Chingri macher malai curry recipe or Bengali Prawn Malaikari recipe step by step with pictures. Chingri macher malai curry is a traditional Bengali-style prawn curry or shrimp curry made in coconut milk. Bagda chingri (tiger prawns) or golda chingri (giant freshwater prawns) cooked in a creamy coconut milk gravy flavoured with onion, garam masala and mustard oil is called chingri macher malai curry in Bengali. This dish is served with plain rice, Basanti pulao or Bengali fried rice.
In this Chingri macher malai curry recipe, “Chingri maach” means “Prawn or Shrimp” and “Malai curry or Malaikari” is a “creamy Bengali curry made of coconut milk”. In our Bengali language, this recipe is also known as Narkeler dudh diye chingri macher tarkari. Being a traditional and exotic Bengali dish, chingri malai curry seems not an easy recipe. But except for making coconut milk or cleaning the prawns, this Bengali prawn curry does not take much time to cook.
For making chingri macher malai curry, giant freshwater prawns or big tiger prawns are used in authentic Bengali cuisine. This is my mom’s recipe and I have seen my mom cooking this prawn malaikari recipe only when Dad brought Golda chingri from the market. So I follow the same for making this Bengali prawn curry. Here, I have not used tomato as my mom says, tomato is not used for cooking an authentic Bengali prawn malaikari recipe. Instead, use curd to balance the sweet taste of coconut milk.
Fresh or frozen any prawn can be used for making bengali malai curry recipe. Though freshly made coconut milk is required for the authentic recipe. However, can use store-bought packet coconut milk. Though soft flesh of the tender coconut is generally considered coconut cream (not the coconut milk of dry coconut) in India. That tender coconut malai also goes perfectly with chingri. A similar curry we have named, Daab chingri where tender coconut malai is used for making the prawn curry.
However, originally this prawn malai curry recipe comes from Malaysia. This curry actually named “Malay curry” not “malai curry”. Though I don’t have any clear knowledge, where this recipe actually comes from, only as per my knowledge for the making of any Malaysian curry coconut milk is an essential ingredient. So still I’m in dilemma, Is prawn malai curry really a part of traditional Bengali aka Indian cuisine or Malaysian cuisine?
However, let the argument goes on, and we foodies should concentrate on the taste of this prawn malai curry rather than its origin, am I right?
Here for your convenience, I’ve explained how to make coconut milk (here malai) and how to clean the chingri in this recipe. I kept its shell, blue legs, and head intact, though remove its small legs, antennas, eyes off, devein it and remove the dirt part(actually stomach) from its head. Then clean it thoroughly with water and use it in this recipe.
Even you may check other Bengali prawns recipes from my website,
Try this Bengali Prawn Malaikari recipe at home in this year’s Poila Boishak (Bengali new year) or Jamai Shosti menu with the help of my step by step pictures. And please let me know your valuable feedback by writing it down in the comment section below.
Chingri Macher Malai Curry recipe | Bengali Prawn Malaikari with golda Chingri & coconut milk
Prep time: 25 mins
Cook time: 20 mins
Served in: 45 mins
Course: Main course
Served for: 5 people
Ingredients of Bengali chingri macher malaikari
- 600 g Golda Chingri / Bagda Chingri (Tiger Prawns or Shrimp)
- 5 tbsp Mustard oil
- 2 Onion paste
- 2 cups of Coconut milk
- 3/4 tsp Ginger
- 1 tsp Garlic
- 3/4 tsp Cumin powder
- 4 tbsp Curd
- 3 Green Chillies
- 1 +1/2 tsp Sugar
- 1 tsp Red Chilli Powder
- 1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder
- 1/2 tsp Garam Masala Powder
- Salt(as per taste)
(1 cup = 250 ml)
- 1 Bay Leaf
- 2 Cloves
- 2 Cardamoms
- 1/2 inch Cinnamon Stick
How to make Chingri Macher Malai Curry (Bengali Prawn Malaikari) recipe step by step with pictures
How to clean the chingri (Golda chingri)
- First, take the prawns first cut their sharp part(called rostrum) by a scissor as shown in the pic.
- Then cut the antennas and both eyes as shown in the pic.
- Now remove all the small legs from its abdominal portion, but the large legs should be intact. As shown in the pic.
- Then take a toothpick and insert it through its skin (between the joints of the shell) and slowly take out the vein.
- Now slight open the shell of its head and remove the stomach with that toothpick, as shown in the pic. That stomach portion lies at the beginning of the head.
- Then thoroughly wash the prawns with water to remove all the dirt came with it.
- Then nicely coat the prawns with salt and turmeric powder from both sides.
How to make coconut milk
- In the meantime, make coconut milk by grinding grated coconut (almost 3/4 of a medium size narkel) with little water(warm) as shown in the pic below.
- Then place the ground coconut paste in a big bowl, pour 2 cups of warm water into it and set it aside for 10-15 mins.
- After 10-15 mins, strain it through a cotton cloth or strainer to collect the coconut milk.
How cook chingri macher malai curry
- Heat a pan, add 4 tbsp mustard oil, and fry the prawns once the oil gets hot.
- Prawn will take hardly 2-3 mins to fry and get that rich colour from both sides.
- When it gets a nice and rich colour then remove it from the pan and start to prepare the malakari gravy.
- Keep the pan on medium heat, and add half-crushed whole garam masala and bay leaf in oil.
- Now add the onion paste to the pan (Prepare by blending two medium size onions with 1 tbsp water of water).
- Saute the onion paste until the raw smell goes off and it will start releasing the oil from its sides.
- Then add ginger and garlic paste to the pan and saute it for few seconds.
- Next, add green chilli paste to it. Here I used 3 green chillies, you may use it as per your taste.
- Now add 1/4 cup or 4 tbsp well-beaten curd to it, mix it well. First, take the curd in a bowl and beat it well with a fork or spoon until it gets smooth.
- Saute the masalas with the curd well, then add cumin powder, turmeric powder one by one.
- Then add red chilli powder to it, saute it for few seconds and then add salt to it. Saute it well.
- Next, add sugar in the pan and mix it well, though can add sugar as per your taste.
- Then add 2 cups of coconut milk to the pan(which was collected at the beginning) and mix it well. And bring it to boil.
- Once it starts boiling, add all the fried prawns to the gravy and cover the pan with a lid. In this stage slow down the flame.
- After 5-6 mins remove the lid and turn the prawns, then put the lid once again to let it cook properly from both sides. And it takes total 10-15 mins for me to cook the prawns from both sides.
- Then add 1/2 tsp ground garam masala powder and mix it well. Saute it for 1 min. Then turn off the heat.
- Cover the pan once again to spread the aroma of garam masala over the prawn curry.
- Chingri macher malai curry is ready, serve this prawn curry with piping hot rice and gondhoraj lebu, believe me, it’s just awesome.
- If you wish, you may remove the shell of the prawns, but intact the head and tail portion of it.
- Don’t remove its head, as the oil inside its head tastes truly good and that enhance the taste of the curry too.
- Even you may remove or cut the shell of its head to remove its stomach part which I’ve shown in the beginning.
- If you realize, the coconut is sweeter in taste, then add sugar as per your requirement.
- Here, I’ve used water, while making the coconut milk, didn’t use any extra water to it.
- You surely noticed, some bengali restaurants serve this malai curry which is white in colour, and that is the result of not adding turmeric powder in it.