Chingri Malaikari or Shrimp Curry

This weekend was all about Bengali food fare, this recipe has been contributed by my dear husband who is a big foodie and a pro cook. This curry is my husband’s favorite and he can eat it all day everyday without complaining. Most people (including me, before I met my husband) think that coconut is not a popular ingredient in Bengali cooking, but it is used in many recipes. This recipe traditionally calls for tiger prawn or golda/bagda chingri (in bengali) but we couldn’t find any in our local supermarket so we used regular jumbo shrimp instead.

1 pound Shrimp (may or may not peel them)
1 Large Onion
1 inch Ginger
1 Tomato
2 tsp. Turmeric powder
1 tsp. Cumin powder
1 tsp. Red chilli powder
1 tsp. Garam masala powder
2-3 inch Cinnamon stick
2 Cloves
2 Cardamom pods
1 tsp. Cumin seeds
1 cup Coconut milk
2 Green chilies (slit lengthwise)
5-6 Cashews
Salt as required
5-6 tbs. oil
1 tbs. ghee


Preparing the Shrimp:

  • Shell the shrimp and toss with 1 tsp. of turmeric powder and some salt, let it sit for about 20 minutes.
  • Heat 2 tbs. of oil, make sure the oil is hot before you add shrimp to it. The oil should sizzle when you add shrimp to it.
  • Add the shrimp and saute till it turns orange, keep aside. Note: You need to be careful when cooking shrimp as it gets tough and rubbery when overcooked.
  • Take the shrimp out and keep aside.

Preparing the gravy or curry:

  • Grind 1 large onion, 1 tomato and 1 inch ginger to a fine paste.
  • Heat 3 tps. oil in the same pan.
  • Add cardamom, cinnamon, cloves and cumin seeds and saute till you smell the aroma.
  • Add onion-tomato-ginger paste, left over turmeric, chili and cumin powder and cook for 5-6 minutes on low-medium flame.
  • Add sugar and salt.

Putting it all together:

  • Add shrimp, green chilies and cashews.
  • Add 1/2 cup water and simmer for 2-3 minutes.
  • Add coconut milk, clarified butter or ghee and garam masala and simmer for about 2 minutes.

Serve hot with a big bowl of steamed rice!


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