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Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Chingri Malai Curry or The Stuff Dreams Are Made Of

So I finally got over my laziness to write and decide to carpe the diem and the prawn. This is a staple in any Bengali home and the most bastardised dish in almost every restaurant, especially in good old Delhi.  But this is how we make it at home, and I’ve at least never got any complaints.
The recipe I’ve given is for prawns with their heads on. But if you’re using headless prawns, then skip the first step of smearing the prawn with haldi and salt and frying them. This is done with prawns with head, because the head takes a while to cook. Also two tricks to remember are, use fresh home-made garam masala. Not that rubbish you get in the market. And cook the prawns just till they turn opaque. No more. Or you’ll get some rubbery crustaceans to chew on. This is absolute comfort food and really luxe.  Enjoy.
Take 500 gms prawns.
If they have their heads on, smear them with turmeric and salt. And in hot oil, fry the prawns for barely 2-3 minutes till they turn pink. Remove prawns.
If they’re headless prawns, skip the earlier step.

In the same pan, add whole garam masala (cinnamon, cloves, cardamom). Once the garam masala stops spluttering, add onion paste of 1 large onion. Saute till it changes colour. Then add a tbsp of ginger paste and 4-5 slit green chilis and 1 tsp of chili powder. Keep sautéing. Then add the prawns, sauté till slightly pink.  Add a tsp of sugar and salt. 

Then add one tin coconut milk. Stir, let come to a boil. 
Cover and cook on low flame for 3 to 4 minutes. Add a tsp of garam masala at the end.  Stir, remove from fire. It should be a lovely pale yellowy cream colour. 

Dig in.