Chingri bhapa – an authentic prawn recipe of bengal

Today I will share how easily you can make this chingri bhapa or prawn bhapa with my step by step pictures preparation. Chingri bhapa is an authentic recipe of Bengali cuisine mainly prepared with the prawn. In this chingri bhapa recipe, mainly raw prawns are steamed up with its common ingredients, like a paste of coconut mustard poppy seeds paste.

Chingri bhapa is a popular recipe in our Bengali cuisine. As in our cuisine, prawn is also considered as a fish so we cook it like other bengali fish recipes. Among those recipes, bengali bhapa is so popular among us for its simple and less time-consuming cooking style.

In our Bengali household bhapa is mainly prepared with fish, and prawns come after that. And I guess this Prawn bhapa is one of the favorite recipes among all prawn lovers like me. Bhapa chingri is an easy to make recipe which can be quickly prepared in the pressure cooker, rice cooker or microwave too.

prawn bhapa is served

In this recipe, basically raw chingri mach or prawn has to be marinated in a shorshe-posto-narkel paste with kacha sorsher tel (raw mustard oil) and then steamed it up. Though I prefer to add some curd or tok doi in this chingri recipe which enhances its taste twice. However that’s not mandatory. But instead of adding doi you may use little lemon juice too to get the taste close to my recipe. 

Most of the Bengali prawn recipes go well with shorshe, narkel paste but bhapa is quite different from those recipes. Why? Because in most of the bengali style chingri recipes, first chingri need to fry in oil and then put into the curry. But here raw chingri maach or prawns are directly combined with all ingredients including mustard oil. As even no extra water or stirring is required during its cooking process.

Use a bowl or stainless steel tiffin box while steaming it up in pressure cooker, rice cooker or pan. But must use a microwave-safe bowl or pot while cooking it in the oven. 

You may even try some other popular bengali prawn dishes, i.e, 

Even you may try some of other fish recipes from my blog post

Bhapa ilish or steamed hilsa, Shorshe ilish, Doi ilish, ilish macher paturi, ilish biryani, bhetki macher paturi, shol macher jhol, chital macher peti kalia

Chingri bhapa – an authentic prawn recipe of bengal

Prep time: 10 mins

Cook time: 20 mins

Served in: 30 mins

Served for: 4 people

Course: Main course

Cuisine: Bengali 

Author: Moumita Paul


  • 300 gms prawns
  • 2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp poppy seeds
  • 6 tbsp grated coconut
  • 1/4 cup of curd or tok doi
  • 6 green chilies (as per taste)
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 3 tbsp mustard oil
  • 3/4 tsp salt(as per taste)

How to make chingri bhapa or prawn bhapa


How to clean the prawns for this recipe

  • If you are using the prawns with head and shell then it’s for you. First, take out the prawn’s head.
chingri, prawns or shrimp without its head
  • Then cut it shell with scissor along its back but keep its tell portion intact.
cutting the prawn's shell with scissor
  • Then either completely removes its shell except for its tell and remove its vein with a toothpick or just insert the toothpick through the cutting portion of the shell to gently remove the vein. As shown in the pic.
removing the vein from the prawns
  • Now remove all the small legs from its abdominal portion as shown in the pic.
showing prawn legs has been removed
  • Or even you may use store-bought prawns without shells but must remove its vein.
  • Thoroughly wash all the prawns in water for 5-6 times to remove all the dirt that came with it. Keep it aside.
prawns are cleaned and washed

How to make chingri bhapa

  • Take 2 tsp mustard seeds or sorshe and 1 tsp poppy seeds or posto in a bowl. Then soak it in water for 10-15 mins. 
soaking shorshe and posto in water for making this prawn recipe
  • Once it is soaked in water then put it in the blender with 3 green chilies. Then take 6 tbsp of grated coconut with it.
green chillies,shorshe, posto and narkel are ready to blend together for making this bhapa recipe
  • After adding grated coconut, add 1/4 cup of curd to the blender jar. Blend it well to get a smooth paste out of it.
doi is add in blender for making this chingri recipe
  • Pour the paste in a mixing bowl, first add1/2 tsp turmeric powder and 1/2 tsp chili powder to it. 
salt and turmeric is added with the masala paste
  • Then add 3 tbsp of mustard oil(or kacha sorsher tel) and 3/4 tsp of salt to it. Mix it well.
adding salt and mustard oil in this sorse posto bata
  • Now add all the prawns to the masala paste and nicely coat the prawns with that paste. Leave it for 20 mins to properly marinate it before cooking. 
chingri maach is added in the masala paste for making this recipe
  • After 20 mins, place the masala marinated chingri or prawns in a bowl or in a tiffin box. Add 2-3 green chilies (with a deep slit) from the top. If you are using a tiffin box, you must close its lid. And if you are using a bowl must cover it too.
marinated chingri maach is in tiffin box ready to go for steaming or bhapa
  • Pour a cup of water in a pan or pressure cooker and place the bowl or tiffin box in it. The maximum half-inch portion of the tiffin box or bowl should be into the water while steam it up. As shown in the pic.
tiffin box in the pan with water for making the recipe of chingri macher bhapa
  • Turn on the heat and steam it up for 15-20 mins on a medium to high flame and must cover the pan with a lid. But for pressure cooking 1 whistle is enough for steam on medium to high flame.
making the recipe of bhapa chingri in pan
  • Once the cooking is done, turn off the heat. After sometime carefully take out the tiffin box or bowl from the pan.  And in the pressure cooking method, let the pressure release automatically and then carefully take it out.
chingri bhapa or prawn bhapa or steamed chingri fish is ready to serve
  • Bengali Chingri bhapa or prawn bhapa is ready, serve this dish with piping hot rice.


  • I have used tiger prawns or badga chingri in this recipe. But you may use golda chingri or giant freshwater prawns(as I’ve used in my malaikari recipe) or even lobster too.
  • You may easily cook it without curd. Actually curd balance the sweetness of coconut and the pungency of mustard seeds and mustard oil at the same time.
  • Instead of curd, you may use 1/2 lemon juice with the prawn before adding it into the masala paste. But don’t add tomato as it has a raw smell that can spoil the taste of this dish.
  • Though that 20 mins marination makes it more delicious. But you may skip that if you don’t have enough time in your hand.
  • The water level should not exceed the 1/2 inch portion of the tiffin box or bowl. Otherwise, that water can get inside the bowl or tiffin box and can spoil its taste.
  • Be very careful while taking out the tiffin box or bowl from the pan or pressure cooker. As both will be very hot then and you might get burnt.
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