Friday, 4 September 2015

Srilankan Creamy Crab Curry

Sri Lankan Creamy Crab Curry is made of coconut milk and flavored with cumin and fennel seeds. This crab masala is delicious, mildly spiced and packed with flavors. Ground coconut paste adds richness to this dish. Best served with rustic bread or with steamed rice and rasam.
 Recipe Inspired by: Peter Kuruvita's cooking show


  • 8 Fresh live Crabs or pre cooked crab meat
  • 2 Tablespoon Butter or ghee
  • 1 Teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1/2 Teaspoon fenugreek seeds
  • 2 Sprigs of curry leaves
  • 1 Green Chilli Slit
  • 6 Garlic cloves crushed and minced
  • 1/2 Cup finely chopped shallots or sambar onions
  • 1/4 Cup Tamarind pulp
  • 1 Teaspoon Red Chilli powder
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Turmeric powder
  • 1 Cup thin coconut milk( if using canned coconut milk, dilute it with equal portion of water)
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped cilantro leaves 

To Grind

  • 1/3 Cup fresh coconut slices
  • 1 Teaspoon fennel seeds (dry roasted)
  • 1/2 Teaspoon cumin seeds ( dry roasted)
  • 1 Tablespoon whole black peppercorns 


1. If you are using fresh crabs, then put them in the freezer for an hour to immobilise them. Alternatively you can put them in boiling water and keep the pot covered for 10 minutes. Clean the crabs. I followed the instructions from this post. This post is very useful and has step wise instructions on cleaning the crabs. Pull out the top shells and remove inedible spongy gills, mouth parts, guts. Rinse them thoroughly under running tap water. And crack the crab shells slightly so that it will be easy to eat.


2. In a food processor, add all the ingredients listed under 'To Grind' and grind it to fine smooth paste. Add water while grinding. Set aside

3. You need a super large and wide wok to cook the crabs. The wok/ pan/ skillet should be large enough
for you to move the crabs while they are cooking
4. Heat ghee in the wok. When the ghee is hot add mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds and let them crack
5. Add curry leaves, slit green chilli and minced garlic and fry until the garlic is light golden
6. Add shallots and fry until they are soft
7. Add tamarind pulp, red chilli powder, turmeric powder and give it a nice stir. Bring it to boil and simmer for 5 minutes until the tamarind thickens slightly
8. Season with salt.
9. Add crabs and thin coconut milk. Cover the wok with a lid and cook the crabs for 5 to 8 minutes until the crabs are cooked through and the masala thickens. Stir intermittently and rotate crabs to ensure they are cooked through
10. Finally add ground coconut paste and cook for 2 minutes more. Switch off the flame and garnish with chopped cilantro leaves
11. Serve once

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