Chingri malai curry is a popular Bengali classic dish. Where jumbo prawns are cooked in creamy coconut gravy. Tastes best when served with rice.
‘Chingri’ is the Bengali name of prawns and ‘malai’ basically means cream. The creaminess of the dish is from coconut milk.
Prawn malai curry is a much-loved recipe throughout Bengal. It is also called malai curry or malaikari. In Bengal, no special occasion would be complete without this dish on the side. The dish is simply delicious and is a delight to be enjoyed with hot rice.
Eating prawns are also good for the bone. As they contain phosphorus, copper, and magnesium.
There are many versions of this recipe. Every Bengali household has its own way of making this curry. While I love this version and it’s a hit at my place.
In India, prawn coconut curry is cooked in other states too. But the only thing which differentiates the Bengali prawn malai curry from other prawn coconut-based curries is the addition of mustard oil and ghee.
To get the authentic flavor, I would suggest not replacing mustard oil with any other oil. Generally, jumbo prawns are used in this dish. But you can use medium size prawns too. In addition, I have used homemade coconut milk. You can use store-bought coconut milk as well.
Serving: This Bengali prawn malai curry is served best with plain steaming hot rice.
Few similar recipes you can check
Chingri Malai Curry
INGREDIENTS ( 1 CUP = 250 ML )
- 4 grams jumbo freshwater prawns or 500 grams
- 1 tsp turmeric powder
- ½ tsp salt
For coconut milk
- ½ cup coconut
- 1 cup hot water
- 4 tbsp mustard oil
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 cinnamon stick approx 2” long
- 3 green cardamoms
- 2 cloves
- 1 finely chopped onion medium size
- 1 large red onion paste
- 1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
- ½ tsp turmeric powder
- 1 tsp red chili powder
- 2 tbsp curd beaten
- 2 slit green chilies
- ½ tsp garam masala powder
- Salt as required
- ½ tsp sugar
- ½ cup warm water
- 1 tsp ghee
Preparing The Prawns
- Clean, devein the prawns and remove the stomach. Wash them well and drain any excess water. You can keep the scale intact like me or separate the scale.
- Coat the prawns with turmeric and salt and keep aside for a few minutes.
- Heat 2 tbsp of mustard oil in a pan and add the prawns. Fry for 2 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
Making the coconut milk
- Grind the coconut by adding hot water.
- Place a muslin cloth over a bowl and pour the coconut over it.
- Squeeze tightly to extract thick coconut milk
Making the prawn malai curry
- Heat the same pan. Add remaining oil followed by bay leaf, cinnamon stick, green cardamoms, and cloves. Saute for a few seconds.
- Then add the chopped onion and saute until onion turns slightly golden.
- Add onion paste stir until the raw smell goes.
- Add ginger-garlic paste and saute for a few minutes.
- Now add turmeric and chili powder stir to mix.
- Add curd, green chilies, garam masala powder, salt, and sugar. Saute really well until oil oozing out from sides.
- Pour warm water. Stir gently and bring it to boil. Add fried prawns and cook for a minute.
- Reduce the flame to the lowest and add coconut milk. Cover and cook until prawns are done.
- Turn off the flame. Add a dollop of ghee. Cover and leave it for 5 mins.
- Then serve hot with steaming hot rice.