This popular Bengali curry, chingri malai, uses freshwater prawns in a spicy coconut sauce, served with smoky basmati rice.
½ tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp salt
400g/14oz freshwater prawns, peeled and de-veined (the largest size you can find)
90ml/3fl oz vegetable oil
2 bay leaves
3 medium red onions, blended to a fine paste
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp salt
2 green chillies, slit lengthways
75ml/2½fl oz coconut milk
shellfish stock, if needed
½ tsp sugar (optional)
½ tsp ground green cardamom
1 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
½ lime, juice only
For the boiled basmati rice, add 600ml20fl oz of water to the saucepan, then add the rice and salt. Cook on a low heat until all the water has disappeared. Place a lid on top and set aside for 20 minutes.
For the prawns, marinate the prawns with the turmeric and salt in a shallow dish in a cool place for 30 minutes to an hour.
Heat 60ml/2fl oz of the oil in a pan and add the bay leaves and onion paste. Fry gently for 6-8 minutes on medium heat, or until very light brown.
Meanwhile heat the remaining oil in a non-stick frying pan and fry the prawns briefly for a minute or two. Set aside.
Mix the ground cumin, turmeric and ginger-garlic paste in 75ml/2½fl oz of water and add to the onions, reduce the heat and cook for 2-3 minutes stirring regularly.
Add salt, green chillies and the prawns and stir for one minute. Mix in the coconut milk and simmer for 2-3 minutes, or just until the prawns are cooked, adding a little shellfish stock if necessary.
Season to taste with sugar. Sprinkle over the cardamom powder and coriander and a squeeze of lime. Stir the ghee and smoked salt into the rice and serve immediately.
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