If you love Sea Food, you would always prefer to try prawn recipes. Many think that prawns are a real mess, if one has to buy from fish market rather than supermarkets. In supermarket you get Prawns that are peeled and deveined and at times head and legs are removed.
We buy prawns from supermarket, only when we do not have time to visit C.R. Park for jumbo prawns. At Rs 550 per Kg, we bought 14 large size prawns from C.R. Park. The Fish monger, removed legs, and eyes and tentacles and kept the head and lower part of the tail and shell intact. Using a small sharp knife he made a slit along the middle of the back to expose the dark vein and pulled it out.
I love cooking prawns as they retain their flavor and I get a different new dish every time I try out something new. The recipe below is quick – easy and has Bengali flavor and we cook it when we are running out of time.
The recipe here is Doi Malai Chingri (Prawns cooked in Yoghurt and Cream)
14 large size prawns
Wash the prawns in cold water. Soak them in Luke warm water, 2 tablespoon of vinegar and ½ teaspoon salt for 10 minutes. Throw the water and wash again in Luke warm water. (Do not use hot water as the flavor will get washed away) If the water is hot a pigment called “astaxanthin” which is a member of the carotene family of pigments, and are responsible for coloring many of the yellow and orange (or “carotene”) fruits and vegetables, would get lost. These protein chains are not heat resistant and hence the prawns will release red-orange or pink molecules in water which will get washed away.
To retain the pink color, it is important that you shouldn’t wash or soak prawns in hot water. The pink color gets released while cooking which adds flavor to the dish
Marinate prawns with
200 gms curd
100 gms Malai (Fresh cream)
½ teaspoon Jeera Powder (Cumin Seeds)
1 teaspoon Salt (According to taste)
1 teaspoon Haldi (Turmeric)
6 Cloves of garlic (Fine paste)
1 inch Ginger (mashed)
9 teaspoon of Mustard Oil (If you think, this will be too much – you can add 2 teaspoon)
2 Large onion (Grind into fine paste)
Keep this aside for 15 minutes.
Put oil or ghee in Large pan – (This oil is required to fry the below spices and condiments and not for the marinated prawn) The prawns have enough curd and Malai to get itself cooked.
I prefer adding 100gms of Ghee
Add the following: to the oil:
3 green elaichi ( cardamom)
1 inch Cinnamon stick
½ powdered jaiphal (nutmeg)
2 strings of javitri (mace)
½ teaspoon Garam Masala (Powdered at home. Use any combination of masala that you prefer). I prefer bengali garam masala which is simple mix of Cloves, Cardamom, Cinnamon and Tej Patta. At home I keep it ready – (Dry Roast 20 Green Cardamom/Elaichi, 10 Clove/Laung, a 3″ stick of cinnamon, and a large Bay leaf (tej patta)
Red Chilly and Green Chilies according to taste
(Now the optional part – You may add paste of 6 cloves of garlic and 2 large onions and fry well. In this pic I didn’t add as I was in a hurry)
Take the prawns out of the marinade and keep aside.
Put the marinade in kadai and stir for 10 minutes in full flame. Now add prawns along with any remaining marinade and cook for 10 minutes. Add water based on the consistency you prefer to have.
Simmer for 5 minutes. You will get lovely aroma of prawns. Cover and keep aside for 10 minutes.