Sunday, 14 October 2012

Chingrir Malaikari - Prawns in Coconut Cream Sauce

Chingrir Malaikari - Prawns in Coconut Cream Sauce

This Shrimp dish is a very famous one all over Bangladesh. The country gets a fresh supply of Prawns, Shrimps and Lobsters from it's water bodies (rivers . lakes and sea) and cook a varieties of dishes from the day's catch. This dish is very easy to cook and is equally tasty. The recipe though varies sightly from household to household, everyone claiming theirs to be the most authentic one. I have personally tasted five to six different types of cooking in the city of Dhaka alone. Here I am posting a recipe which I liked best and got addicted to. Even my hubby, who is not much of a fan for any thing coconut's, fell for this dish. This recipe is my tribute to my ancestral land.

Preparation Time :  30 minutes
Cooking Time      :  45 minutes
Difficulty              :  Medium
Serves                  :  4 - 6

Ingredients :

  • 12 Large Prawns, Cleaned, shelled, except the head and tail (read the details of cleaning)
  • 2 medium Onion, churned into paste
  • 1 inch Piece of Ginger, finely grated
  • 2 whole Green Chili, churned into paste along with onions
  • 1 teaspoon Cloves
  • 3 pods of Green Cardamom
  • 1 inch stick of Cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon Turmeric Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Coriander Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cumin Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Red Chili Powder (you can use Kashmiri Mirch if you don't want it to be too spicy)
  • 1 teaspoon Garam Masala Powder (available in most Indian food stores)
  • 400 mils of Coconut Cream (The first extract, you can also buy can/tetra packs)
  • Salt to taste
  • Pinch Sugar
  • 1/3 cup of Mustard Oil (slightly pungent oil, derived from Mustard seeds, used extensively in cooking in Eastern India and Bangladesh)
  • 1 Tablespoon Ghee (Clarified Butter)


Method :

First comes the cleaning and shelling the Prawns. You can get them cleaned from the vendor, in that case ask him to keep the Head and the tail intact but remove the black string from the back of the Prawn.  In case you are cleaning it, chop off the eyes, you will find a plastic like string in the head, remove it. Then remove the legs and the jacket, leaving the tail part intact. Hold the back side facing you, make a slight incision with a sharp knife, you will find a black string, remove that and when done, wash the prawn once more and set aside to drain.

1) You can make a paste of Onion, Ginger, Garlic and Green Chilies separately or you can also puree them together with a tablespoon of water. Set aside.

2) In a big wok heat oil over medium-high heat till the oil stops bubbling.

3) Add the whole spices (Clove, Cardamon and Cinnamon) to the oil, but be careful, they might splatter.

4) Reduce the heat immediately to medium and add the onion paste and the dry spice powders (cumin, coriander, Turmeric, Garam masala) and fry well.

5) The spices needs to be fried till they start leaving oil from the sides. This will take about 5 - 7 minutes.

6) Once the paste is mostly dry and the oil has separated, lower the heat to simmer and add half of the coconut cream.

7) Stir in well and keep stirring till the oil starts separating again.

8) Now add the salt and mix. Taste to check the seasoning and adjust if required.

9) Now add the Prawns to the Sauce and mix well.

10) keep turning till the prawn fleshes turn completely pink. This will take about 7-10 minutes, depending on the size of the prawn.

11) Once the prawns are completely cooked add rest of the coconut cream and mix well. Lace with pinch sugar, mix well and set aside.

12) In a small pan, heat Ghee (Clarified butter) and add a large pinch of garam Masala, hold over heat, till ghee melts and you get an aroma of the spices. Take it off the fire and pour over the Prawn Curry and mix well.

13)  Your Prawn in Coconut Cream Sauce is ready to serve. Serve it hot over a plate of Basmati rice.

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