Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Chingri Macher Jhol / A light Prawn curry

Chingri macher jhol or Prawn curry recipe
It is frantic time in the house again.
Winter has been dilly dallying for a while  now. No matter how much we tried to psyche ourselves into believing that since it is December it is cold.
But still needed an open window in the nights. And a fan on, in some.
But after the sudden storm and rain that took us by surprise and continued to do so for two whole days, the clouds have finally parted and the winter chill has finally set in.

It is no longer foggy in the evenings or the mornings.
Rather, it is clean and bright and crisp. With a sharp cold in the air.
Standing in my balcony with a hot tea cup in my hands, sipping into the hot ginger flavoured brew has a different meaning altogether now.
Very different from the rainy days, when I love to stand in my balcony the same way.

Now I can see the trees for as far as eyes can  and make out every single shade of green that the jungle shows in the beautifully sparkling sunlight.
And now, for the next few weeks at least, I will enjoy my breakfasts here too.
And soak up some late afternoon sun.

With holiday season on, I will be having guests over. And that means some mad days too.
I love it when friends from outside the city come to stay.
A different routine sets in.
And the house looks different too. Especially if they have small children with them.
Come January and the family will be over too.

So all I can see right now is more of outdoor plans, grocery and gifts shopping.
And much less of blog posts.

Hurriedly putting together this post with a recipe that I have been longing to share.
Made this a few weeks ago and fell in love with prawns all over again.

While the gravy does have garlic and ginger, it is still a light, soupy kind of jhol.
And the flavour of the prawns gives this a totally different flavour from what it would have had if made with only vegetables or the Rohu fish.

Chingri macher patla jhol
 Need :


Medium sized fresh water prawns - 8 pieces
Green cardamom / Choti elaichi - 2, broken
Cinnamon / Dalchini - 1 small piece
Whole dry red chillies - 2, broken
Onion paste - 3 tbsp
Garlic paste - 1 tbsp
Ginger paste - 1 tbsp
Grated tomato - 4 tbsp 
Potato - 1 medium, cut lengthwise
Haldi / Turmeric powder - 1 tsp
Red chilli powder - 1 tsp
Coriander / Dhania powder - 1 tsp
Garam masala powder - ½ tsp
Cooking oil - I use Mustard oil
Sugar - 1 tsp
Salt - to taste 


How to :

Marinate the cleaned prawns with salt and turmeric powder.
Heat 2 tbsp of mustard oil and lightly fry them.
Do not overcook ... just remove them as soon as they change colour and curl up.

Add 1 tbsp more of the oil and to it add the elaichi, dalchini, whole red chillies.

Add the onion paste and fry a little.
Now add the garlic paste + the ginger paste + sugar + haldi powder + red chilli powder.
Fry well till dryish and oil starts to leave the sides.
Add the tomato and the dhania powder.
Fry well.

Now raise heat and add 2 cups ( or as desired ) of water.
Add salt.
Cover and bring to a boil.

Remove cover and add the potatoes.
( You can fry the potatoes earlier and add them now too, I do not. )

Cover and cook on medium heat till the potatoes are well cooked. 

Remove cover, add the prawns and check for salt.

Cover and cook for 10 more minutes or till the gravy reaches desired consistency.

Remove cover and add the garam masala powder, cover and simmer for 5 more minutes.

Bengali style Prawn curry

Serve hot.

I had once heard Chef Gautam Maharshi  on a tv show mention that if ever you garnish a dish, do it with edible things.
And I feel nothing comes close to a great garnish than the humble coriander leaf.
Not only does it lend a flavour to the dish but also adds an appealing look to the plate.

What do you think?
Is the little sprig of a fresh coriander leaf in the photographs an eyesore? Unnecessary?
Or is the fresh green in harmony with the dish and  the photograph? 

Don't you feel like picking this baby up? 
Chingri macher jhol
This goes great with steamed rice.

Enjoy!!

Wishing you all Happy holidays.
I will try to be around with another post, hopefully, before the next week ends. But might disappear for a while after that.

C'ya all.