Thursday, December 4, 2014

Sorshe Die Bhapa Chingri / Steamed Prawns with Mustard Paste

Every child has their own fascination about their birthday celebration. I never really liked the idea of cutting cakes and all that...rather I loved the idea of the elaborate lunch that mother used to prepare along with the "payesh" (rice kheer). Every year on my and my sister's birthday maa used to prepare elaborate meals for us, which comprised of 5 different kinds of fries, vegetable curries, fish  and meat. What an wonderful day it used to be.

how to cook bengali style sorshe die bhapa chingri recipe

how to cook bengali style bhapa chingri recipe

how to cook bhapa chingri recipe

From my childhood I am obsessed about prawns. Small, medium or big...I loved them all. There is also a different kind of prawn that is available in West Bengal, known as Kada Chingri. You can say it is the micro version of prawns and they are generally used for making "bata"(a very spicy and dry mashed kind of dish) and "bora"(fritters). I even loved those. I had a fascination regarding the meal of the birthday...that it will consist dishes made with prawns fried prawns, bata chingri (a spicy mashed dish made of kada chingri), prawn pakoras, prawn with poppy seed paste or posto chingri, lentils with prawns, vegetable curries with prawns, prawn malaikari, steamed prawn and finally prawn kalia or prawn bhuna. But sadly..maa never made all these dishes together.  She used to say that it will upset my stomach. But throughout the years whenever maa used to see prawns in the market she would get them, as we all loved eating prawns. Coincidentally, when I first met with my husband before marriage we had fried rice and chili prawn and the first lunch that I had in my in-law's house included malaikari made with lobsters among many other dishes!!
how to cook bengali style steamed prawns recipe

 bengali style Steamed Prawns with Mustard Paste recipe

Steamed Prawns with Mustard Paste recipe

I learned to make this steamed prawn / bhapa chingri a few days ago from my mother, when my sister was boasting on the fact that how she licked every little rice grain from this her plate with just one dish. And it had been a long time for me as well having eaten the steamed prawn/ bhapa chingri. So I quickly jotted down the recipe, told my husband to buy tiger prawns from the markets, and made them the day after. A complete comfort food, which requires no hassle and no worry. Put everything together, put them in the oven and voila!!! You will open up the box to see a steaming yellow paste with floating mustard oil on top of it and the beautiful prawns literally swimming in them.

authentic bengali bhapa chingri recipe

how to cook authentic bengali bhapa chingri

Sorshe Die Bhapa Chingri / Steamed Prawns with Mustard Paste
Serves 4

how to cook authentic bengali style sorshe die bhapa chingri
  • 25 medium sized prawns (tiger or jumbo prawns work well)
  • 1 and 1/2 tbsp mustard seeds
  • 2 tbsp poppy seeds
  • 2 tbsp mustard oil
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 4 tbsp concentrated coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp grated coconut
  • 2 green chilies - chopped
  • salt
  • 1 steel lunch box
  • De-vein the prawns. I will suggest that you keep the heads and tails, because the juices of the heads adds an extra taste to the dish. I de-veined the prawns for the first time so I literally messed it up and threw them all out.
  • Mix a little salt to the prawns and keep them aside for 10 minutes.
  • With a little water make smooth paste of the mustard seeds and poppy seeds. Pour them in a bowl.
  • In that bowl put all the other ingredients except prawns i.e. mustard oil. coconut milk, grated coconut, chopped green chilies, turmeric powder and salt. If you want some gravy you can add a little water. But the quantity should not be too much.
  • In the tiffin box put the prawns. Pour the paste over the prawns that has been prepared. Give a good stir with spoon so that the prawns get well coated with the paste.
  • Close the lid of the box and put it in the micro-oven on 450F for 45 minutes. If you do not have micro-oven you can do it in the pressure cooker. Make sure the box is properly sealed. Then pour some water in cooker. The water should not exceed half of the cooker. Put the box in it and cook it on pressure till it blows 5 whistles. Let the steam come out naturally and then open the lid.
  • Enjoy steamed prawn / bhapa chingri with hot steamed rice.

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