Chingri malaikari (prawn malai curry - prawns cooked with coconut milk) step-by-step recipe with photos.
Chingri malaikari (prawn malai curry) is a classic Bengali delicacy in which prawns are cooked along with coconut milk and spices. This dish is a popular celebration dish and is served during weddings and ceremonies. Prawn malaikari is also known to be very popular among the British in Calcutta.
There are different opinions on the origin of the name malaikari. Some say this dish originated in Malaysia (similar to Laksa) and hence the name malaikari (Malay-Curry). But most likely it's the creamy texture of the curry that gave it the name. Malai means cream, and malaikari (or malai curry) is a creamy curry.
Juicy, melt in the mouth prawns in a delicious mild creamy curry is a sure shot winner, no matter what you call it. Serve it with hot steamed rice for a perfect indulgent meal.
Click here to see detailed instructions on how to clean the prawns.
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Juicy tender prawns in mild coconut curry
Chingri malaikari (prawn malai curry) step-by-step recipe with photos
1. Grind coconut, poppy seeds, green chilli into smooth paste
2. Coarsely grind mustard seeds
3. Marinate the prawns
4. Cook marinated prawns with coconut milk
Malai curry served with steamed rice
- 500 grams prawns
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 3 tbsp poppy seeds
- 1 tbsp mustard seeds
- 4-5 green chilli or as per taste
- 1 tsp turmeric powder
- Salt to taste
- 2 tbsp mustard oil
- ¼ cup coconut grated
- ¼ inch ginger grated
- Wash the prawns thoroughly. Remove shell keeping the head intact. De-vein the prawns and set aside. Click here for instructions on how to clean prawns
- Grind poppy seeds into a fine powder in a coffee grinder
- Grind together grated coconut, poppy seeds powder, ginger, half of the green chillies into a smooth paste using some water
- Coarsely grind the mustard seeds in a mortar pestle
- Mix together the ground paste, mustard seeds, mustard oil, remaining green chilli, turmeric and salt. Marinate the prawns with this mixture for 30 minutes in the refrigerator
- In a large fry pan / kadhai, add the marinated prawns, coconut milk and ½ cup water
- Bring to a boil. Reduce heat. Tightly cover and simmer on very low flame for at least 30 minutes making sure the prawns are completely covered in the liquid. Add some water if the liquid dries up
- Serve hot with steamed rice
- You may soak the poppy seeds in water and grind it into a paste instead of using coffee grinder – you will need an Indian mixer grinder though
- The mustard must be ground separately otherwise it will turn bitter
- It is essential to cook the curry for a longer time to get all the flavours of the prawn head into the curry. The prawns will remain soft as long as they are covered in the gravy.
- If you want to reduce the gravy further, take out all the prawns, reduce the gravy and add the prawns back at the end of the cook