gravy (approximately 3 cups)
- Salt to taste
- Remove the crabs legs and keep aside. Cut the crab bodies into halves or quarters with a cleaver. Take off the claws from the legs so the leg is divided into two parts.
- Soak the tamarind in 1/2 a cup of hot water for 10 minutes. Now mash the tamarind with your fingers to mix it well into the water. Strain through a sieve to extract all the pulp. Keep pulp aside.
- Put the onion, tomato, coconut, ginger, garlic, dry red chillies, all the spices and the tamarind pureé into your food processor and grind well to make a smooth paste (also called masala).
- Set up a deep, heavy-bottomed pan on a medium temperature and when it is hot, add the cooking oil and heat.
- Now add the green chillies and the masala paste you just prepared (as above), to the oil and sauté for 5 minutes. Stir frequently to prevent burning.
- Now add the 3 cups of water (add more or less hot water if you would like more or less gravy) and bring the gravy to a boil. Reduce the flame to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Add salt to taste.
- Gently add the pieces of crab to the gravy and cook uncovered for 10 more minutes.
- Turn off the fire and serve immediately with plain boiled rice or Jeera Rice. Crab Curry is best eaten with your fingers
Chilli Crab is virtually the same recipe, just add extra coarsely crushed chilli…as hot as you desire…..