Chingri Malakari is an authentic Bengali Recipe with jumbo prawns cooked in coconut milk gravy. It has beautiful textures, light spices and is oh so yum.
Hello people, I told you some time back about sharing Authentic Bengali Recipes throughout October but I did very bad time management last month and you can see that already with such less posts last month. But think no more, I am going to continue with #TinasBongConnection even this month and share with you what I originally promised. And guess what is special? My parents are down here and spending a few weeks with us. So you know how authentic these recipes are going to be.
Say hi to my mum, who is also quite excited about the blog and sometimes tells me – “Are you not going to photograph this”? Mums are always cute. Okay, I know she’s beautiful and I look very different from her!
They specially traveled by train this time because they wanted to bring fresh fish and mutton from Kolkata. And when my mom is around every food is good food, every meal is great meal – we are having a foodgasm here!
Chingri Malaikari is perhaps the most celebrated secret of Bengali Cuisine. The jumbo prawns are cooked in creamy and velvety coconut milk and delicate spices making it ever so yum. There are many versions of the Bengali Chingri Malaikari and almost every household has it’s secret recipes.
I had shared earlier How to make Bengali Style Chingri Malai Curry and it was a recipe using tomatoes. But this recipe that I am sharing today doesn’t have any tomato. This recipe has stronger flavors.
Let’s get Started
De-veining and cleaning prawn is very important, try to get them done at the market itself. In case the supermarket or the fish seller doesn’t do it take out the black thread like vein out from the back of the prawns. That is the prawns intestines and you don’t want to eat that! Also clean the black spots inside the head.
Marinate the prawns in lemon juice, turmeric and salt and fry lightly in mustard oil.
Pro Tip – Do not fry prawns on very high heat or for too long – they will turn chewy like rubber.
While you are frying the prawns they will curl by default. That’s how prawns are.
Pro Tip – If you want your prawns to be straight and not curl up insert a stick or skewer through them before frying. This will prevent from curling.
Once the fish is lightly fried take it off the pan and keep it aside.
In the same pan heat oil and add whole spices. Tempering oil with whole spices like cardamom, cinnamon gives an amazing aroma.
Sauté onion, ginger and garlic paste.
Add in slit whole green chilies.
In a small bowl mix turmeric powder, red chili powder and cumin powder with little water and add this spice mix in the pan.
Pro Tip – When you mix spice with little water it prevents the spices from burning.
Once the spice is cooked add in a handful of grated coconut and sauté till you get the nice aroma of coconut.
In a bowl soak cashew nuts and raisins in water
Pour in coconut milk and cook on low heat.
Pro Tip – When you are cooking with coconut milk or cream always cook on low heat else the milk might split and you will end up with a not so nice taste!
The beauty of this recipe is the coconut milk. This will give the rich creamy texture. One the gravy is cooked add in the fried prawns, the soaked cashew and raisins and a pinch of sugar. Cover and cook for two minutes.
Add a pinch of garam masala and mix well.
Add a teaspoon of ghee before turning off the heat.
That is my mum’s recipe for Bengali Chingri Malaikary or Jumbo Prawn cooked in coconut gravy. It is best enjoyed with steamed rice. When you have a chingri malaikari you don’t need too many things along with it – but again for a Bengali food is never about one or two items!
- Jumbo Prawns - 7-8 jumbo tiger prawns
- Turmeric powder - 1 + 1 teaspoon
- Lemon Juice - 2 teaspoons
- Green Cardamom - 2-3
- Cinnamon stick - ½ inch
- Cloves - 2-3
- Mustard oil - 2 table spoon + 2 tablespoon
- Onion Paste - 1 tablespoon
- Ginger & Garlic Paste - 1 teaspoon
- Cumin powder - 1 teaspoon
- Kashmiri Chili powder - 1 teaspoon
- Fresh coconut - grated, 2-3 teaspoons
- coconut milk - 150 ml
- Cashews and raisins - a handful
- Garam masla powder - ½ teaspoon
- Ghee or clarified butter - 1 teaspoon
- Marinate the de-veined and cleaned prawns with lemon juice, salt and turmeric
- Heat 2 tablespoon oil in a frying pan and lightly fry the prawns
- Take off from the pan and keep aside
- Heat rest of the oil in the same pan and temper it with the whole spices
- Once the oil turns aromatic saute onion paste for 1 minute
- Add ginger garlic paste and saute for 2-3 minutes
- In a bowl mix turmeric, chili, cumin powder with little water
- Add this spice mix to the pan and cook the spices
- Add grated coconut and saute well
- Add coconut milk and mix well.
- Cover and cook on low heat for a few minutes
- Add soaked cashew and raisins and the prawns and cook for few minutes
- Add garam masala powder and ghee before turning off the heat.
- Serve hot with steamed rice