Prawn Malai Curry

  • Women‍‍`s Corner
  • September 5, 2022

Chingri macher malai curry or prawn malai curry is an iconic dish from Bengali cuisine. This evergreen and immensely popular prawn curry is undoubtedly the star of all occasions, small or big without which no Bengali feast is considered complete.

To me chingri / prawn is just pure love. And when this beautiful crustacean is cleaned, de veined and simmered in sweet coconut milk which is flavoured with range of aromatic spices, it spells heaven in each and every bite. In my home, this famous Bengali prawn curry is reserved only for special occasions. A good chingri malai curry needs love, patience and devotion to make it right.


- 500 gm Jumbo Prawns / Scampi / Lobster (4 piece)

- 1 Onion (medium), chopped

- 1 inch Ginger

- 5-6 cloves Garlic

- 1 cup Scraped Coconut

- 2-3 Green chillies

- 1 tsp Black Peppercorns

- 1 inch Cinnamon

- 1 Black Cardamom

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- 4-5 Cloves

- 2 Bay Leaves

- 1 tsp Cumin powder

- 1 tsp Red chilli powder

- 1 tsp Turmeric powder

- ½ tsp Bengali Garam Masala

- 200 ml Coconut Milk

- 2 tbsp Mustard oil

- Salt and Sugar to taste

- 1 tbsp Butter (optional) melted

Method: Wash the lobster or prawns, de-vein it, de shell it. If You want to keep head and tail, shell accordingly. Wash the head under running water to get rid of the dirt. If using lobster, break the claws into long pieces. Smear the prawns or lobster it with salt and turmeric and leave for a while.

In the meantime, dry roast the black peppercorns, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves and garlic on a tawa or griddle, till they leaves an aroma. Crush them finely in a mortar and pestle. To the scraped coconut add the green chillies, chopped onions, ginger and the freshly ground spice mix and blend them together in mixer to smooth paste. If requires add very little water during blending. Heat the mustard oil in a pan to its smoking point and saute the lobster each side for a minute.

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For prawns or scampi, saute them for 20 sec on each side. Remove the prawns from the pan and to the same oil add the bay leaves, cinnamon and the prepared masala paste. Add the turmeric powder, cumin powder and red chilli powder, salt and sugar around 1 tsp. Fry on medium heat till the oil separates out. This will take around 10 min.

This is an important step. Divide the coconut milk into halves. To one half, dilute the coconut milk with water. Add the diluted coconut milk, simmer the curry on low heat for few minutes. Gently place the lobster or prawns in the curry. Cover and cook for few more minutes. For lobster, depending upon the size it will take around 5-8 minutes. Check after 5 minutes for doneness. If requires, cook for 1 -2 min more.

For prawns, it will get cook with in 2-3 minutes depending upon the size. Check after 2 min and if requires cook for 1 min more. Check the seasonings, stir in the concentrated coconut milk and add a dollops of butter before serving. Serve chingri malai curry with steamed rice or bengali pulao.

This recipe is taken from

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