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Sri Lankan Crab Curry with Coconut Rice and Pineapple Salad

Serves 4
  • Steps
  • Ingredients


  • For the Curry Paste, place the dry spices into a small heavy based frying pan and place over low heat. Toast until fragrant, stirring regularly for about 5-6 minutes. Transfer spices to a small bowl to cool slightly.
  • Roughly dice the garlic, shallots, ginger, chilli, curry leaves and coriander leaves and place into the bowl of a food processor. Add the toasted spice mix, salt, oil and ¼ cup water and blend to a smooth paste. Set aside.
  • For the Sri Lankan Crab Curry, place a large wok over medium high heat for 5 minutes until smoking hot. Add the vegetable oil to the wok and when hot, add the shallot, garlic, ginger, pandan leaves, curry leaves. Fry until golden brown in colour, about 5 minutes, stirring regularly.
  • Reduce the heat to low and stir in the Curry Paste, cover with a lid and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Gradually stir the coconut milk in, and then add the palm sugar, chilli powder, salt and pepper. Cook for a further 10 minutes until curry sauce has thickened and darkened in colour.
  • Meanwhile, remove the top shell from the body of each crab, in one piece, and wash thoroughly. Set aside. Remove gills and wash crab bodies thoroughly. Cut each crab into four and gently crack the larger claws with a cleaver.
  • Stir 1 cup of water into the sauce. Add the crab portions and the reserved shells and cook for 20-25 minutes, stirring regularly. When crab is cooked through, stir through the lime juice and salt and pepper, to taste. Remove from the heat.
  • For the Coconut Rice, place all ingredients along with 1 cup of water into a large saucepan over high heat. Bring to the boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to low, cover with a lid and simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and allow to stand, covered, for 10 minutes. Discard pandan and lime leaves. Fluff with a fork, cover and set aside.
  • For the Pineapple and Cucumber Salad, combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and stir to combine. Add a little extra lime juice, if desired. Divide into four serving ramekins.
  • To serve, divide the Sri Lankan Crab Curry between four serving bowls. Top each bowl with a crab shell and sprinkle with crushed fried chillies, fried curry leaves and fresh coriander leaves. Add a lime cheek and serve with a bowl of Coconut Rice and Pineapple and Cucumber Salad on the side.

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