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Tea Leaves

Sri Lankan crab curry spreads hope and flavor

A regional dish may help heal the wounds of a bitter civil war

Jaffna crab curry served at the Palmyrah restaurant. (Photo by Palmyrah)

When I asked my Sri Lankan friend Mathan where we could go to eat the popular local dish Jaffna crab curry, he suggested Wellawatte, a neighborhood to the south of Colombo.

I had little reason to doubt him since Wellawatte, with its mix of aging small houses, new apartment blocks and colorful storefronts, is home to many Sri Lankan Tamils. They are the island's largest minority and most have roots in Jaffna, a district in the north of the island. It was easy to trust Mathan for this recommendation since he is both an editor at a Tamil daily newspaper and a keen foodie with a flair for cooking.

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