So my Mum’s hybrid version of this chingri dish created some kind of buzz with my readers.
What was made by my Mum as an inventive, something-in-between a Kalia and a Malaikari turned out to be this head-turning stunner. We had it during our trip to India last month, and I was completely stumped by the way it teased me with its rich and silken taste, both at the same. I asked Mum, “What do you call this dish?” She said, “Its a no-name chingri. Just eat it.”
That was enough titillation for the food writer in me.
So here I am, writing down the recipe for you. Of course the creator of this recipe, my Mum has been adequately consulted about the ingredients and measurements.
Ingredients for Chingri Kaliakari or Malaikalia are:
*Thank you Sharmita Saha for the name suggestion.
12 large tiger shrimps/prawns (Use golda chingri if available)
1 medium size red onion, grated
1 large red, ripe tomato grated
Quarter cup grated fresh coconut (I use the frozen kind)
1 tablespoon ginger paste
1 tablespoon garlic paste
1 teaspoon green chilli paste or use 2-3 whole (don't add if kids are eating!)
2 + 1 teaspoons turmeric powder
1 teaspoon red chilli powder
1 teaspoon freshly ground garam masala powder (cinnamon, cloves, green and black cardamoms)
1 or 2 bay
4-5 tablespoons mustard oil
1 heaped tablespoon ghee
Heat mustard oil in a wok. Add the prawns in batches and cook them on each side for a couple of minutes. Once the prawns turn pink, take them off the heat.
In the leftover oil, add half a teaspoon of sugar and let it caramelize. Take care not to burn it.
Now add the ginger-garlic paste and continue to cook covered for about five more minutes.
Next add the tomato and coconut, and mix. Add the turmeric and red chilli powder and continue cooking on low heat and covered all the time. It takes about 10-15 minutes of slow cooking for the raw taste to go away from the ingredients.
Its safe to add water to your onion-tomato-coconut masala now. Add about one and a half cups of water and cover. Let this cook for another 7-8 minutes. Make sure you use gentle heat while cooking your masala sauce. We don’t want the onions and coconut to burn and give the dish a bitter taste.
Cook the prawns on medium heat in the gravy for about 6-7 minutes. Do a taste test and add sugar and salt if needed.
Serve your Prawn Kaliakari or Malaikalia with plain rice. And like most Indian dishes, it tastes even better the next day. In case you have leftover gravy, preserve it in the freezer. On another day, just sauté some shrimps and add to your leftover sauce and cook for 7-8 minutes. Voila! That saves you from all the grating and grinding.