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