This delicious recipe served with Sri Lankan string hoppers, can also be served on a bed of steamed basmati rice or thin Chinese noodles
• 200 gms blue swimmer crab meat
• 2 tsp black mustard seeds
• 1½ tsp fennel
• ½ tsp turmeric
• ½ tsp fenugreek seeds
• 2 medium Spanish onions
• 1 medium sized tomato
• ½ inch knob ginger
• 3 green chilies
• 10 curry leaves
• 330 ml coconut milk
• 1 handful fresh grated coconut
For the coconut broth:
• Heat some oil in a pan and add the black mustard seed to crackle in the hot oil.
• Wait till the seeds have popped and then add fenugreek seeds, finely sliced one Spanish onion, slit green chilies and sauté in the pan with the oil till onions start to sweat.
• Add the teaspoon of turmeric, six curry leaves and peeled grated ginger. Blanche the tomato and remove skin. Deseed and roughly dice the tomato and add to the mixture. Now add coconut milk and cook for 10 minutes. Add the same quantity of water as the coconut milk (The broth should not be too thick and coconuty. The aim is to have a light broth to go with the crab). Finish off with salt to taste.
For the crab meat:
• Heat some oil in a pan and add the black mustard seed to crackle in the hot oil. Wait till the seeds have popped and add ginger, fennel and two tablespoons of finely chopped onions.
• Add the cooked crab flakes and moisten the crab with two tablespoons of the coconut broth to keep the crab meat moist for a quick toss. Before removing, add the fresh coconut and curry leaves and serve hot on a bed of string hoppers.
• Add the tamarind pulp, ground masala paste and 1 litre of water and cook for 20 minutes on slow heat
• When the sauce has been cooked well, add the eggplant and cook well. Add the banana chillies 5 minutes before taking of the fire. They do not need to be cooked for too long.
For the string hoppers:
• Equipment required: Iddiappam mould or a noodle/pasta-maker.
• Keep the noodles as thin as possible. ie. finer than Angel Hair pasta, more like vermicelli.
• Buy Iddiappam mix, available from Indian/Sri Lankan Spice shops. Knead the mix with hot water till the dough is soft. • Make fist sized portions and put in the greased mould and squeeze three inch diameter mounds onto a steaming tray. Steam the mounds to cook and remove. Serve warm.
Image contributed by: Chef Kumar Mahadevan