Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Chingri Maacher Malai Curry - Shrimp in Coconut Cream Sauce

Chingri Maacher Malai Curry
Shrimp in Coconut Cream Sauce
A popular & festive main course in Bengali homes, this shrimp dish is usually prepared with the heads intact. I had a package of wild caught shrimp from the Gulf of Mexico that were beheaded (no pun intended) so that's what I used. The heads of shrimp contain flavorful oils full of omega-3, so if you can find 'heads-on' shrimp, they are definitely recommended.

Canned thick coconut milk, if opened without shaking first, has a thick layer of cream on top. Using a spoon, remove this cream and use it to make the sauce for this dish. The rest of the coconut milk can be saved in the refrigerator for another use.

1 lb. jumbo (21-25/lb.) shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 can thick coconut milk (use only cream)
1 large onion, peeled, quartered & blanched
1 large onion, peeled & diced
2 tsp. ginger paste
1 tsp. garlic paste
1 Roma (medium-size) tomato, diced
1/2 tsp. Kashmiri mirch/paprika/cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp. Bengali garam masala powder
4 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 cinnamon stick
2 big black cardamoms
1/2 tsp. shah jeera or cumin seeds
salt to taste
1/4 tsp. turmeric
5 hot green chilies, slit
Few sprigs cilantro, chopped
1 tsp. ghee

  1. Toss shrimp with salt and turmeric, stir-fry until pink and set aside.
  2. Blend blanched onions, ginger paste, garlic paste & tomatoes into a paste.
  3. Heat oil over medium-high heat & sputter shah jeera, cinnamon & cardamoms.
  4. Add diced onions & Kashmiri mirch, & stir-fry until onions turn translucent.
  5. Add blended paste, lower heat to medium & simmer until oil resurfaces.
  6. Add garam masala powder, coconut cream & shrimp to pan.
  7. Toss to coat shrimp with sauce, adjust salt & simmer on low for 5 minutes.
  8. Remove from heat and garnish with chilies, cilantro and ghee.
Serve with steamed Basmati rice.

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