While this dish is usually made with lagoon crabs, you can use any type. It’s spicy, so for a more moderate version, take it easy on the cayenne pepper.
- 5 large blue crabs, washed and split (with the legs on)
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- 1-2 tablespoon cayenne pepper powder
- 1/4 teaspoon allspice
- salt to taste
- 1 tablespoon raw rice
- 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 3 tablespoon shredded coconut
- 5 cloves garlic
- 2 tablespoon oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 sprig curry leaves
- 1 tomato, chopped
- 2-inch (5 cm) piece pandanus (optional)
- 1 bunch murungu leaves (optional)
- 1/2 cup (125 ml) water
- 1 cup (250 ml) coconut milk
- 2 tablespoon tamarind, soaked in 1/4 cup (65 ml) water
- Wash and clean crabs (remove gills and dirt). Split down the middle and crack legs so gravy can penetrate.
- Toss crabs with turmeric, cayenne, allspice and salt. Set aside.
- Roast rice, peppercorns, and cumin together. Then roast coconut until brown. Grind all ingredients with garlic and set aside.
- Heat oil in medium pot. Sauté onions, curry leaves, tomato, pandanus and murungu leaves.
- Add crabs and 1/2 cup (125 ml) water. Cover and steam.
- Combine rice mixture with water and coconut milk and add to pot. Stir and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Soak tamarind in 1/4 cup water. Strain seeds and add liquid to pot. Simmer and additional 5 minutes until done. The gravy should be dark and rich.
Makes 4-6 servings