Bengali Chingri Malai Curry
Undoubtedly one of the most popular Bengali curries, the Chingri Malai curry gets its name from the word ‘chingri’ which means shellfish. Succulent prawns swimming in a mellow coconut milk gravy, this curry is undeniably delicious!
Prep Time: 15 minutes | Wait Time: 1 hour | Cook Time: 45 minutes
- Bowl (marination)
- Saucepan (for stock and curry)
- Serving spoon
- Large prawns - 1 kg (with shells)
- Mustard oil - 2 tbsp
- Cardamoms - 3-4
- Bay leaf - 1
- Cumin seeds - ½ tsp
- Chilli powder - 1 tsp
- Turmeric powder - ½ tsp
- Cinnamon & mace powder - 1 tsp
- Chillies - 2 to 3 (slit)
- Ginger-garlic paste - 2 tbsp
- Cashew paste - 1 tbsp
- Coconut milk - 200 ml or 1 cup
- Onions - 2 (pureed)
- Lime - half
- Water - 1 cup
- Clean and prep the prawns. Save the heads and shells to make the stock.
- Marinate the prawns with a teaspoon each of salt and turmeric. Let them absorb the flavours for 60 minutes.
- In a saucepan fry the saved prawn head and shells for 10 minutes. Then add water and let it come to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Once done, strain the stock and reserve for the curry. Discard the shells and heads.
- In the same pan add the mustard oil and let it get hot until it releases smoke.
- Fry the prawns here for a minute on each side then remove. Do not cook them completely.
- In the same oil add the bay leaf, cardamoms and cumin seeds. Turn down the heat to medium and fry the spices until their aroma rises.
- Then add the ginger-garlic paste and let it fry for a minute.
- Now add the pureed onions and let them cook on medium until they are soft and lightly golden brown.
- To the onions add the cinnamon-mace powder and chilli powder. Let the masalas fry and strengthen in flavour.
- Follow the masalas with the cashew paste. Stir and let it cook for about a minute or so until it is mixed through and the oil starts to separate from the mixture.
- Now pour in your coconut milk and bring it to a simmer. Let the mixture heat through.
- Add your half-cooked, seared prawns at this stage.
- To this also add 2 slit chillies for some heat and punch.
- Stir it through and as the mixture starts to come together add in the prawn stock.
- Cover and let the curry come to a light simmer for a minute.
- Then take the curry off the heat and squeeze in some lime juice for that extra kick.
- Serve with rice or chapatis.