Sri Lankan Tamil Food – BANANA LEAF MEAL and Lagoon Crabs in Trincomalee, Sri Lanka

– Hey everyone, I hope
you're having an amazing day. It's Mark Wiens, I'm in Trincomalee, on the east coast of Sri Lanka. And Sri Lanka is known for
having some of the best crabs, mud crabs, in the entire world. And Trincomalee, it's full of bays, there's inlets of water. There's lagoons, which
is the perfect place. This is one of the best places
in Sri Lanka to eat crab. So we're gonna get some mud crabs, we're going to go back to a family home, they're going to cook a Sri
Lankan Tamil meal for us.

It's gonna be incredible food. I can't wait for lunch today. How are you? – Very fine. (upbeat music) (bird calling) – [Woman] There's a step there, (mumbles). – [Mark] Woah, this is
more like a inlet of water, kind of forming into a
lagoon from the ocean. We're very close to the ocean
on a wooden, rickety dock. You want to be a little bit
careful stepping on this so you don't bottom out! But Uncle here has–
(child squealing) Oh, where did Micah– (laughs) Thank you! (laughing) – Hello, so nice to see
another random Uncle carrying Micah down the dock.

This is a Sri Lankan,
Trincomalee crab coast, so they have some baskets of crabs, which I think are still in the water that we're going to check out here and enquire about the lunch opportunities. (people speaking in foreign language) – [Woman] Oooh. – [Mark] Wow! – [Woman] Wow, (speaking
in foreign language). – [Mark] Nice. Especially the claws are
really big, blue in color. And then the fishermen are
telling us that there are cages that they have throughout this kinda bay, inlet of water, lagoon. But this is really prime
conditions for Sri Lankan crabs. This is crab country. This is where you will
find some of the best crabs in all of Sri Lanka.

(fishermen speaking foreign language) (relaxing music) – We're following Uncle back to his house where he's gonna wrap up the crabs and then we're going to
take them to then go cook Sri Lankan Tamil food out of those crab– With those crabs, with those products. Crabs are so beautiful, they're
so, like, healthy-looking. And then this entire
community, the people, the village here, most of
them would be crab farmers, crab raisers, so they get the
crabs when they're smaller, then they raise them in the
cages to grow them bigger. So this is like an entire
crab coast community. (relaxing music) (people speaking in foreign language) – [Man] (speaking in foreign language). (relaxing music) – [Woman] (speaking in foreign language). – [Mark] He puts a foot on, a
toe onto the top of the head and then kind of like wraps
it, the body and the claws.

And then that just secures the claws. (people speaking in foreign language) – [Man] (speaking in foreign language). (upbeat music) – [Mark] Thank you. Thank you. – [Woman] Thank you. (upbeat music) – [Mark] Alright. (upbeat music) Hello, nice to meet you. In here. Made it to the family home, in towards the city of Trincomalee, and I love this house,
it's so brightly-colored. There's orange, there's turquoise, there's yellow painted on the walls. And then the aunties
are going to get started cooking right now. (people speaking in foreign language) – She's just washing
them, cleaning them up. Doing it very quickly, lots
of experience, you can tell. – [Woman] (speaking in foreign language). – [Mark] This is for the crab curry? – [Woman] Yes, yes. – [Woman] They've already
cooked everything else. – [Mark] Oh, they've cooked
everything else, okay.

– [Woman] Yeah, because it's 2.30. – [Mark] Yeah, we came kinda late. – [Woman] Yeah. – All the rest of the dishes
that they've prepared– they've already prepared,
they've already cooked because we got here kind of late and it's kind of past lunch time but she's just gonna cook up the crab and then all the dishes
will be ready for lunch and I'm getting very, very hungry. Like, she just tossed in some
onions to a little bit of oil. That's gonna be the base
for beginning the crab. – [Mark] Right off the floor. Fennel. Caraway. There's fennel in there. – [Woman] Yes. Fennel, fenugreek, cumin. – The kitchen space situation a little– oh, there's a chimney
that goes all the way up there to the roof. Okay, but it's a little bit tight in here, the stove is kinda tucked away. We're all kinda huddled into
this little chimney space, but she just tossed– oh, those onions are caramelizing, but she just tossed in a
spice mixture of– oh, wait.

Of caraway. – [Woman] So, that is salt, and that is– they are spices. – [Mark] Curry powder. – [Woman] Curry powder from this area. – [Mark] Ah, okay. – [Woman] Yeah, so it's
like a Trinco curry powder. The curry powder, the area, like that. – [Mark] Oh yeah. – [Woman] Mmm. The magic powder. – [Mark] Oh, okay. First she caramelized some onions, and then she gathered a handful of spices. There was fenugreek, there was fennel, cumin and mustard seed. She tossed them in the oil, stir-fried it around and around. That's a unique blend of spices, and then on the crab
she actually tossed in like a whole handful, a whole
spoon of a local curry powder and then some salt. Some, like, sea salt on there, too. Sprinkled it on. The Moringa leaves are
gonna go in the curry, and also the pounded green
chili that she pounded.

That's gonna go, later. As for now, the crab is just gonna boil, simmer away in that curry
powder blend of spices that she added. (upbeat music) And then she just tossed in
the crushed green chilies and the Moringa leaves, into the broth that has been created,
that crab juice broth. And just kinda tuck that away, that's gonna infuse into
the gravy, into the sauce and then, like, steam up into the crab. (upbeat music) – Right. – Brought out all the food,
they brought the table out into the patio so that
there's better light, if we're gonna eat outside,
the air is quite nice.

It's not too hot. All the dishes, they're gonna serve us the traditional style, which
would be on a banana leaf as the plate, so that you– That's just the best way to mix and match, mix the rice up with
the different curries. You can smell the aroma,
the crab is ready. It smells so good. (upbeat music) (people speaking foreign language) (upbeat music) – [Mark] That one is fish. (upbeat music) – [Woman] Here's some appalam. (man speaking foreign language) – [Woman] Ah, okay this
is their meat again. – [Man] Oh, wonderful meat. – [Mark] Wonderful. (people speaking foreign language) (upbeat music) – We are sitting down, we've got the rice, we've got all– you put all the varieties of different dishes, the
curries, the vegetables all surrounding your rice. The aunties are a little bit shy. Oh, they're gonna come, okay. (laughing) Yeah (laughs). – [Mark] Got some of the crab? I think they'll join us. Think they'll join us. Right, right. Oh, and there's also
the rasam, which is the, it's like herbal soup,
but we'll probably– what you put on the rice. I'll probably just taste this first, and then add some of
that rasam to the rice.

Or should I add it right now? – [Woman] No, you can
eat first and then add. – Eat first and then add, keep adding some rasam? Okay. Okay, I will begin with this, which is like, I think it's– is it like green onion,
spring onions or leek? Oh, the rasam, thank you. – [Man] Not a problem. – [Woman] How you liking it? – [Mark] Really mix it in with the rice. Mmm, oh that's only my first, like, bite and that's not even the main dish and it's incredible.

Like, I think they're
leek but sliced very fine so you got that crunch. Is that shredded coconut in there? – [Woman] Yes, that's shredded coconut. – Oh man, that's what makes it. It's like salty, shredded coconut with that crispness of leek. Wow, that is amazing, that is amazing. Thank you. – You're very welcome. – What is your favorite dish? – Favorite, mas. – [Woman] Mas.
– Oh, the deer? – [Woman] Yes.
– Yes. – The deer, okay. Oh yeah, another surprise
dish that we got is deer. It was a surprise dish, we had no idea they were gonna cook some deer. But that looks beautiful,
that's what we'll try next. Oh yeah. Oh, he's right about the deer. Mmm. The texture is very similar to beef, but then the spices
they're using, the onions. The, like, caramelized
down onions in there. The chili in there, the curry leaves. It's awesome. And Roseana dished me a bowl of the rasam, which is the soup. Which I will add some of that to the rice. (children shouting) – Mix in with some of the dahl, mix in with some of the vegetable.

(upbeat music) Oh wow. I don't know what the
flavor's coming from this, if it's the dahl or the– Wait, is that even dahl? It tastes almost like pumpkin. – [Woman] It's pumpkin. – Oh, it is pumpkin. I totally was mistaken, that's my mistake. That is not dahl, that is pumpkin. And it does, yeah, that's like sweet, like mushy in the best kind of way. It's wonderful. We don't even have dahl, right? – [Woman] No. – This is a fish curry. (man talking in foreign language) Mmm, it has like a very
nice cinammon-y taste to it, and I'll follow that with
one of the fried chilies. Oh yeah, that's almost
like a chili, like, jerky. It's like, maybe dried and fried, and there's like– Woah, the flavor's not
spicy, but it's like so smoky flavorful. And then finally, for that crab. I'm gonna re-juice it, and you can see how that juice, it's just– It's just pure. It's just like that– their spice blend, their curry blend, the
Moringa leaves in there.

That looks incredible crab, and this is the fresh crab that we got– Oh, it's just blooming. Crack this guy open. (relaxing music) Is it okay? (upbeat music) Oh, the crab is so good. It's so sweet, it's so fresh and in that, like, spice
blend that they added to it, it almost has like a mushroom-y, spicy kind of taste to it. Like, I don't know what I'm tasting. Like, mushroom. I'm tasting, like, that spice
blend though, that is key. That's key, whatever
is in that spice blend. Maybe it's the fenugreek that sort of gives it a little mushroom-y taste. Coconut milk is great,
do not get me wrong. I love coconut milk, but then
coconut milk sometimes like, it milds out the spices so you can't taste all the individual cumin and the turmeric.

But when there's no coconut milk in it, it's just the pure spice, and that's just caked up on the crab. That's wonderful. Re-juice it one more time. Wow. Like, the crab itself
is amazing, but their– I love their recipe, and it's so simple. It took her, like, 15 minutes to make. She just, like, piled in the spices, no recipe, just from her head. And just like simmered it down, and then just like put on a cover. 15 minutes later, toss
in the Moringa leaves and the chilis, and it was done.

How's the food over there? – Mmm (laughs). – [Mark] I'm sorry,
how's the food, Ruzaina? – Obviously you can see, right? I'm like super enjoying it. Yeah, that's what happens.
– Awesome. – So much spices and it's just so good.
– Oh, it's so good. Like, across the board, everything tastes awesome.
– It's so good, yeah. – Like super awesome,
you can't explain it. You're just speechless.

It's, argh, so good. – [Mark] That is so, so good. – [Ruzaina] I've eaten
everything (laughs). – [Mark] Another thing
you can do with the rasam, is just drink it. Ohh. – [Ruzaina] Yeah (laughs). Oh, it's wonderful. It's like creamy, it's thick. You can taste all the,
like, spice and herbs in it. It's so good. Okay, we got a lot more dishes to try. I'm gonna move in for the eggplant. Oh, it's so mushy, you can
feel it in your fingers.

(upbeat music) The eggplant is amazing. It's so creamy, but mushy creamy. And then finally, some
of the bitter gourd. I think that might be the last dish, main dish that we got here. Check that bitter gourd out. (upbeat music) Oh. Thank you. Thank you very much. Auntie just handed me the claw. (upbeat music) Oh yeah, oh I love it. Mmm. Again, it's kinda like caramelized, it's kinda like, almost like dehydrated, so it has a little crunch to it. The vibrancy, the bitterness, the– it's superb. That's the story of all the dishes, they're so, like, they're so, like, filled with dry spice and fresh spice. They're, like, strong in taste, but like mellow and harmonic. A harmony of flavors all at the same time. And what I love so much
is that the food is not– it's not heavy, it feels healthy, it's refreshing, it's nutritious from all the spice they use.

It's amazing, and the flavors are just impressive to your mouth. Ruzaina has just told me I'm not the only, like, one who can taste the
mushroom-y taste in the crab. She says it's because of the water, and like the mud, mmm. – [Ruzaina] Yeah, and the area. So, each area produces different type of– – It's really like a
mushroom-tasting crab, uh-huh.

– [Ruzaina] It all depends on the water. (upbeat music) – And that pumpkin. I'm gonna move in for the claw, now. And it's properly cracked all the way, so you can probably just pull it, release it, oh yes. So, that thick spice down
there is just amazing. – [Man] The aromatic butter. – [Mark] Okay. (upbeat music) – Wow, yeah. Like, the mushroom-y flavor of the crab. It's like, you really
will think of mushroom like almost immediately
on your first bite. It's so sweet, and then
that spice mixture is just– yeah, that spice mixture. It's incredible. Just check this out, you
can see in the shell here just that spice, look at that. That is the dry spice,
that is their curry, their family curry paste. Chili powder, curry powder. (upbeat music) Oh, that's superb. That's really the flavor. I think you're gonna dish me out– It's not really dessert,
but it's kinda like to end the meal, to palate cleanse.

Kinda as an end. One scoop of rice, or maybe
a couple scoops of rice. – [Woman] (talking in foreign language). (man and woman talking
in foreign language). – Thank you. That is yogurt, or curry? Is that yogurt or curry?
– Curd. And then the rasam, okay. Then you sorta scoop on some of the rasam. Okay, or one more? – [Man] Yeah. – [Mark] Okay. – [Woman] (talking in foreign language).

– [Mark] Fully just coat–
like mixed it all evenly throughout, all the way. So that the curd is mixed in, so that the rasam is fully mixed in. This looks like a pretty
good dessert for me. Mmm, mm-hmm. That is my kind of a dessert. Rice, the coolness of
the yogurt, or the curd. And then it's just, like, light and like– that's like a digestive. (bird calling) Alright, final bite. – [Ruzaina] You're not
afraid to do (mumbles). – Bites. Okay. That was, like, truly a majestic meal. And then what you can
do is just wrap it up. Thank you. – [Ruzaina] Woah. Is that correct? Wrap it up. (laughing) Oh, the crab shell fell out. Okay, I'll have to just– okay, thank you. Thank you. Wow, that was a meal. An incredible meal. (people talking in foreign language) – [Mark] Thank you. (upbeat music). Oh, look at how, like,
fat these bananas are. They're so, like, chunky. Mmm, that is a really good banana. It's like apple-y tasting,
and like perfectly tart. (upbeat music) Hello, how are you? So, we just– oh, do I
have some curry on my lens? That was an incredible meal.

The mixture of the different
dishes, the spices, the flavor. That was cooking with love, the crab, and such a simple preparation
but so good, so fresh. Right from the source. The family, they welcomed
us into their home. I wanna say a massive
thank you to the family for their generosity, for
allowing us into their home, for cooking for us, for
sharing the food with us. Hello, how are you? Huge thank you also to Ruzaina,
she's The Minority Taste. She has an amazing passion for Sri Lanka, the people and the food, and I'll have her links in
the description box below, but she's making videos also.

She's making recipes. And then I wanna say a
massive thank you to you, for watching this video. Please remember to give it a thumbs up if you enjoyed it, leave a comment below, I'd love to hear from you and if you're not already subscribed, click subscribe now and also
click that little bell icon, so that you get notified of
the next video that I publish. And also, I'm gonna have the link in the description box below,
but if you haven't already, watch this entire playlist of Sri Lanka.

There've been some amazing
foods, some amazing crab and food experiences. Check out the entire playlist
in the description box below. Thanks again for watching,
goodbye from Trincomalee. See you on the next video,
thanks again for watching..

As found on YouTube

Sri Lankan Tamil Food - BANANA LEAF MEAL and Lagoon Crabs in Trincomalee, Sri Lanka

Watch more Sri Lankan Food:
Subscribe for 2 new videos every week
T-shirts and caps:

TRINCOMALEE, SRI LANKA - From Batticaloa, we continued our trip in Sri Lanka up the coast to Trincomalee, a wonderful town known for its beaches, seafood, and lagoons. Some of the best crabs in Sri Lanka come from Trincomalee. Much of the culture and people of Trincomalee are Tamil, and the food and culture reflects that.

King of Crabs - First we went to visit the main crab dealer of Trincomalee where he pulled out some fresh crabs from the lagoon. We ended up buying 3 KG of crab - 5,500 LKR ($30.68) to bring back to the house to cook.

At the house, the family had already prepared a selection of Sri Lankan Tamil food dishes, that were vibrant and ready to be eaten, but they immediately got started cooking the crab. The crab cooking was simple, but heavily relied on their own family blend of masala spice mixture.

All the dishes were served over a banana leaf plate, each with its own color and vibrancy. It was an incredible meal, so much delicious food and such a variety. I loved it. It was a perfect was to spend a day learning about Sri Lankan Tamil food in Trincomalee, Sri Lanka.

Thank you to everyone who generously hosted me in Trincomalee, for the delicious food, and to Ruzaina for arranging everything. Go check out here videos:

Thank you for watching this Sri Lankan food video! You can watch the entire Sri Lanka food and travel series here:


CAMERA GEAR I used to make this video (these are affiliate links):
Main camera:
Main lens: