No Reservations: Sri Lanka Day 6 – Chilaw Crab Curry

34 thoughts on “No Reservations: Sri Lanka Day 6 – Chilaw Crab Curry”

  1. I’m so excited to have found your blog after watching No Reservations!

    I’m a massive fan of Sri Lankan food and this episode of the series was excellent. Can’t wait to pick up a copy of your book.

    1. Michelle:

      Checked out your blog. Awfully nice of you for the kind words. If you need any recipes or tips feel free to holla!


  2. Loved the show.. you were great in it…. held your own.
    We love crab and crab curries.
    Please please send me the Chilaw Crab Curry recipe.

    1. Chris:

      Thanks for the kind words. You will find Leela’s crab curry recipe in one of the first entries on the blog. The one ingredient you’re not going to get in the U.S. is the murungu leaves, but it will still come out fine without that.

      Happy cooking and eating!


    2. Chris:

      I just discovered that I never replied to your post here about the crab curry. The recipe is located on my blog–one of the first posts in a story about Leela.


  3. HI Sarath!

    Being a Sri Lankan, and married to a Sri Lankan, discerned the culture by livng there and learning the quality of life at root level (in a good sense of Sri Lankan hospitality) upward, we must say it was awesome and great of you, havng taken Tony there! It was overdue, having seen so many countries on his list. Tony’s show is a form of entertainment for us on every Monday, and we are great fans, it was so ironic as I had thought of how we could invite him to Sri Lanka. Thanks to you, he made it there and we are glad. Kushil was surprised to learn from us and his other friends in the USA, Tony’s popularity. We helped him to discern of the guy, by sending some links of Tony, so he’s prepped when he meets him!

    The show was one of the best for Asia, it had many flavors to it in every sense and Sri Lanka was portrayed to stand on its’ own!

    I would love to know where we can purchase your book in the U.S. If you make it to Las Vegas, and time provides, do connect with us if you wish.

    M. Blessings,
    Giovanni & Dee.

    1. Thanks Giovanni & Dee:

      I had a great time working on the show, and I’m glad you liked it. I think Kushil’s part was one of the stronger segments, and was glad to be able to arrange that. Of course, there was a lot they omitted, but time is always a big factor in these cases. I think in general, people got a positive impression of a country that we love so much.

      As for my book, it is currently available at pending a real book deal

      It’s called Rice & Curry: Sri Lankan Home Cooking by S.H. Fernando Jr.

      I would be happy to look you up if I am ever in Vegas. Thanks for the offer.

      all the best,

  4. Thanks for checking out my blog! The kind words were well deserved!

    I’m so down to take you up on picking your brain for recipes!

    Brain pick question 1: Leela’s crab dish is tempting me-do you think it would be difficult to reproduce and would blue crab work?

    1. Not at all Michelle. In fact, the crab curry recipe is posted at the beginning on my blog after a story about Leela.

  5. Wow, this blog was a surprise find!

    After watching the No Reservations episode, I frantically forwarded it to my friends abroad, hoping to convince them to visit because of the food. Hopefully this attempt works, hehe. I must say, a job well done – I particularly enjoyed watching the biriyani and crab sessions.

    I was hunting for information about Sri Lankan biriyani’s and stumbled across your blog entry for Day 5 – nicely written. Do you have a recipe for your favourite version of biriyani?

    Cheers, and all the best with your book deal etc.

  6. Hi, I’m going to be in Sri Lanka this summer, will I be able to make reservations with Leela? does she cater to other people?

    1. Ha! I think Leela’s going to have to open a restaurant after this show. Actually she is way out in the country, past Chilaw, a good 2-3 hour drive from Colombo. BUT, if you go to the beginning of my blog there is a story about Leela and you will find her crab curry recipe there. Have fun in SL!


  7. Hi,

    I was googling Sri Lankan recipes after watching Tony’s show and your blog came up!

    The food looked delicious and I wish they were Sri Lankan restaurants in the Boston area. I don’t know of any.

    Anyway, I’ll be purchasing your book because I want to try some of those recipes. I hope I can find the ingredients and I hope they are not too difficult to make.

    1. Thanks for your comments. I know there are Indian stores in the Boston area so you should have no problem finding the one crucial ingredient to Sri Lankan rice and curry–fresh curry leaves. The rest is all there. I recommend making a batch of your own curry powder first or you can try my home-made brand which I’m selling via mail order through the blog.


    1. If you click on the icon of my book on the rice and curry blog (the first thing on the right hand side) it will take you to the blurb site, and then you can preview the first 15 pages of the book on your computer without having to go to any bookstore. You can also order the book right from there.

  8. Wow! I can’t believe I was able to find your blog. After
    watching The Sri Lankan episode I kept googling “chill out crab curry” with no success lol! I can’t wait to put the recipe to the test! I see you were a writer for the Source and also an artist. Your music’s pretty dope. Keep it up!

    1. Thanks, Mark. You will find the Chilaw Crab Curry recipe early on in my blog in a post about Leela. You’re not going to be able to find some of the ingredients, but definitley get the curry leaves.


  9. Hi

    Loved your posts on no reservations. Im making my first trip to SL from chennai next month and am soooo looking forward to the food. would appreciate any suggestions/ must try places in Colombo/Galle/Una/Hikkaduwa.
    Cheers and peace!


  10. Dear Skiz, My friend Shanthi told me about the Sri Lanka episode of travel channel just yesterday and I am hoping it will be on again soon. I went online for that very reason and I dont know how I have never come across your blog. What a pleasant surprise. I am an American married to a Sri Lankan for 40+ years and have been trying to perfect Sri Lankan cooking and having a great time doing it. There is always something to learn and thats why I will be purchasing your book asap. Thank you for all the work you put into this blog and I look forward to visiting often. Once you have eaten Sri
    Lankan food your hooked for life, at least 40 years! If your ever in Queens, NY stop by the Vihara in Queens Village and say hi to my husband Thissa who volunteers there most days.
    Best Wishes, Maureen

  11. Hi Shiz
    I just saw you on Anthony’s “No Reservations” show – great show, watched it twice. My folks are in Sri Lanka right now – is there anyhwere there that they can buy a copy of your cookbook? Loved watching the cooking processes – always thought Sri Lankan cooking was just like Indian – would love to try some of your recipes.
    Nanaimo, BC

    1. Hi Jeanette:

      Glad you enjoyed the show. There is a link to the site that sells my cookbook on the rice and curry blog. It’s called and the book is called Rice&Curry: Sri Lankan Home Cooking. It’s the only cookbook I know where you can contact the author directly and ask for tips and advice.

      Happy Cooking!


  12. Excellent blog and I thoroughly enjoyed the No Reservations episode. It has been over 30 years since I’ve had the pleasure of having some good crab curry. Unfortunately, my cooking skills are pretty poor. Tackling this curry myself would be an utter failure. Would you be able to recommend a place in or near Colombo that one can go for a crab curry meal next time I’m in SL?
    Many thanks

  13. Oh my gosh….as I watched the episode for the umpteenth time, I was hoping I could find a recipe for the crab curry! Never did I think I would stumble onto your blog. Excellent job, it looked like Tony’s favorite kind of shoot, as well. Thank you!

    1. Hi Allison:

      Glad you finally found the recipe. You should be able to find all the ingredients here except the murungu leaves, but don’t worry about those.



  14. In British Columbia the murnugu leaves are easily found in Chinese, and Thai gorcery stores. Perhaps a picture of it would be helpful for your fans so that they know what to look for. I watched the show several times. I am from Negombo and the crab curry IS awesome.

  15. what month was this that you got the mud crabs in? I know that certain months of the year chilaw lagoon mud crabs are not in season in Sri-Lanka so it is harder to get in and as such I’ve had to settle for the lesser sea crabs when in Sri-Lanka

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