Chingdi Malai Curry or Prawn Malai Curry- A Speciality from Bengal

We all know Bengalis and their love for fish and prawns and of course Sweets.

Well, Bengal and Orissa/Odisha is blessed with many varieties of river fish and prawns and crabs and scampis becauseof the flow of Rivers like Ganga from Himalayas, Mahanadi in Orissa and of Course Bay of Bengal on the East.
The river fishes available are lighter in texture as compared to the fishes available in the West. The fish / prawns here have a sweeter taste as compare dto the Western Cousins.

There are many fish dishes which are extremely popular throughout the world. Chingdi Malai Curry, Daab Chingdi, Macher Jhol, Bhapa Maach, Fish Paturi are to name few. 
We shall make Chingdi Malai Curry today. Its usually made of Tiger Prawns. They are bigger in size and have a considerable amount of flesh which make is best for the recipe.

What You Need to make a curry for 2-3 people:

Prawns 500 to 600 grams

Wash and clean ths properly. You can even try removing the hard shell if you do not like them.
In the pictures below, you can see I have divided it into two portion, one with head and shell intact. 
Thats for me as I am an ardent seafood eater and prawns have its real taste in the head. The head is not supposed to be eaten, its there just to chew and enjoy the taste.
The other one is for my hubby whom I am slowly and steadily converting to one since a decade.

Marinate the prawns with salt and turmeric powder.

2 onions + 2 tamatoes + 1/2 inch ginger + 5 to 6 cloves of garlic + 2 green chili - Grind to a smooth paste
few curry leaves - This is again for aroma and curb the fish /sea food smell
2 tbsp mustard oil
1 tsp turmeric  
1 tsp red chili powder
2 whole green chili slit in the centre 
salt to taste
sugar 1 tsp
1 tsp cumin seeds
dry roast the following and grind to fine powder : 1 Cinnamon stick + 3 cloves + 3 cardamom + 3 whole black pepper
Think Coconut milk - about 1 cup. I generally use Nestle Coconut Milk Powder - 1 tbsp of powder mixed with 1 cup of water. That makes my life easy.
Chopped coriander leaves

Steps To Make:
Heat 1 tbsp oil in a flat non stick pan. Once it reaches smoking point, lower the flame and fry the prawns till it just looses its water and turns orange.
Take them out immediately. Our purpose is not to cook prawns but to remove its smell and mustard oil does a perfect job in doing so.

If oil in left in pan, we shall remove it and use in cooking as it has lot of flavours in it.
Take the remaining oil in a kadai. Again we need to heat till the smoking point. 
Reduce flame, add cumin seeds followed  by green curry leaves and green chilies.
Just before it starts spluttering all around, add the tomato paste and cover the lid. This will save your hands from burning.
Cook tomatoes for 10 to 12 minutes on low flame. 
Now is the time to add all dry powder spices.Add and mix well.
Add 2 cups of water and bring it to boil for the powdered spices to cook in boiling temperature.
At this point, we shall add the semi cooked prawns, salt and sugar. Cook on low temperature for 3 to 4 minutes.
Finally add the coconut milk . Cook for 4 minutes more. Garnish with  chopped malai curry and enjoy with hot steamed rice.

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