This easy Bengali prawn curry, chingri malai, has a spicy coconut sauce and is served with smoky basmati rice.
For the boiled basmati rice
350g/12oz basmati rice
1 tbsp ghee
pinch smoked salt
For the prawns
½ tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp salt
400g/14oz prawns, peeled and de-veined (the largest size you can find)
90ml/3fl oz vegetable oil
2 bay leaves
3 medium red onions, blended to a fine paste
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground turmeric
2 tbsp ginger and garlic paste
2 green chillies, slit lengthways
75ml/2½fl oz coconut milk
shellfish stock or water, if needed
½ tsp sugar (optional)
½ tsp ground green cardamom
1 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
½ lime, juice only
For the boiled basmati rice, add 600ml20fl oz of water to the saucepan, then add the rice and salt. Cook on low heat until all the water has disappeared. Place a lid on top and set aside for 20 minutes.
For the prawns, marinate the prawns with turmeric and salt in a shallow dish in a cool place for 30 minutes to an hour.
Heat 60ml/2fl oz of the oil in a pan and add the bay leaves and onion paste. Fry gently for 6-8 minutes on medium heat, or until very light brown.
Meanwhile heat the remaining oil in a non-stick frying pan and fry the prawns briefly for a minute or two. Set aside.
Mix the ground cumin, turmeric and ginger-garlic paste in 75ml/2½fl oz of water and add to the onions, reduce the heat and cook for 2-3 minutes stirring regularly.
Add salt, green chillies and the prawns and stir for one minute. Mix in the coconut milk and simmer for 2-3 minutes, or just until the prawns are cooked, adding a little shellfish stock if necessary.
Season to taste with sugar. Sprinkle over the cardamom powder and coriander and a squeeze of lime. Stir the ghee and smoked salt into the rice and serve immediately.