Being an island, Sri Lanka has some of the most abundant sea life found on earth. This bounty from nature results in some of the freshest sea food available. The lagoon crab is one of the country’s lesser known exports. This species Scylla serrata is also known as the mud crab and found in the estuaries and mangroves in the Sri Lankan coast. These crabs are served in Singapore as the famous Singapore Chilli Crab, when in-fact they are all exported from Sri Lanka.
This crab is much loved even in Sri Lanka and usually prepared as a spicy curry. With generous amounts of curry powder (cumin, fennel, coriander, fenugreek, cardamom, cloves, dried curry leaves, cinnamon) and chilli powder, turmeric and coconut milk. Leaves of the Drumstick Tree known as Murunga are added to the curry.
The delicious curry can be enjoyed with rice, bread, pittu or any form of starch which is to one’s liking. But one must ensure to taste the gravy which has the real flavor behind the curry.
Full of depth and flavor this is the ideal meal for a grand Sri Lankan Sunday Lunch.
Words and Photos by Rajiv Welikala