Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Prawn / Shrimp recipes...

Whenever someone talk about Shrimp or Prawns, all I see nice and hot simply fried ones marinated with turmeric powder and salt. I used to stand in kitchen whenever my mom used to fry those pieces.That's one of my childhood memories which I cherish. I feel lucky enough that I do not have seafood allergy or I would really miss the yummy taste of shrimp or prawns. Though it is high in calcium but also high in cholesterol and low in food energy but we can have prawns once in a while. There are many recipes I have gone through when I started learning cooking and I will share with you here.

Prawn masala :::
Shrimp or prawn cooked in simple onion and tomato gravy is one what I always my mother-in-law whenever I go to India. This is one of delicious preparations I have learned from her. I often prepare this simple yet delicious shrimp preparation for weekends and in parties and always appreciated by many of my friends.
Ingredients :::
15-18 nos medium shrimps / prawns, washed and de-veined
one big onions, finely chopped or paste,
2 large tomatoes, finely chopped,
1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste,
1 tsp turmeric powder,
1 tsp red chilli powder,
9-10 nos. fresh curry leaves,
a pinch of garam masala,
half cup tamarind pulp, optional
fresh coriander leaves for garnishing,
salt to taste,
2 tbsp oil.
1. Heat oil in a pan or kadai. Add ginger-garlic paste and curry leaves. Saute for a minute on low flame.
2. Add chopped onion and sprinkle salt. Let it fry until onion becomes translucent. Now add turmeric powder and red chilli powder and then chopped tomatoes. Mix thoroughly and let it cook covered for 10 mins or so. Add little water and mix again and let it cook for another 10 mins.
3. Now add shrimps / prawns to the pan and mix with onion-tomato gravy. Fry on medium flame until shrimps / prawns become whitish. Now add little water and then cook covered for another 12-15 minutes or until water almost dries off. Open the lid and let is simmer for another 7-8 minutes. Sprinkle garam masala and chopped coriander leaves on the top and serve with hot steaming rice , pulao or biriyani.
If you don't want to add shrimps directly to the gravy then marinate with turmeric powder and salt and keep aside for 10 minutes and then fry lightly both the sides. Adjust your spice level. Sometimes I add a pinch of sugar while heating oil. That gives a nice red color when I use less red chilli powder.

Pui shaake chingri ::::

Pui shaak or Malabar Spinach or Indian spinach is found in tropical places and used as leafy vegetables like spinach. Back in India my mom used to grow in our garden and every now and then she used to pick fresh leaves for fritters or cook with lots of summer vegetables. The other day one of my friend was talking about making this leafy vegetable with shrimps, what we say chingri which is another popular dish in Bangladesh. Pui or what they say "PHU LEE" in Chinese or international super market is easily available in USA and of-course in Indian groceries and then I found this Bangladeshi recipe in an old website. 
Pui leaves..
5-6 nos. pui shaak stems with crisp leaves,
7-8 nos. shrimps, cleaned and De-veined,
half cup finely chopped onion,
1 tsp garlic paste,
2-3 nos slitted green chillies,
2 nos dry red chillies,
a pinch of red chilli powder, optional
1 tsp turmeric powder,
salt to taste,
1 tbsp oil.

1. Cut the pui leaves and then cut the stem into medium sizes. Wash thoroughly.
2. Heat oil in a pan and add chopped onion, green chillies and dry red chillies. Saute a little and then add turmeric powder, red chilli powder, garlic paste and salt. 
3. Now fry everything for 4-5 minutes on medium flame and then add shrimps. Stir nicely and cook uncovered for some time. Now take out shrimps from the pan and add washed pui leaves and stems. Add little oil if needed and sprinkle little salt. Cover the pan and cook for 6-7 minutes on medium flame or until the pui stems are cooked. 
4. Now add the shrimps to the pan and cook for another 5 minutes. Once done, serve hot with hot plain rice.
I have shared the original recipe here and  I dint use red chilli powder as it should not be too spicy in taste.
Chingri Malaikari  ::::

Chingri r malaikari or shrimps simmered in rich coconut gravy is another favorite and elegant  preparation of Bengali cuisine. This popular one is always prepared for special occasions and on regular basis too. Fresh shrimps are the best ones for this preparation but here in USA I have to keep myself happy with frozen ones. This time I bought some big ones from Chinese markets. Long time back one of Orkut community member gave me her grandma's recipe and till now I simply follow the same recipe.

10 big prawns / shrimps, 
1 tbsp turmeric powder,
one medium size onion,finely chopped
3 nos. garlic cloves, paste
1 small piece ginger, paste
1 no. tomato, paste or pureed
1/2 tsp cumin, coriander and red chill powder each,
one cup mustard paste ,
1 1/2 cup coconut milk , home-made or store brought
4-5 nos. green chillies, slitted
salt n sugar to taste, 
oil for frying, preferably mustard oil.
for seasoning...
1/3 tsp whole cumin seeds,
2 nos. bay leaves,
3 nos. big cardamon / baro elach,
2 nos. small cardamon / chhoto elach,
5-6 nos. cloves,
2" cinnamon, broken

1. Clean prawns thoroughly taking out the black vein from the back and hard shell. Keep the tail.
2. Marinate prawns with half of the turmeric powder and salt. 
3. Heat oil in a kadai or wok, fry marinated prawns lightly or until color changes to orange. Take out immediately. Do not over-fry them.
4. In the same oil, add a pinch of sugar in the oil. When sugar caramelizes, add all the ingredients mentioned for seasoning. Saute a little and then add finely chopped onions and saute for 2 minutes. Once it changes color then add ginger and garlic paste and fry for 2-3 minutes. Now add tomato puree and saute a little and cover the kadai or wok and let it cook for 4-5 minutes on low flame.
5. Now add turmeric powder, red chilli powder, cumin and coriander powder and mix everything and let it cook covered again for 6-7 minutes
6. Now mix 3 tbsp of water to the mustard paste and squeeze / strain in a bowl to take out mustard water. Add this mustard water to the pan and mix well. Let it simmer for 2-3 minutes and then add coconut milk with slitted green chillies. Cover the pan / kadai and let it boil on low flame for 5 minutes.
7. Now add lightly fried shrimps / prawns to the gravy and let it boil for 7-8 minutes. Add little sugar and salt according to your taste. Let it simmer on low flame for couple of minutes until the gravy becomes thick or once oil comes out . Switch off the gas and malaikari is ready.
The whole preparation should be done on low flame and add very little water if needed. To enhance the taste of this curry, prepare one or two days before and keep it in refrigerator and then make it steaming hot before serving. This preparation takes little time and patience as you have to cook it on low flame. All the ingredients should be mixed and cooked very nicely to get delicious curry. Ginger-garlic paste should be very little and not over-powering the coconut milk taste.
I used store-brought coconut milk what is easily available in Indian groceries here in USA. You can also mix hot water with freshly or frozen scrapped coconut and make it smooth paste and squeeze out milk out of it.
I like to use large whole prawns what boosts the taste of this delicacy. To clean the prawns, remove the hard shell leaving the head and tail intact. Slit the back side of the prawn and take out the black thread and then carefully remove the eyes and cut the long antennae. It needs lots of efforts and patience for cleaning the prawns one by one. So to avoid the hassle you can bring those cleaned and de-veined ones without heads.

Lau Chingri..shrimp sauteed with sweet bottle gourd ::::

This simple preparation is very popular in every kitchen of North-Eastern parts of India which was originated from East Bengal. My mom used to keep aside some shrimps whenever dad used to bring prawns or shrimps fresh from the market and then the very next day mom used to prepare with sweet and juicy bottle-gourd. The aroma of roasted cumin powder and sauteed shrimp was so heavenly that I used to have rice with the preparation only. Here in USA small salad shrimps are easily available and sometimes I love to prepare this simple and quick dish with steaming plain rice. This is my mom's recipe.

One small fresh bottle-gourd, peeled and finely chopped,
one big cup small shrimps,
1/2" ginger,
2-3 nos. green chillies,
1 or 2 nos. bay leaves,
a pinch of cumin seeds,
1/2 tsp turmeric powder,
1/4 tsp roasted cumin powder,
salt as per your taste,
1 tbsp oil, preferably mustard oil.

1. Wash shrimps thoroughly and make a smooth paste of ginger and green chillies.
2. Then heat oil in a kadai or wok and add little turmeric powder and salt and then add shrimps and fry for 2-3 minutes or until shrimps become crisp. Take out from the wok and keep aside.
3. Now add whole jeere, bay leaves, ginger paste and saute for a minute. Add chopped bottle gourd pieces and add rest of the turmeric powder and salt and mix everything and then let it cook on low medium flame while covering the wok or kadai. Once bottle gourd pieces become soft and cooked then add fried shrimps and mix thoroughly and let it cook on medium flame so extra water evaporates and oil starts coming out. Fry for another 3-4 minutes stirring continuously to avoid burning. Sprinkle roasted cumin powder and adjust salt. Serve hot with plain steaming hot rice.
Roasted cumin powder and ginger paste are optional and you can use only green chilli paste. You can sprinkle red chilli powder too.  This dish can be prepared with dry shrimps too and in that case don't add salt while frying shrimps. In USA bottle gourd are not juicy and fresh that's why I use half cup of water while boiling.

Chingri Kalia :::
Another delicious and rich preparation of prawn or shrimp or what we say, chingri from Suchismitadidi. Whenever I need any authentic Bengali recipe I browse all the recipes of my collection from her. This is very easy to prepare but patience with frying spices carefully and then you can enjoy a delicious meal with hot steamed plain rice. 
6-7 nos. medium size shrimps , De-veined  and cleaned
6-7 nos. cauliflower florets,
3 nos. medium size potatoes, diced
one medium size onion,
1" ginger , peeled
3 nos. green chillies,
one medium size tomato,
1 tsp coriander- cumin powder,
1/2 tsp turmeric powder,
1/3 tsp red chilli powder,
1/4 cup fresh scraped coconut paste with milk,optional
a pinch of garam masala powder,
1/4 tsp ghee or clarified butter,
salt n sugar to taste,
oil to fry.

1. Marinate shrimps or prawns with turmeric powder and salt and keep aside for 10-15 mins.
2. Make a smooth paste of onions,ginger and green chillies adding little water. Make tomato puree separately.
3. Heat oil in a pan and slightly fry all the marinated shrimps to coat with oil. Do not over-fry. Take out from pan and keep aside.
4. In the mean time, mix all the dry spices with half cup of warm water. Keep aside. Fry cauliflower florets until raw smell goes off and then saute diced potatoes in the same pan. Add little oil and sprinkle turmeric powder if needed.
5.  In the same pan, add little more oil and sprinkle sugar and let it caramelize. Add onion paste and fry for 4-5 mins. Cover the pan if needed.
6. Add tomato puree to the pan and saute a little and then add spice mix and fry nicely for 5-7 mins or  until oil comes out to the top. Sprinkle little water if needed to avoid burning. Then add coconut paste to the pan. Mix thoroughly and let it simmer for 3-4 mins.
7. Add shallow fried potatoes, cauliflower and fried shrimps to the pan and mix with spices thoroughly and fry for a min. Then add one and half cup of warm water and salt and cover the pan and let it cook for 12 mins or until potatoes are nicely cooked on medium-low flame. Once done, let it simmer for sometime and adjust salt. Serve hot with plain steamed rice.
Before serving you can sprinkle garam masala and little ghee to the gravy. Coconut paste is optional and adjust how gravy you need while adding water. You can add green peas also instead of potatoes. The best part of this dish is frying and the color and taste of the gravy depends how much you are frying all the spices and onion tomato paste on medium flame.

Chingri Peyajkoli :::
Another delicious dish with prawns or shrimp and what you say in Bengali, chingri machh. I was going through some shrimp recipes what I saved from one of wonderful orkut community and this I found given by one of the same community, Aditi. I had all the ingredients at home and prepared this simply yet tasty dish what goes very well with daal and hot steaming plain rice.
Ingredients :::
10 medium size prawns / shrimps, cleaned and De-veined ,
4 cups coarsely chopped onions,
1/4 tsp kalonji / kalo jeere / nigella seeds,
1 no. dry whole red chilli,
2 nos. green chilli, slit lengthwise,
1/4 tsp turmeric powder,
2 tbsp oil for frying,
1/4 tbsp of mustard oil , optional
salt to taste.

Method :::
1. Marinate prawns with turmeric powder and salt and keep aside for 10 mins.
2. Heat oil in a pan and add whole red chilli and then green chillies and saute a little. Add marinated prawns to the pan and fry for 5-7 mins and then sprinkle little water and let it cook until prawns are soft and cooked covering the pan.
3. When prawns are almost cooked, add half of the chopped spring onions and cooks until spring onions are transparent. Add rest of the spring onions and little mustard oil and mix together and saute until water is dried. Serve hot as a side dish with any meal.
Mustard oil is optional and if you don't like the pungent smell then don't use that. You can keep the head and shells of shrimp if you want. 

Chingrir Rosa :::

Rosa , means spicy curry in Bengali, is very common in West Bengali's kitchen. This recipe has a combination of sweet and spicy taste and a party favorite too. It takes a little time for beginners but once you make it, everybody will appreciate you. Anupa,one of my UK friends from orkut gave me this recipe and I modified this recipe a little as I didn't have couple of ingredient at home.Here's my version of Chingrir rosa.

Ingredients ::
10-15 medium size shrimp / prawns,cleaned and de-veined.
1 big size onion, finely chopped,
1 big tomato, finely chopped,
2 inch ginger,
half cup fresh lemon juice,
1 tbsp plum sauce,
1 tbsp turmeric powder,
1 tbsp coriander powder n kashmiri red chilli powder each,
1/2 tbsp garam masala powder,
1 tbsp poppy seeds paste, 
1 tbsp sesame seeds paste,
1/2 tbsp tomato sauce,
salt to taste,
a pinch of sugar,
oil to fry .
for seasoning ::
1/4 tsp black cumin seeds / kalonji,
4-5 green chillies, slit lengthwise.

1. Take half chopped onion and make a nice paste with little warm water and squeeze out onion juice. Make a nice smooth paste of ginger and take half portion and mix with onion juice and now marinate prawns along with lemon juice,turmeric,salt and plum sauce for one hour. Then fry all the prawns nicely and keep aside.
2. Now in the same pan, heat oil and add black cumin seeds and slitted green chillies and saute for a little.
3. When black cumin seeds starts spluttering, add rest of chopped onion and fry until it becomes translucent. Now add chopped tomatoes and saute for a minute. Sprinkle a pince of salt to cook nicely.
4. Now add ginger paste,turmeric powder, coriander powder,kashmiri red chilli powder and garam masala powder. Fry for 2-3 mins nicely until oil separates. Sprinkle little water if needed.
5. When oil comes out, add sesame and poppy seed paste with half cup of water and stir continuously to fry nicely  to avoid burning at the bottom.
6. When oil separates again, add sugar,tomato sauce and salt and continue stirring. When water comes out and the mixture is nicely fried then add fried prawns and sprinkle lemon juice and 1/4 cup of warm water and let it cook on low flame for 5 mins.
7. Once done, garnish with fried onion leaves/ spring onion and lemon wedges.

In the original recipe. Anupa used Tahini paste but I replaced with sesame seed paste. Plum sauce and Tahini paste are easily available in Chinese supermarket and I used little more red chilli powder to make the dish spicy. Try to use medium to large size prawns and you can use olive oil but I love to use mustard oil as it gave a nice aroma.

Sarse Narkel Chingri :::

My mom used to prepare when I used to go home on vacation. I used to stand near mom and as soon as she was done with frying prawns, I used to have hot yummy prawn fry. I really miss those days. Here's my mom's recipe I m sharing with you which goes just perfect with hot steamed rice or any fried rice preparations.

Ingredients ::::
9-10 medium size shrimp /  prawns,
half cup freshly scrapped coconut,
4 tsp mustard seeds,
1/4 tsp black cumin seeds /  kalo jeere / kalonji,
5-6 nos. green chillies,
1 tsp turmeric powder,
1 whole red chilli,
salt to taste,
6 tsp mustard oil / any other oil.

Method :::

1. Wash and pat dry all the prawns and marinate with turmeric powder and salt and Keep aside for 
minimun 15mins.
2. Heat 2 tsp oil in a saucepan or kadai and fry all the marinated prawns until the color changes to red. Take out from kadai.Don't over-fry prawns, it would be spongy.
3.In between, make a smooth paste of mustard seends with green chillies and turmeric powder and soak with little more water and make smooth paste of coconut also.Keep aside.
4. Now in the same pan, heat 2 tsp more oil and then sprinkle black cumin seeds and pour the mustard seed paste and let it cook for 3-4 mins and then add fried prawns and adjust salt. Let it cook for 5 mins.
5. Now add coconut paste and mix nicely altogether and then let it boil once or until raw smell of coconut goes off.
6. Switch off the gas and spread little mustard oil over the dish and garnish with green chillies and coconut.Serve hot.

Adjust spice according to taste. Mustard oil goes the best with this dish but you can use any other oil too. Sometime people first add coconut paste and then lastly mustard paste or you can mix together and add to the kadai.

Mixed Vegetables fry with salad shrimp :::

This dish is one of the simple preparations and very common dish in Eastern India specially in Bengal. My mom generally used to prepare with dried shrimp or sometimes with big ones what is called prawns specially in winter season.Here I tried with salad shrimp easily available in any supermarket here in USA.

one small packet of salad shrimp,
one small onion,finely chopped,
4-5 green chillies,slit lengthwise,
a handful of diced fresh vegetables of your choice,
1/2 tsp roasted cumin powder,
1 dry whole red chilli,
1 tsp turmeric powder,
a pinch of sugar for caramelizing, 
salt as per your taste,
oil to fry. 

1. First wash all the vegetables and salad shrimp separately.If frozen,soak in warm water for sometime.
2. Marinate shrimps with turmeric powder and salt and they fry in one spoon oil.Strain from oil and keep aside.
3.Heat sufficient oil in a wok / kadai, add a pinch of sugar and when melts add chopped onion and green chillies and saute for some time until onions started changing color.
4.Add all the vegetables and sprinkle turmeric powder and salt and stir nicely over high flame for 2-3mins and then cover the kadai and let it cook for some time and when almost done ,add fried shrimp and mix thoroughly and then sprinkle roasted cumin powder.When done,serve hot with plain lentils soup and hot plain rice.
Here I used potatoes, pumpkins,ridge-gourd and Chinese brinjal/eggplant and these vegetables go well too.Sprinkle water whenever needed to avoid sticking the vegetables at the bottom of the wok /  kadai. If you want, you can use fresh coriander leaves for garnishing and garam masala too.