Coconut Shrimp Curry (Malai Chingri)

My mom’s coconut shrimp curry (or ‘malai chingri’ as the Bengalis call it) is hands down my favorite dish, ever. No joke. Every time I visit my parents, it’s the #1 item on my list of dishes that my mom must cook for me on my first day back. I’m kind of a brat about it, which is why I was so surprised to learn just how easy and quick it is to make! It’s now my go-to recipe whenever I have guests over for Indian food, and it’s always such a crowd favorite. I’ve been asked for this recipe a million times after guests have tried it, so I’m so excited to finally be able to share it with you after verifying all the ingredients and steps with my mom. I sometimes simplify it and skip the cumin and whole garam masala if I’m out, but those spices really make it that much better. Enjoy this creamy, coconut-y, delicious goodness!

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Ingredients (serves 4) 

15-20 shrimp, deveined
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp whole garam masala (cardamom, cinnamon, clove, cardamom)
1 medium sized onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, grated
1 tsp ginger paste
1/2 tomato, diced
1 tsp turmeric powder (haldi)
1 tsp cumin and coriander powder
1 tsp garam masala powder
Kashmiri chili powder, to taste
Salt and pepper, to taste
Pinch of sugar
1 small can of coconut milk
Cilantro, for garnish

Recipe

Heat oil on a medium sized saucepan. Once the oil is heated, add the cumin and whole garam masala. Fry the onions till they begin to brown. Add in the garlic, ginger paste, and tomatoes and stir together till the oil begins to separate. Stir in the shrimp and fry till fully cooked. Add in haldi, cumin and coriander powder, garam masala powder, chili powder, salt and pepper, and a pinch of sugar. Stir in the coconut milk and let boil. Add in more garam masala or chili powder, depending on your taste. Once the shrimp is fully cooked and mixed with the coconut milk, remove from heat and garnish with cilantro. Serve with hot rice.

Sweet & Spicy Shrimp Curry

Ugh, is it seriously Sunday already? I can’t believe how quickly the Thanksgiving long weekend flew by! This year we celebrated “Thanksgivmas” with my in-laws, with Christmas presents & jammies on Thursday morning, followed by a more formal turkey dinner in the evening. It was so nice to get into the Christmas spirit a little earlier this year, and even though we felt a bit sad after the family festivities were over, we realized that the official holiday countdown has only just begin! I still have a full week of Christmas celebrates with my side of the family to look forward to in Canada. I seriously cannot wait to gorge on my mom’s amazing food and steal–I mean, learn–more of her delicious recipes :). SO. EXCITED.

Anyways, we’re battling some serious Sunday blues here in the Gupta household, so we decided to whip up some homemade Indian food to cleanse our palate from all the decadent eating we’ve been doing over the long weekend. If you follow me on Instagram, you know what I’m talking about! Also, my husband bought me these amazing kadhai dishes as part of my early Christmas gift, and I was just really excited to test them out.

I’ve been making a lot of fish and chicken lately, and wanted to try out a new shrimp recipe tonight. My go-to recipe for shrimp curry involves heavy coconut milk, and I was in the mood for something lighter. I drew some inspiration from this Prawn Patia dish but added some Bengali spices and simplified a few of the steps. I was shocked by how delicious this dish ended up tasting! I love love love adding some sweetness to my curry (true Bengali) and I couldn’t get enough of the sweet and spicy combination. So good, I just had to share with you guys. Enjoy!

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Full spread from tonight’s dinner – bhindi masala, baingan bharta, and sweet & spicy shrimp curry!

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This might be my new go-to shrimp recipe…

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How cute are my new kadhai dishes?!

Ingredients (serves 2)

1/2 tsp kalo jeere (black cumin)
15-20 shrimp, deveined
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 onion, sliced into long slender pieces
1/2 tomato, diced into small pieces and ketchup, to taste
3 garlic cloves, grated
1/2 tsp ginger paste
1 tsp red chilli powder
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp cumin and coriander powder
1 sugar cube (or 1 tsp sugar)
1 tsp vinegar
1 tbsp water
Salt, to taste
Cilantro, for garnishing

Recipe

Heat the oil on a large saucepan. Once heated, drop in the kalo jeere for a few seconds. Then fry the onions until they begin to brown slightly. Add the grated garlic and ginger paste and mix together with the onions and kalo jeere. Add the tomatoes and stir continuously until the oil begins to separate. Add salt and the remaining spices (red chilli powder, turmeric powder, cumin and coriander powder) and keep mixing for another few minutes.

Add the sugar cube and stir until it mixes with the onions and spices. Add water and vinegar and cook until the tomatoes are fully cooked with the spices. Drop in the shrimps and cook for a few minutes with the onions and spice mixture. Stir continuously until the shrimp is fully cooked through (around five minutes). Garnish with cilantro and enjoy with hot rice!

Mastering My Mom’s Classic Chicken Curry

Happy belated Halloween, all! The last few weeks have been so busy, I didn’t even realize it’s been 12 whole days since my last post. Ahem, clearly I need to do a better job of posting regularly, but I’m not going to be too hard on myself. I want blogging to continue feeling like a hobby rather than a chore.

Anyways, life has been keeping me busy lately with work, amazing fall weather, and the usual fun fall festivities. I just love this time of the year! Two weekends ago, my husband and I celebrated Durga Puja (a Hindu festival honoring the Goddess Durga) by getting decked out in our Indian clothes, attending a Bengali community gathering at UIC, and then cooking up a Bengali feast at home. I feel like I’m finally mastering my mom’s classic chicken curry and wanted to share the recipe with you guys. It’s incredibly simple to make, but always hits the spot when I’m craving homemade Indian food. It really is the best comfort food and I love how Bengalis add a little bit of sugar to their chicken curries. It makes all the difference.

Enjoy the recipe and give me a shout if you have any questions!

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Ingredients (serves 4-6)

6 chicken drumsticks, 6 chicken thighs
1 tbsp Greek yogurt
1 tbsp milk
1/2 large onion, sliced into long slender pieces
4 garlic gloves, grated
1/2 teaspoon ginger paste
Optional: 3 green chilis, 2 bay leaves, 1 tsp cumin powder, 1 tsp coriander powder, 1/2 tsp peppercorn
1.5 tsp haldi (turmeric powder)
1/2 tomato, finely diced
1/2 tsp sugar
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp Kashmiri chili powder
Salt, to taste
2 tbsp vegetable oil
Cilantro leaves, for garnish

Recipe 

In a large bowl, marinate the drumsticks and thighs in the Greek yogurt,  1/2 teaspoon of haldi and a sprinkling of salt. Don’t go overboard with the yogurt, because it can easily curdle while cooking! I’ve learned that the hard way.

While the chicken is marinating, prep the onion, garlic, ginger, and tomatoes. Heat the oil on a large pan. Once the oil is hot, drop in the sugar until it becomes to caramelize. Stir the sugar around the pan so it doesn’t stick to the pan – this is what will give the curry a darker color. Fry the onions, garlic, and ginger in the sugar until the mixture becomes a little brown. Throw in the tomatoes, remaining haldi, garam masala, chili powder, optional spices, and stir for a few minutes. Drop in the chicken pieces (get rid of the watery yogurt mixture that’s remaining in the bowl – this will curdle!) and fry on each side for a few minutes till they start browning slightly. Pour the milk over the mixture to help tenderize the chicken. Season the curry generously with salt and continue stirring so that all the chicken is coated in the onion and spice mixture. Add half a cup of water, lower the heat, and cover the pan. Let the curry simmer on low for 20-30 minutes – note that the thighs will cook first (after 15-20 minutes), so remove them into a separate platter to avoid overcooking. The drumsticks will take slightly longer to cook. Once the drumsticks are done, taste the curry to make sure it’s seasoned to your liking (this is there stage where I usually add more garam masala or chili powder!).

Finally, garnish the curry with fresh cilantro leaves and serve with a steaming hot plate of rice and a side of Greek yogurt. Best enjoyed on a rainy, homesick sorta day.