Chingri macher malai curry | Bengali prawn malai curry with coconut milk

Chingri macher malai curry is a traditional bengali dish where chingri mach is cooked in coconut milk with garam masalas. In our bengali language chingri maach means prawn or shrimp and malai is commonly known as cream but not that common milk cream, it’s coconut’s milk cream. Though medium to giant size prawns can be used for making this bengali recipe but to get the best result must go with golda chingri. This delicious golda chingrir malakari already secured its place in bengali’s new year to jamai shosti menu for its appearance.

For making this chingri macher malai curry recipe you may use bagda chingri or tiger prawns too. My mom is my inspiration for making this recipe. As I’ve seen my mom to cook this malaikari with Golda chingri only. Here, I’ve not used tomato as my mom says, in an authentic bengali style malai curry is prepared without tomato. So I’ve used curd instead of that.

chingri macher malai curry is served with rice and godhoraj lebu

Though chingri is an bengali term but the malai or curry no one exists in our bengali language. Then I also accept it by thinking that the word “malai” might be aquired from coconut milk and the “curry” part this prawn recipe might come from bengali term tarkari. Though as per my knowledge, soft flesh of tender coconut is generally considered as coconut cream (not the coconut milk of dry coconut) inIndia. So I imagined, in olden days people might have used tender coconut cream or malai and nowadays that’s not easily available and people replaced it to the coconut milk. Which is quite possible as we Bengalis have a similar recipe, Daab chingri where tender coconut is used for its malai or coconut cream.

Later I was surprised to hear, this malai curry recipe originally comes from Malaysia and it’s actually “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, it’s really a part of traditional Bengali cuisine or Malaysian cuisine.

However, Let’s the argument goes on, and we foodies should concentrate on its taste rather than its origin, am I right?

Here for your convenience, I’ve explained how to clean the golda chingri before making this bengali style prawn malai curry recipe. I kept its shell, blue legs, and head intact, though remove its small legs, antennas, eyes off, devein it and remove its 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 style giant prawn malaikari in your kitchen with 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 |Bengali prawn malai curry with coconut milk

Prep time: 25 mins

Cook time: 20 mins

Served in: 45 mins

Course: Main course

Cuisine: Bengali

Served for: 5 people

Ingredients of chingri macher malai curry

(1 cup = 250 ml)

  • 5 pieces golda chingri (approx 600 gms)
  • 2 medium onions paste
  • 3/4 tsp ginger
  • 1 tsp garlic
  • 4 tbsp Curd
  • 3/4 tsp cumin powder
  • 2 cups of coconut milk
  • 3 green chillies
  • 1 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • garam masala powder
  • salt(as per taste)
  • 4-5 tbsp mustard oil

For tempering

  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cloves, 2 cardamoms and 1/2 inch cinnamon stick(half crushed)

How to make chingri macher malai curry step by step with pictures


How to clean the golda chingri

  • First, take the prawns first cut its sharp part(called rostrum) by a scissor as shown in the pic.

cut the sharp part rostrum of the giant prawn or golda chingri

  • Then cut the antennas and both eyes as shown in the pic.

cut the antennas and both eyes of the galda chingri

  • Now remove all the small legs from its abdominal portion, but the large legs should be intact. As shown in the pic.

removed the legs from the abdomen of this giant prawn for making golda chingrir malaikari

  • Then take a toothpick and insert it through its skin (between the joints of the shell) and slowly take out the vein.

inserting the toothpick through its skin to remove the vein to prepare chingri malai curry

  • 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.

removing the stomach with the toothpick from the head of this galda chingri

  • Then thoroughly wash the prawns with water to remove all the dirt came with it.

after throughly cleaning the prawn kept in a plate to make this chingri malaikari like bhojohori manna

How to make chingri macher malai curry

  • First, take the grated coconut(almost 3/4 of a medium size coconut) in a grinder. Then grind it with little water(warm) as shown in the pic below. And then place it on a big bowl and pour 2 cups of warm water in it and set it aside for 10-15 mins. After 10-15 mins, strain it through a cotton cloth or strainer to collect the extract from it.

after grinding the grated coconut with little water to prepare the coconut milk for making chingri malai curry

  • In the meantime, take the prawns in a plate, sprinkle salt and turmeric powder on it and nicely coat its both side with it.

after sprinkling the turmeric powder and salt on the prawns to coat it nicely with it for making chingri macher malai curry

  • Then take a pan, put it on medium heat and let it gets hot. Pour 4 tbsp mustard oil in the pan.
  • Once when the oil gets hot add the prawns and fry it from both sides. It will take hardly 2-3 mins to get that rich colour from both sides.

after putting the prawns in the pan for frying from both sides to make bengali chingri macher malai curry recipe

  • When it gets a nice and rich colour then remove it from the pan and start to prepare its masalas.

removed the prawns after getting nice and rich colour from both sides for making golda chingrir malaikari

  • Then put the same pan on the medium heat, add half crushed whole garam masala and bay leaf to the pan.

put the crushed whole garam masala with bay leaf in the same pan for prawn malaikari

  • Now add the onion paste to the pan. Which we prepared earlier by putting two medium size onions in a small blender jar and make a smooth paste (by using 1 tbsp water with it).

putting onion paste in the oil for making chingri macher malai curry bengali version

  •  Saute the onion paste till the raw smell won’t go off and it will start releasing the oil from its sides.

saute the onion till the raw smells go off to make chingri macher malaikari

  • Then add ginger and garlic paste to the pan and saute it for few seconds.

adding ginger and garlic paste to the pan for making prawn malaikari

  • Next, add green chilli paste to it. Here I used 3 green chillies, you may use it as per your taste.

adding green chilli paste withthe masalas to make this chingri malaikari recipe

  • 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.

after putting well beaten curd in the pan, saute it well for making this chingri malai curry

  • Saute the masalas with the curd well, then add cumin powder, turmeric powder one by one.

adding cumin and turmeric powder one by one for making this chingri malai curry recipe

  • Then add red chilli powder to it, saute it for few seconds and then add salt to it. Saute it well.

adding chilli powder and salt to the pan for making prawn malai curry recipe

  • 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.

adding coconut milk in the pan for making this chingri macher malai curry

  • 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.

add the golda chingri in the boiling gravy for making this malaikari

  • 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.

cover the pan with a lid for making this chingri macher malai curry recipe

  • Then add the ground garam masala powder(contains 2 cardamoms, 2 cloves, 1/2 inch cinnamon stick) to it 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 this bengali prawn or chingri malaikari.

lastly adding garam masala powder to this bengali prawn malaikari

  • Serve this chingri macher malai 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.
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