Saturday, March 24, 2018

Chingri Bahar - A prawn curry with Tamarind


Bengalis love prawns in different flavor and format. This one is not entirely Bengali preparation. Actually I got some idea from one of my south Indian friends. We can call it Chingri Bahar with south Indian flavor.

Preparation Time: - 15 min

Cooking Time: - 30~35 min

Servings: - 3 persons (varies according to the consuming capacity)


  1. 10~12 large prawns (approx. 250 gm.) - I used fresh ones from market, you can use frozen ones
  2. 1 large Onion chopped
  3. 1 large Tomato chopped
  4. 1 tbsp Ginger paste ( I made it from fresh ginger)
  5. 1 tbsp Garlic paste (from fresh garlic)
  6. 2 tsp Turmeric powder
  7. 2 tsp Kashmiri red chili powder
  8. 1 tsp Cumin powder
  9. 1 tsp Coriander powder
  10. 1 tsp Methi (fenugeek)seeds
  11. 1 tsp  Posto (Poppy seeds)
  12. 1 tsp Mustard (black) seeds                                                                          
  13. 1 tbsp Tamarind paste
  14. 1 tbsp Ghee (Clarified butter)
  15. 12~15 curry leaves
  16. 2 Bay leaves
  17. ¼ cup grated Coconut
  18. 3 slitted Green Chili
  19. Salt to taste
  20. 7~8 tbsp Mustard oil (I prefer mustard oil but you can use vegetable oil if you do not like the pungent smell of mustard oil)


  1. First remove the shell, remove the central vein of the prawn and clean thoroughly. You can keep the head and tail on for better flavor but some people may not like it – they can remove them now. In case you used the frozen prawns then no need to do this as they are already peeled and deveined.
  2. Rub turmeric powder and salt to the prawns and keep aside for 15 minutes. Spice lovers may add a little bit of red chili powder.   
  3. Chop the onion, cut ginger into small pieces, grate the coconut.
  4. Grind the ginger and garlic also to smooth paste. Keep aside in a different bowl.
  5. Grind the poppy seeds to smooth paste and keep aside.
  6. Take a medium kadai / pan and heat the 3 tbsp mustard oil. Shallow fry the prawn till they turn into golden brown. Keep aside.
  7. Use ½ cup of warm water to form a tamarind paste from tamarind.
  8. Heat 5 tbsp oil in a non-stick kadai in medium heat.
  9. Shallow fry the prawn till they turn golden colour and keep aside in kitchen towel to drain the excess oil.
  10. Heat the remaining oil in a separate kadai in medium heat
  11. Put Bay leaves, a green chili, mustard seeds and methi seeds.
  12. Wait few seconds till it splutters.
  13. Add chopped onion and fry till the onion becomes translucent and colour golden brown
  14. Now pour the ginger and garlic paste. Sauté for couple of minutes.
  15. Now add Kashmiri chili powder, poppy seeds paste and grated coconut. Spice lovers can add red chili powder according to your taste
  16. Mix the whole thing properly.  Stir continuously.
  17. Now sprinkle coriander, cumin and turmeric powder. Add chopped tomato also.
  18. Cook for 4~5 minutes till the oil gets separated at the edge from the texture.
  19. Introduce the tamarind paste here and mix.
  20. Add the prawn and mix well.
  21. Adjust the salt according to your taste. You can add little bit of sugar here if you are sugar tooth. It is entirely upto you how much salty or sour or sweet you want the gravy to be.
  22. Now simmer the gravy in cover for 2~3 min. Do not overboil the prawn – otherwise it will become robbery.
  23. Switch off the flame and garnish with curry leaves and the remaining green chilli. Keep it covered for some time so that the curry leaves smell gets blended into the preparation.

Serve this as side dish with hot steamed rice. You can even enjoy this with coconut rice or any flavoured rice.

As always please feel free to comment, criticize and seek if any help is required. I am all ears.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Palak Puri - spinach mix masala poori

Spinach is a green vegetable which has a very wide distribution. It can be grown as a backyard crop or bought from the market at affordable prices. It is a source of vitamins like folate, niacin, vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin C, and contains traces of the rest of the essential vitamins. It is good for eyesight, skin and prevents cancer cell formation. It even have an anti-oxidant to prevent diabetes. Palak Puri is a popular deep-fried bread preparation made with spinach puree eaten mainly for breakfast. It is also served at auspicious occasions like Navratri. It is a good option for kids’ tiffin as they love this dish and it is very nutritious due to spinach.

Preparation Time: - 30 min

Cooking Time: - 20 min

Servings: - 4~5 persons


1.     Wheat flour or Atta – 250 gm
2.     Fresh Spinach  – 200 gm. (approx. 1 cup after grinding)
3.     Fresh curd – 4 tbsp
4.     Ginger paste - 2 tsp
5.     Garlic paste – 2 tsp
6.     Garam Masala – 2 ½ tsp
7.     Green Chili – 1~2 ( you can use Red Chili depending upon your taste)
8.     Coriander powder - 2 tsp
9.     Cumin powder -2 tsp
10.  Salt to taste
11.  Pinch of Asafoetida (Hing)
12.  Ghee - 4 tbsp
13.  Sugar – 1 tsp
14.  Sunflower or Canola oil – sufficient to immerse the doughs and deep fry


1.  Wash the spinach thoroughly and remove the stem from the leaves and chop it. Blanch them in warm water.
2.  Remove the seeds of the green chilies and add with the spinach leaves. You can keep the seeds or add more red/green chili according to your taste.
3.  Add ginger paste, garlic paste, curd, cumin powder, coriander powder, garam masala and salt into the mixture.
4.    Use a blender and grind the whole thing into a smooth puree.
5.    Now mix the wheat flour or atta with this paste.
6.    Add little bit of salt, Asafoetida and sugar and knead. You may not need much water here as spinach should have enough water to make the dough.  
7.   Mix all the ingredients well. You may need to add a little bit of water to make a stiff dough. Cover and keep the dough aside for 20 minutes to ferment.
8.    Apply a little bit of oil in your hand and knead the dough again.
9.    Make lemon sized balls out of the dough.
10.  Flatten them in your palm
11. Apply oil on the roller and roll the flattened dough balls to disc of 3~4 inch diameter.
12.  Make all the Puris this way and place them on a plate.  
13. Heat oil + ghee in a woak /kadhai. Addition of ghee will soften the puri and generate a nice aroma.
14.  When the oil is sufficiently hot put the burner in medium flame and put the puris one by one.
15.  Deep fry one side and flip it over to fry both the sides evenly.
16.  Put the puris on a kitchen towel to reduce the oil content of the Puris.

Serve hot with pickle or your favorite side dish.

Please note that 

1.     Addition of sugar gives a nice golden color to the Puri.
2.    The consistency of the dough matters a lot as a sticky and hard dough will make the puri too hard and if it is too soft it will make the puri very soft.
3.     Canola oil can make the Puri less greasy and light enhancing the health quotient.

As always please feel free to comment, criticize and seek if any help is required. I am all ears.