by Alice Luker
As my eyes widened at the prospect of a signature ‘Kalkudah style crab curry’ at Sun Aqua in a province abundent with some the freshest, tastiest seafood on the island, I was once again craving the Northern spin of local cuisine. An assuring shade of golden bronze, the succulent crab in a creamy, spicy coconut sauce tasted as good as it looked.
Despite the full flavour of Sri Lankan curries, they are usually more straight forward to prepare than they seem, this recipe no exception. Most ingredients are readily available- the crab may take a little effort to find depending on where you live and fresh curry leaves/ rampe usually involve a trip to an asian supermarket. To avoid having to make this trip regularly when cooking Sri Lankan cuisine, both curry leaves and rampe can be frozen for future use. Fresh is always best but if there aren’t fresh plants readily available like there are in Sri Lanka it saves a lot of time.
I’m pleased to share with you the recipe for this decicious curry courtesy of Sun Aqua Pasikudah, a tropical beach haven on the east coast of Sri Lanka.
4-5 crabs, cleaned
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 brown onion, sliced
3 cloves garlic, crushed
2 sprigs curry leaves
8 x 5cm segments rampe
2 sliced small red hot chilli
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1-2 tablespoon chilli powder
2 – 3 teaspoons regular curry powder
¼ cup water
1 teaspoon salt
½ cup coconut milk
1. Prepare crabs by washing well. Break off the claws, break body in half and remove the membrane.
2. Drain excess water, squeeze lemon over crab and sprinkle with salt.
3. In a large saucepan add oil, onion, garlic, curry leaves, pandan, chilli, lemongrass and ground turmeric.
4. Add water, chilli powder, regular curry powder
5. Stir and add crab, then milk or coconut milk.
6. Stir regularly until crab cooks through.