I first fell in love with this curry at a small Bengali restaurant in Singapore. I had been to this place multiple times with friends and each time they'd ask me for the recipe. So here it is... My recipe for Chingri Malai Kari - deep-sea tiger prawns cooked in creamy coconut milk infused with whole spices. It's simple, easy to make with just a handful of ingredients and the result - simply out of this world! Enjoy the recipe!
1kg whole tiger prawns or 500g peeled, deveined prawns (tails intact)
2/3 cup grated onion
2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
2 teaspoons grated ginger
2-3 green chilli padi, slit lengthwise
800ml thick coconut milk
4 tablespoons coconut oil or mustard oil
4 bay leaves
8 green cardamoms
2 sticks cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon red chili powder
3/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1. Peel and devein prawns keeping the tail intact. Sprinkle prawns with 1/2 teaspoon turmeric, 1/2 teaspoon chili powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt and set aside while preparing the sauce.
2. Heat oil in large wok. Stir-fry prawns on medium-high flame for 1-2 minutes until slightly golden brown. Set them aside.
3. In the same oil, add chopped garlic. Once aromatic, remove garlic and discard.
4. Coarsely pound cardamoms using a mortar and pestle and add them to the hot oil along with bay leaves, cloves and cinnamon. Next add grated onion and sugar.
5. Stir-fry onion until brown or until oil separates from the paste. Add grated ginger and cook for another minute.
6. Stir well and add coconut milk along with 1 cup of water. Add 1/4 teaspoon turmeric, 1/4 teaspoon chili powder, 1.5 teaspoons salt followed by green chillies. Stir well and bring to the boil. Reduce heat, cover and let it simmer on low heat for about 30 minutes.
7. When oil surfaces add the fried prawns. Cook for a few more minutes for flavors to mingle. Serve hot with steamed rice or Rotis.
Note: To intensify the flavor of the sauce, keep prawn heads when deveining prawns. Stir-fry prawn heads in oil just like prawns and add them to the sauce in step 7 when adding prawns.