A few months from now should see the start of the rainy season, bringing welcome respite from the hot and humid weather leading up to it, but also giving rise to a wonderful natural phenomenon – the running of the crabs!

The large blue land crabs emerge from the undergrowth in their thousands for the start of their mating season, and you’ll likely come across family groups with sticks and bags looking to catch the crab and cook up a tasty stew.

Each family has their favourite seasonings, but many versions of the stew include coconut milk and plantain, along with “matilda foot” – plantain dumplings!

Belizean Crab Stew Recipe
(serves 6)

Ingredients:
8‐10 medium to large crabs
2 green plantain (cut into small pieces)
1 small pig's tail (cut off excess fat)
1 large onion
2‐3 teaspoons Lea and Perrins Worchestershire Sauce
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 small round red recardo
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon any of your favorite seasoning
2‐3 cloves garlic, crushed
1‐2 cups thick coconut milk
Matilda foot (see the recipe below)

How to cook Belizean Crab Stew:

Boil pig tail and green plantain until tender, and meanwhile grate and squeeze the coconut milk, reserving 2 tablespoons for the Matilda Foot.

Add crab meat and seasonings to the pot, and then drop in the the Matilda Foot dumplings and cook for 15 – 20 minutes

Lastly, add coconut milk and taste. Serve the Belizean Crab Stew hot with steamed rice.

Matilda Foot Recipe

Ingredients:
2 green plantains
1 ‘turn’ or half‐ripe plantain
3 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons coconut milk
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 tablespoon margarine

How to cook Matilda Foot:

Peel and grate plantains. Mix flour, salt, and baking powder together.

Melt margarine (low heat).

Add margarine and milk to grated plantain, mix well.

Drop by teaspoon into boiling stew.

Adapted from a recipe by Erleen Godfrey, Belizean Favourite Foods.

The Toledo Howler