Bengali Shrimp Curry (Chingri Malaikari)

This superbly mild (of course, can be made spicy) and creamy curry has the shrimp melting in your mouth. The soft and the juicy shrimp are a seafood lovers delight. One of the most popular and recognizable Bengali dishes will have you licking your fingers. Like all other regions and states, each region has it’s own style of making the dish. Enjoy this great version shared by Sayanti Chanda. Thank you, Sayanti!

Prep Work: 10 min
Cook Time: 30 min
Serves: 4-6

Ingredients:

Shrimp (large)- 1 lb (we used 16-20 grade shrimp)
Salt – 1/2 tsp + /12 tsp + to taste
Turmeric Powder – 1/2 tsp + 1/2 tsp
Oil – 1.5 tbsp + 1 tbsp
Bay Leaf – 1 large or 2-3 small
Ginger Paste- 1 tsp
Onion- 1 med., chopped very fine (we used a food-processor)
Red Chilli Powder – to taste
Water – 1 cup
Coconut Milk – 1, 14oz can
Sugar – 1 tsp or to taste (optional)
Shredded Coconut- 1 cup (very fine shred)
Garam Masala- 1 tsp (more if you want it spicy)
Green Chilies – to taste (slit)
Ghee (Clarified Butter)- 1tsp

Method:

1. Peel, devein and wash the Shrimp.
2. Sprinkle 1/2 tsp of Salt and 1/2 tsp of Turmeric Powder and mix well.
3. Keep aside.
4. In a pan on medium flame, heat 1.5 tbsp of Oil.
5. Saute the Shrimp till they are pink and cooked all the way through (for us about 5 minutes).
6. Once done, remove the Shrimp and keep aside in a plate.
7. Heat the balance of the Oil (1 tbsp) in the same pan or kadhai.
8. Add the Bay Leaf and Ginger Paste after 30 seconds.
9. Add in the Onions and cook till they turn brown.
10. Once done, add in Red Chilli Powder and 1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder and 1 cup of Water and cook for another minute.
11. Add in the coconut milk, Garam Masala & Sugar and mix well.
12. Cover and allow the gravy to come to a boil.
13. Ad in the Shrimp, cover and cook for about 10 mins.
14. Add shredded coconut and green chili and boil(cook) till you get the right consistency.
15. Once done, turn off the flame and add Ghee (Clarified Butter).
16. Serve hot with Rice and Chapatis.

49 thoughts on “Bengali Shrimp Curry (Chingri Malaikari)

  1. ONE HAS TO BE CAREFUL ABOUT COCONUT.FRESHLY PEELED COCONUT STRANDS ARE REQUIRED FOR PREPARING COCONUT MILK AND NOT THOSE STUPID PACKED COCONUT POWDER.AND DO NOT FORGET ABOUT THE SUBTLETY OF THE DISH.IT CAN BE MADE SPICY BUT MAKE SURE TO GO THROUGH A LOT OF TRIAL RUNS.DEFINITELY NOT FOR YOUR TASTE BUDS TO SCREAM IN SPICY ANGUISH. I THINK HINT OF GARLIC MAY BE ACCEPTED BUT WITH MILDEST OF DOSE.THIS DISH PERHAPS IS GIFT FROM GOD.ANY EXCESSES AND YOU ARE BACK TO SQUARE ONE.

  2. Hi Ladies!

    I’m super glad I found you, I am british now living in Kerala with my husband (Indian). He is always complaining about having to eat western food, well up until this week when I found you!

    You make it so easy to follow that I feel I can learn anything if you show it! I find it difficult to follow here, with the language barrier and all, so learning from you is brilliant!

    I impressed him this morning with Rava Idli and Sambhar, he thought he’d woken up in the wrong house!! πŸ˜€ I was just wondering if you have any recipes for Kerala Chemmeen curry? (shrimps).

    Love what your doing, keep up the good work and I will keep cooking! πŸ˜€

    Love from the Malabar Coast!

    1. Hi Kelly,

      We are always so excited to hear stories like your’s. If we can teach non-Indians to cook and enjoy Indian cuisine, we’ve succeeded! As of right now, we do not have a Kerala shrimp recipe, but we’ll be on the lookout :). Thanks so much for taking the time to write!

  3. Thanks for a great recipe. I modified it by making the coconut curry separately. Then added 1 lb. of deveined jumbo shrimp that I boiled with turmeric and bay leaf for 3 minutes then drained and added to the curry. I also took a 11/2 lb. fresh salmon filet and pan fried it 3 minutes to a side in searing hot olive oil with garam masala spice so as to seal each side of the filet. I cut the fish into bite sized pieces and added to the curry. I topped the curry with a cupful of thin slices of fresh young coconut malai (meat)…most Asian supermarkets in the US carry fresh young coconut! ..optional!!
    The result was a fabulous seafood curry that got polished over Xmas dinner!
    Happy holidays and thank you for a great website

    1. NARESHJI
      OLIVE OIL IS AN INTERSTING OPTION .NEVER TRIED IT FOR THIS DISH. I AM A DIEHARD MUSTARD OIL FANATIC FOR CHINGRI MALAI.BUT MOST CERTAINLY I AM GOING TO GIVE IT A SERIOUS TRY. AND AS FOR SALMON DO YOU FEEL THAT A LITTLE BIT OF GARLIC ENHANCE THE TASTE WHILE COOKING WITH OLIVE OIL? PLEASE REPLY

  4. Hey,

    Can I substitute Shrimp with fish in this gravy? Its been sitting in my freezer and I wanna use it for something other that the Bengali fish curry!!

    1. Hi Neha,

      Absolutely…the cooking time for the fish (depending on what variety and how big the pieces are) may vary but you can follow the same procedure.

  5. Hi hetal & anuja,
    This recipe was also absolutely rocking. Being a bengali, i would like to suggest that If u use Kacchi ghani mustard oil instead of white oil, the dish will have an even more authentic flavour, but for people who can’t take the over powering taste of mustard oil, white oil will also do the trick.

      1. It is generally available in Bangladeshi stores, I’m sure u will find it in US also, although I don’t stay in the US, I live in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

  6. Hetal and Anuja,

    I just tried this recipe and it turned out wonderful. It is now one of the family’s favorites. I am looking forward to trying many more of your recipes.

    Thank you for you entertaining and educational web site!

  7. Hi Hetal and Anuja,

    I just tried your shrimp curry. It came out really fabulous. The only extra thing I added was 6-7 fried shallots and it tasted superb.Thankyou so much for your wonderful recipe. God bless you.

    Mary.

  8. This recipe was heaven!!! Since I love coconut milk, I added 1.5 cup of coconut cream instead of the ghee and it was so delicious. Also I added 1/2 cup of packaged fried shallots with the minced onions which gave the dish an extra zing. I have tried many Indian cook books, but your website is superior to them all.

  9. I’d so gonna try the recipe – I could smell it all the way from Canada!

    I’ve also noticed that in every non-vegetarian dishes, Hetal never personally handled the meat, is she a vegetarian? If she is, then she really is a good sport for participating in making these wonderful meat dishes.

    1. Hi Shanty,
      It is a fabulous dish πŸ™‚
      Hetal is a vegetarian and a very tolerant vegetarian. This is a sacrifice she makes for SMTC and the lest I can do is respect her wishes πŸ™‚

  10. Lovely recipe. My only comment is that when the fried shrimp is added to the gravy, cooking time should be limited to two minutes (for the size of shrimp used). Ten minutes as mentioned by you makes the shrimp to hard and stringy. Very nice otherwise.

    Thanks

    1. Hi K P,
      Believe it or not, the shrimp is so succulent it’s amazing! The initial frying seals the shrimp. The first few minutes of the shrimp in the gravy tightens the muscles and makes it dry. And after that the muscles soften up and absorb all the juices and becomes very juicy.

      Enjoy πŸ™‚

  11. Thanks a lot for sharing the recipe.. it’s really looking
    awesome.I absolutely love shrimp.. As i am a oriya girl i have tried oriya style shrimp curry eveytime but this time i will surely try this..

  12. I’m sure the curry tastes great, but it’s incredibly rich! Can I substitute the coconut milk with the light version? And as for cooking the shrimps, can I use less than 1.5 tbsp of oil – like lets say half to one tbsp only? Or shrimps are just one of those things that requires extra oil when cooking?

    Anyway, is Hetal a vegetarian? Sorry I asked a lot xD

  13. Hi Hetal and Anuja!!

    I made this meal twice and each time everyone absolutely loved it !! Thank you ! You’re the best! Big kisses from France!

  14. hi hetal n anuja.
    ur recipies r awsm.
    cn u plz post recipie for fish fillets or sm fish curries? or fr d crtsy jst add it to ur to do list.. plzzzzzz

  15. Hi,

    We made this over the weekend too, it turned out pretty good. Looked just like the picture (almost). However just a heads up, we felt the flavor was a little mild. Again, tastebuds differ so our opinion is ours and ours only, it is not a criticism of the dish. We are used to really strong flavours of the curries made in the deep south of india hence we are used to pungent aromas and spices. This was a good change to our palette. πŸ™‚

    Thanks girls!

  16. Hey Hetal & Anuja,

    Thanks for posting this recipe. I am a Bengali and shrimp curry has been my all-time favorite dish. But one thing I would like to mention is that it is mainly eaten with Rice on the side and not chapatis. It tastes much better πŸ™‚

    Thanks!

    Deepa

    1. Hi Deepa,

      You are absolutely right! It is best served with rice but we just wanted to mention the other options in case folks don’t like rice (like my husband) πŸ™

      1. Good point! I’m sure there are many non-rice eaters on this planet for whom roti can be an alternate substitute:-)

  17. Hi Anuja and Hetal,
    Could paneer be used in this? Or mixed veggies. I was hoping paneer might be an option as this is often substituted for meat in Indian dishes. But I wasn’t sure if it would turn out well. Thanks so much for putting so many veggie dishes online. It keeps me “inline” with my veggie diet.

    1. Hi Judy,

      Here are a few options (that I can think off the top of my head) to making substituting the shrimps:
      Boiled and cubed potatoes
      Paneer
      Thai Eggplant
      tofu
      eggs

  18. Hi there !

    when you showing the non vege reciepes is there any subtitues for them about how to also turn them out in to a pure vegetarian reciepes? cuz majority of guju’s are vegetarians so it will be great while showing non vege you can give us an option for vegetarians as well that will be owesome ! please……..if you can… if too much trouble than dont worry about it.
    thank you for everything !

    1. Thanks for a great idea. We will keep your suggestion in mind.

      For this recipe, you can try adding boiled and cubed potatoes to the gravy.

  19. Hi,

    Thanks! for all your recipes. I have tried most of your recipes everything turned awesome so far. I request you to post gulab jamun recipe made using MTR instant gulab jamun mix. I tried the recipe on packet it never tuned good. But you have already posted recipe for gulab jamun from scratch I know its to much to ask but please post if you only have free time otherwise I will try your version of gulab jamun recipe.

    Thanks,
    Trisha

  20. Again another favorite of mine, shrimps, looks mouth watering, will try it soon…..looks like Anuja z ‘ving a stuffy nose….if so, get well soon!!!…..N thanks for comng back…..

  21. the dish looks yummmieee.. i love coconut in my dishes being a mallu.. and yes u girls looked soo pretty.. love the tops.. very ethnic πŸ™‚
    oh and anuja has lost a lot of weight suddenly..hats of to u anuja, i dont know how u do it, when u girls cook such yummy dishes..

  22. Hi Hetal and Anuja,

    Thank you very much for posting Shirmp curry recipe. Definitively I am going to make it. Thanks lot.

  23. Add a couple of cinnamon sticks and a few cardamom pods and cloves and this recipe is just like my (Bengali) mom’s recipe.

  24. Wow, this dish is REALY rich – will all that coconut milk, shredded coconut and ghee!!!
    Can you please tell me which food processor you use?
    Thanx.

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