Celebrate Puja with the best curry in Town!!

During Durga Puja as you walk through the crowded streets, the city comes alive with revelry and devotion towards Goddess Durga. As a young child, I remember holding my Papa’s finger taking small steps while raising my heels to catch a glimpse of Durga Ma’s embellished avatar. This experience would entrench itself in my memory for years to come. The Puja/Pujo experience also includes new balloons, toys, and loads of sweets. As I grew up, the experience would change, it became the time of the year, when you yearn to meet all your cousins under one roof. Puja meant extended vacations. All of us waited eagerly for this period of the year. Even though we didn’t follow the rituals at home, but the revelry associated with Puja is witnessed in every household irrespective of religion, language or caste in the state of Assam. Mom would cook our favorites. Every day a box of our favorite sweets – be it

As I grew up, the experience would change, it became the time of the year, when you yearn to meet all your cousins under one roof. Puja meant extended vacations. All of us waited eagerly for this period of the year. Even though we didn’t follow the rituals at home, but the revelry associated with Puja is witnessed in every household irrespective of religion, language or caste in the state of Assam. Mom would cook our favorites. Every day a box of our favorite sweets – be it roshogulla, jalebis or Sandesh (Indian sweets) will arrive at our house. Our house is right in the middle of the town so at times we felt like spending the evening on our balcony with steaming mugs of tea and loads of snacks. Chats would continue as we would watch the passersby in their finest puja outfits.

Puja also marked the change of season. The harsh and humid Indian summers would finally come to an end.

When I moved to West Bengal for my higher studies, people kept prodding me to witness Puja for once in Kolkata. Well, that did not happen for the first two years of my stay in Kalyani (few kilometers away from Kolkata).

Three-year into my research, the pressure of thesis submission was mounting heavy on my mind. I decided to stay back in the campus with a few others during the Puja vacation. The food in our hostel is right, but during holidays, with fewer students residing in the hostel, our cook will turn a little more generous with the portions and food items. During Puja, lunch was exceptional. We were served Chingri Mali curry (Shrimps in a light coconut gravy) along with a few other delicacies. I fell in love with this dish. I had to request ‘didi’ (that’s what we called our hostel cook/caretaker) for the recipe. She gladly shared it with me as I scribbled the recipe on the back of my notebook.

The dish cooked with a few ingredients can simply be the very best among all the other festival specials. It tastes best with some hot basmati rice. Now, for the past five years, I couldn’t be home during Puja, but I do make a point to recreate a few dishes (savory and sweet) that brings me closer to the overall puja experience and Chingri malai curry is one of them.


Chingri Malai Curry

photo of Shrimps in a light coconut gravy served with Basmati Rice
Shrimps in a light coconut gravy served with Basmati Rice

 

Course:  main
Cuisine: INDIAN
Preparation Time: 30 Mins
Cooking time: 20 Mins
Yield: serves 2-3
INGREDIENTS
Shrimps 250g
Onion 100g
Green Chilli 2
Coconut Milk 160 ml
yoghurt 1 and 1/2 tbsp (beaten)
Ginger Garlic paste 2 tsp
Mustard Oil 2tbsp
Turmeric 1/4 tsp
Red chili powder ½ tsp
Cumin Powder ½ tsp
Cinnamon 1 stick
Cloves 2-3
Bay Leaf 1
Salt as per taste
METHOD
  1. Boil the onion and blend it into a fine paste along with the green chillis.
  2. Heat mustard oil in a pan; Add cloves, cinnamon, bay leaf and prawns, and fry till the prawns are cooked. Remove from pan and set aside. Add onion and ginger-garlic paste to the same pan and fry well.
  3. Add coconut milk and powdered spices. Stir well.
  4. Add yogurt and cook till the gravy comes to a boil. Add fried prawns and salt. Bring to a boil. Serve hot.

 

 

3 Comments Add yours

  1. mistimaan says:

    This is one of my favourite dish……..love to taste it anytime. 🙂
    Subho Bijoya 🙂

    Like

  2. Jayashree says:

    This looks tasty and easy to prepare.

    Like

  3. Jagruti says:

    Your picture looks so beautiful…crisp and clear! hope you had a lovely time.

    Like

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