If Chingri Machher Malakri was not decadent enough, then you make Malaikari with the biggest Chingri you can lay your hands on. My husband picked up the largest prawns, I had ever seen. One look at the beauties, and it was like an instant love affair. And how do you cook these beauties? It was an abolsute no brainer. You make Chingri Machher Malaikari - Prawns cooked in a spicy coconut gravy. Its an iconic Bengali culinary delicacy . You can serve it for lunch or dinner with some steamed Basmati rice. An instant food coma is sure to follow.

The eternal Ghoti Bangaal divide over Chingri Maach and Ilish Maach shall always continue. The foodie tussle between the Bengalis from the current state of West Bengal in India, to those who trace their beginnings to modern day Bangladesh, has been around forever, it may seem. Having grown up in a family which has a mixed family lineage where Bengali geography is concerned, I have learnt to appreciate the culinary specialities of both sides. Chingri Machher Malaikari is essentially a Ghoti delicacy.

The prawns were deveined and without their heads. Ideally prawn heads impart a great flavor to Malaikari. But generally prawns are dressed without their heads almost everywhere in the US. Prawns if overcooked, can turn rubbery and overcooking these beauties would have been a sacrilege. I had just sauteed the prawns lightly, after smearing them with some turmeric and salt.The drippings on the pan, after sauteeing the prawns, add to the flavor profile of the gravy. If you are in India, you can use fresh coconut milk. But I had to make do with canned coconut milk, which I had picked up from the Asian food aisle of my regular grocery store. Fresh green chilies add a subtle aroma to this creamy gravy. If you are not comfortable with heat, then make sure you add in the whole green chili, with the stalk attached. That way it will impart an aroma but no heat.

Go ahead and whip up this classic Bengali Prawn Curry. You will surely become a fan of Bengali cuisine.


Ingredients :
Tiger Prawns : 8
Onion: 1/4 large onion - Blend to a paste
Ginger : 1 inch piece - Blend to a paste
Garlic : 2- 3 large cloves
Tomato Paste : 1 1/2 tsp
Coriander Powder: 1 tsp
Cumin Powder: 1 tsp
Red Chili Powder : 1 tsp
Granulated Sugar: 1 tsp
Salt : To taste
Mustard Oil(You can use canola oil, but dont use olive oil by any means)
Potato: 1 medium sized one: cubed. (Skip it if you want to. I add potatoes to every curry I make)
Whole Garam Masala : Clove and Green Cardamom : 2 each, Cinnamon stick : 1 1/2 inches
Bay Leaves : 2
Whole Garam masala Powder: 1/2 tsp
Coconut Milk : A can
Turmeric Powder: 1 tsp and 1 tsp

Wash the prawns and pat them dry with a paper towel. Smear them with salt and turmeric powder.

In a non stick pan, heat mustard oil. Lightly sautee the prawns.

Remove the prawns from the pan to a plate.

Ideally a classic malaikari would not have potatoes in it. But I am one of those Bengali foodies, who likes potatoes in every curry. So I added some potatoes. You can skin it if you want to. Smear the potatoes with turmeric and salt and lightly fry them till they caramelise around the edges. Remove the sauteed potatoes.

In the same oil, add whole garam masala and bay leaves. Let the garam masala crackle.

 Add in your onion-ginger-garlic paste. Caramelise till the paste is golden brown. then add in the tomato paste. If you don't have tomato paste, feel free to use ripe fresh tomatoes.

Once the tomato paste is well integrated, in the masala, its time for the dry spices. Mix well. Fry for a minute or two. Make sure the msala does not get burnt. it can go very easily from caramelised to burnt.

Add in your fried or sauteed prawns and potatoes. Cook for around 5 minutes in a covered pan.

Add in your coconut milk. Mix with a light hand. reduce the heat to low, so that the coconut milk does not separate or curdle. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes or till the potatoes are cooked through. If yo haven't added potatoes, then 3 minutes is good. Check for seasonings. Add in a pinch of garam masala powder and turn off the heat. Cover till its ready to serve, to seal in the aromas.

Serve warm with steamed basmati rice.

Enjoy !

Bon Appetit ! 

1 comment

  1. This particular papers fabulous, and My spouse and i enjoy each of the perform that you have placed into this. I’m sure that you will be making a really useful place. I has been additionally pleased. Good perform! Sea Water Fish