Sri Lankan Crab Recipe: A Delicious Seafood Dish to Try at Home – Seaco Online
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Sri Lankan Crab Recipe: A Delicious Seafood Dish to Try at Home

Are you looking for a new seafood recipe to try? Look no further than Sri Lankan crab curry! This dish is a staple in Sri Lankan cuisine and is known for its bold flavours and unique blend of spices. Whether you're a fan of seafood curries or are looking to switch up your usual non-vegetarian dishes, Sri Lankan crab curry is a must-try.

A pot simmering with aromatic spices, chili, and coconut milk. A large Sri Lankan crab being added to the pot, surrounded by vibrant vegetables and herbs

The star ingredient in this dish is blue swimmer crabs, which are commonly found in the waters around Sri Lanka. These crabs are known for their sweet and succulent meat, which pairs perfectly with the spicy curry sauce.

The sauce is made with a blend of aromatic spices, including cumin, coriander, and turmeric, as well as coconut milk for a creamy finish. If you're looking to switch up the recipe, there are plenty of ingredient substitutions you can try, such as using prawns instead of crab or adding extra vegetables like bell peppers or green beans.

Key Takeaways

  • Sri Lankan crab curry is a bold and flavourful seafood dish that is a must-try for any seafood lover.
  • The dish is made with blue swimmer crabs and a blend of aromatic spices, including cumin, coriander, and turmeric, as well as coconut milk for a creamy finish.
  • You can switch up the recipe by using prawns instead of crab or adding extra vegetables like bell peppers or green beans.

Ingredients and Substitutions

A table with fresh crab, coconut milk, curry leaves, and spices. Bowls of ginger, garlic, and onions nearby for substitutions

Primary Ingredients

The primary ingredient in Sri Lankan crab recipes is, of course, crab. Blue swimmer crabs are commonly used, but you can also use other types of crab that are available in your area. Other primary ingredients include onion, garlic, ginger, chillies, curry leaves, and tomato.

Spices and Seasonings

Sri Lankan crab recipes use a variety of spices and seasonings to create a unique and flavourful dish. Some common spices include cumin seeds, mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, coriander seeds, fennel seeds, cinnamon stick, and turmeric. Sri Lankan curry powder is also an important ingredient that gives the dish its distinct flavour. Lime juice, salt, and pepper are also used to season the dish.

Coconut-Based Ingredients

Coconut is a staple ingredient in Sri Lankan cuisine, and it is used in many crab recipes. Coconut milk, grated coconut, and desiccated coconut are commonly used to add flavour and texture to the dish. Thick coconut milk is also used to create a creamy sauce that complements the crab.

If you cannot find some of the ingredients, you can substitute them with similar ingredients that are available in your area. For example, you can use vegetable oil or butter instead of coconut oil. You can also use a different type of crab or seafood if blue swimmer crabs are not available. However, keep in mind that substitutions may alter the flavour and texture of the dish.

Cooking Instructions and Nutritional Information

A pot simmers with aromatic spices and fresh crab, surrounded by ingredients and a recipe card with nutritional details

Preparation Steps

To prepare Sri Lankan Crab Curry, you will need fresh crab meat, lime juice, sea salt flakes, lemongrass, pandan leaves, roasted curry powder, unroasted curry powder, cooking oil, and water. First, clean the crab meat and set it aside. Then, heat some oil in a pan and add lemongrass, pandan leaves, and roasted curry powder. Sauté for a few minutes until fragrant. Next, add the crab meat and stir well. Add water and unroasted curry powder, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and let it simmer for about 10 minutes. Finally, add fresh lime juice and sea salt flakes to taste.

Cooking Techniques

Sri Lankan Crab Curry is a simple dish to prepare. However, there are a few techniques that you should keep in mind. First, make sure that you clean the crab meat thoroughly before cooking. This will help remove any impurities and ensure that the meat is safe to eat. Second, use fresh lime juice instead of bottled lime juice. Fresh lime juice has a better flavour and will enhance the taste of the dish. Finally, be careful not to overcook the crab meat. Overcooking will result in tough and rubbery meat.

Serving Suggestions

Sri Lankan Crab Curry is a versatile dish that can be served with rice, parathas, or bread. You can also garnish it with fresh coriander and lime wedges. For a complete meal, serve it with a side of steamed vegetables or a fresh salad.

Nutritional Profile

Sri Lankan Crab Curry is a healthy and nutritious dish that is low in calories and high in protein. One serving of crab curry contains approximately 539 kcal, 12g of protein, 40g of carbohydrates, and 41g of fat. It is also a good source of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, iron, and calcium. However, be mindful of the amount of salt and sugar you add to the dish, as this can increase the calorie count and affect its nutritional value.

Frequently Asked Questions

A large Sri Lankan crab being prepared with aromatic spices and herbs, surrounded by traditional cooking utensils and ingredients

How do you prepare a traditional Sri Lankan crab curry?

To prepare a traditional Sri Lankan crab curry, you need to clean the crab and cut it into six pieces. Then, sauté garlic until golden brown in a large pan with olive oil. Stir in chilli flakes and add the crab, doing a quick stir. Add water and let it cook for a few minutes. In a separate pan, fry onions, curry leaves, and other spices until fragrant. Add the spice mixture to the crab and let it simmer until the curry thickens.

What's the secret to a creamy crab curry with coconut milk?

The secret to a creamy crab curry with coconut milk is to add the coconut milk towards the end of the cooking process. This will prevent the coconut milk from curdling and will give the curry a smooth and creamy texture. You can also add a pinch of turmeric powder to enhance the colour and flavour of the curry.

Can you suggest an easy method for making a Sri Lankan-style crab dish?

An easy method for making a Sri Lankan-style crab dish is to prepare a simple garlic chilli crab recipe. Clean the crab and cut it into six pieces. Sauté garlic until golden brown in a large pan with olive oil. Stir in chilli flakes and add the crab, doing a quick stir. Add water and let it cook for a few minutes. Serve hot with steamed rice.

What are the typical spices used in a Jaffna crab curry recipe?

The typical spices used in a Jaffna crab curry recipe are fennel seeds, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, cardamom pods, cinnamon sticks, cloves, and black peppercorns. These spices are roasted and ground to make Jaffna curry powder, which is the key ingredient in the Jaffna crab curry recipe.

How do I select the best crabs for a Sri Lankan crab recipe?

To select the best crabs for a Sri Lankan crab recipe, look for live crabs that are heavy for their size and have a hard shell. Avoid crabs that have a soft shell or are missing legs or claws. It's also important to choose crabs that are fresh and have a sweet smell.

Could you explain what Jaffna curry powder is made of?

Jaffna curry powder is made of a blend of roasted and ground spices, including fennel seeds, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, cardamom pods, cinnamon sticks, cloves, and black peppercorns. The spices are roasted to enhance their flavour and aroma before being ground into a fine powder. Jaffna curry powder is a key ingredient in many Sri Lankan dishes, including crab curry.