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Rediff.com  » Getahead » Food » Recipe: Coconut Shell Daab Chingri

Recipe: Coconut Shell Daab Chingri

By Rediff Get Ahead
September 26, 2022 12:40 IST
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With Durga Puja 2022 beginning October 1, it's time to dig into some authentic Bengali food.

Chops and cutlets, Kathi Rolls, Kolkata-style biryani are all must-haves.

Bengalis also savour their seafood -- prawns and shrimp included -- and that's why Daab Chingri continues to be a winner.

The mustard paste gives it a wonderful flavour and these curried prawns go excellently with steamed rice.

Traditionally, the creamy curry was cooked in a coconut placed in an earthen oven and served in it as well.

Nowadays, in most homes, the dish is prepared on the stovetop.

We show you how to do it the old-fashioned way, minus the oven.

Photograph: Kind courtesy Hotel Sahara Star

Daab Chingri

Recipe Credit: Hotel Sahara Star

Serves: 1-2

Ingredients

  • 6 large prawns, deveined, the shell should be removed carefully keeping the tail intact
  • 1 daab or tender coconut, for the tender coconut kernel or coconut malai and coconut water
  • 50 gm kasundi or Bengali mustard paste
  • 3 gm haldi or turmeric powder
  • 50 ml mustard oil
  • 50 gm onion, chopped
  • 5 gm chopped garlic
  • 2 gm sugar, optional
  • 2 green chillies, chopped + 2 whole green chillies or to taste
  • Salt to taste

Method

  • In a bowl, marinate the prawns with salt, turmeric powder, 2 tbsp of the kasundi paste and 1 tbsp of the mustard oil for 45 minutes.
  • Wash the coconut.
    Using a knife, chop off a chunk from the top to make a large opening.
    Preserve the chopped piece -- it is required later as a lid.
    Pour the coconut water into a glass and keep aside.
    Scrape off the malai or coconut flesh and keep aside.
    Keep aside at least 50 gm of the coconut malai, chopped.
    Trim, with a knife, the bottom of the shell so it can stand inside a pressure cooker later.
  • Heat the remaining mustard oil (but reserve 2 tsp for later) in a heavy-bottomed kadhai.
    Add the chopped onion, garlic, green chilly.
    Keep frying until the raw smell of the garlic and the onion disappears.
    Add the marinated prawns.
    Mix.
    Prawns cook really fast and as soon as they turn pink, add the remaining kasundi paste.
    Then add the sugar and more salt, if required.
    Cover the kadhai and cook for 5 minutes minutes more.
    Mix in the roughly chopped tender coconut flesh.
    If the masala is too thick, dilute with the coconut water kept in reserve, but use sparingly.
    Cook for a few minutes more.
    Take off heat.
  • Pour the Daab Chingri inside the prepared coconut shell.
    Top it off with the remaining 2 tsp mustard oil and the 2 whole green chillies.
    Seal the coconut with the coconut lid kept in reserve.
    If it doesn't fit, cover the opening with aluminium foil or a piece of dough.
  • Place the coconut into a large enough pressure cooker -- there should be no gap between the lid and the coconut.
    Fill the pressure cooker with several inches of water and put the lid and whistle on.
    Cook over medium-high heat for 3-4 whistles.
    Take off heat and let the pressure release on its own.
    Serve Daab Chingri with steamed rice or a healthier grain like red rice.

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