Sunday, July 22, 2012

Chi(n)grir Malaikari....err "malai curry"

It took me many years to understand, that the word is "malai curry" (creamy gravy) and not "malaikari" :P This is an authentic bengali style prawn preparation.Prawn cooked in aromatic coconut cream gravy.
Anyway this is one of my most favourite dish since the first time I ever tasted. And it is one the best of my maa's specialities. She makes it just fingerlicious!! I always ask maa to make it  for me , whenever I go home. And every time I feel, that she never made it better than this time.
  Maa makes it with "bagda chiNgri" or "golda chiNgri" (jumbo prawns...but not lobster) and she makes it with head-on prawns and with fresh coconut milk. She needs to work a lot for making coconut milk as ready-made fresh coconut milk is not very common there. So she needs to grate coconut at home and squeeze the milk from it. But here I get packeted and ready to use , fresh coconut milk. So it's much easier here. 


  • Medium size prawns 15-16 pieces (deshelled and deveined and marinated with salt and turmeric powder) 
  • 1 large onion (coarsely minced)
  • 1 small medium tomato (pasted)
  • Ginger-garlic paste (3 cloves garlic and 1+1/2 inch ginger...finely pasted)
  • 1 tea spoon green chilli paste 
  • 1 cup light coconut milk
  • 1 bay leaf, 1 cinnamon stick, 1 dried red chilli, 2-3 cardamom pods, 2 cloves and 1 tea spoon cumin seed (for tempering)
  • Turmeric powder and red chilli powder less than 1/4 spoon
  • Salt and sugar according to taste
  • 3 table spoon clarified butter/ghee to cook (use white oil if ghee is not available)



  • Heat ghee in a pan and fry the prawns to a light pink color. Don't fry much, otherwise it will be chewy. 

  • Add 1 bay leaf, 1 cinnamon stick, 1 dried red chilli, 2-3 cardamom pods, 2 cloves and 1 tea spoon cumin seed to rest of ghee. Wait until you feel the aroma.
  • Add minced onion and fry it well. Fry until it softens and raw smell disappears. Add ginger-garlic-chilli paste. Add turmeric powder, chilli powder, salt and sugar (I add 1/4 tea spoon). Fry for few more minutes until raw smell disappears and oil starts separating. 
  • Add coconut milk and little water. Let it shimmer for a minute.

  • Finally add prawns and shimmer in a low heat for 4-5 minutes with a lid.
  • Turn off the heat and give it few minutes standing time.
Serve hot with steaming hot rice or "bengali misti polao" or fried rice.

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