Sri Lankan Mud Crab Curry


Gareth Howard

by Gareth Howard

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Serves4 serves
Prep time20 minutes
Cook time25 minutes
Ready in45 minutes

“As the colder nights start setting in, a warming curry to share is the perfect way to get the family around the kitchen table” – Gareth Howard, Exec Chef at Acre Eatery in Sydney. This sweet and sour Sri Lankan Mud crab curry packs a real punch, with the fresh and vibrant ingredients shining through in the dish. Cooking time is really quick which is great for families or couples on move. If you are looking to substitute your core ingredient, the curry works equally well with Ocean King Prawns Cooked Medium or a dense white fish fillet like John Dory Fish Fillet and Ocean Trout Fillet.

Mud Crab LIVE are available online – let us deliver to your door so you can recreate this recipe at home! See Gareth Howard in action, cooking his take on “Isolation Crustacean” during week 1 of Manettas cook-off – #MCO Highlights

Browse our website at Manettas Seafood Market for other great recipes and products – simply enter your suburb and you will see hundreds of products available in your area.




Curry Paste

  • 4cm piece ginger
  • 2cm piece fresh turmeric
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1tsp toasted coriander seeds
  • 1/2 tsp toasted cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp toasted fennel seeds
  • 2 dried chillis
  • 1 fresh green chilli
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper
  • 30g palm sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 100ml oil


  • 60g coconut oil
  • 1/2 tsp fengreek seeds
  • 10 fresh curry leaves
  • 1 white onion finely sliced
  • 1 prepared mud crab 1 – 2kg
  • 4 tsp curry paste
  • 2 cardamom pods split
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 3 lime leaves
  • 1 tsp tamarind paste
  • 200ml fish/chicken stock
  • 4 plum tomatoes, de-seeded & diced
  • 1 hell capsicum, de-seeded & diced
  • 1 tin organic coconut milk

Serving up

  • Shredded coconut
  • Sliced spring onions
  • Chopped toasted cashews
  • Freshly sliced chilli
  • Coconut rice or hoppers




For the curry paste

Step 1

In a hot wok, toast the cumin, coriander and fennel seeds for 30 secs moving/stirring the spices regularly.

Step 2

Once toasted, place all the ingredients into a pestle and mortar or a blender, and mix until a smooth paste is formed


For the curry

Step 1

Pre-warm a wok over a medium heat

Step 2 

Add coconut oil and fry fenugreek seeds and curry leaves – fry for 30 seconds.

Step 3

Add onion and continue to fry until soft.

Step 4

Add the prepared Mud crab and fry for a further minute

Step 5

Next add the curry paste, cinnamon, lime leaves, cardamom and tamarind paste. Continue to cook for 1 minute.

Step 6

Add fish stock and bring to a light simmer

Step 7

Add the tomato and capsicum and continue to simmer for a further 5 minutes until the crab is cooked and the sauce is reduced and thickened.

Step 8

Plate the mud crab curry on a large plate.

Step 9

Garnish with spring onion, sliced chilli, toasted coconut and cashews.

Step 10

Finish with coriander leaves.


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