If you live in Bengal, or simply admire their cuisine, then you know that Chingri Malaikari (Prawn Malai Curry) is an iconic treat. You can cook this dish for lunch, dinner or any special occasion. Its subtle, creamy flavours are achieved using a mix of spices and coconut milk, which compliment the tiger prawns in spades. This recipe may seem tricky but don’t be fooled, it’s probably easier than you think.
Bengali Prawn Malai Curry
By now you know that India is the spice capital of the world, and trading was, and is still prevalent. Now, what does that have to do with this dish? Most people think that the ‘Malai’ curry is named because of the use of coconut milk as it’s base, which is partly true. However, this actually happened over time.
In reality, Bengali people first named this curry because of the Malay influence on it. They came in contact with some Malay traders, learned a few tricks and adapted this curry. So, it’s really Malay curry, which is now better known as malai curry. Interesting right? You learn something new everyday.
You can make this dish even easier with Licious Whole Scampi/Giant Prawns.
Since you're using whole prawns, you can skip right to prep and cooking. A kilogram of prawns will feed 6 people. This recipe has been created keeping that number in mind. You can adjust it for larger or smaller groups.
Coat your prawns in half your turmeric powder and 1 tsp of salt and let them marinate
Put your sliced onions in your grinder and make a paste
Heat up your oil in a non-stick pan and fry your prawns in batches, for roughly 45 seconds on either side. Do not overcook them, or they will become tough
Add your ghee to the remaining oil and temper your whole spices – cardamom, cloves, bay leaves and cinnamon
Next, toss in your onion paste and let this fry till golden brown
Your ginger paste is next, fry this for at least 4 minutes
Follow this with the rest of your turmeric and the Kashmiri chilli powder. If your spices stick to your pan, add a little bit of the coconut milk to loosen them
At this stage you can add the rest of the salt and green chillies. Let this cook till the oil begins to separate
Your yogurt goes in next, make sure to lower the heat and stir well to break up any lumps. Let this simmer for about 4 minutes
Now it’s time for the coconut milk
When the coconut milk begins to boil, you can put in the fried prawns. After five minutes of cooking, you are all done
As a final step, sprinkle the garam masala over the top
So, if you’re craving the taste of Bengal because you live away from home or just never knew how to make it, then this recipe should certainly fix that. There is no denying the flavour this dish holds and once you get the hang of it, it becomes really easy to execute. Don’t forget to finish off your meal with a nice sandesh or rasgulla too. Tip: If you prefer to use deshelled prawns, then we also have great tiger prawns on offer, make sure to check out our selection.