In celebration of Indian Independence Day on August 15th, Ankur Chakraborty, the executive chef at the contemporary Indian restaurant Zafran, has supplied us with his favourite recipe for chingri malai curry.
The dish originates from Kolkata in West Bengal and is inspired by Chakraborty’s mother’s version, which features shrimps that are first marinated in turmeric, green chilli and fermented mustard paste, before being baked inside a hollowed-out coconut.
Chingri malai curry
1/2 cup clarified butter 1 stick cinnamon 1/2 tsp ground cloves 3 cups onion paste 4 tbsp Pommery mustard (wholegrain mustard) 2 tsp turmeric 1.5 tsp salt 6 cups coconut milk 10-12 shrimps 2 cups water 5-6 green chillies, slit
To serve steamed rice
Heat the clarified butter in a heavy-based pot, then add the cinnamon and cloves. When the spices start to smell aromatic add the onion paste and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently.
Next add the mustard, turmeric and salt and cook the masala for 8-10 minutes, stirring often.
Pour the coconut milk into the pan and bring the curry to a simmer. Now add the shrimps and enough water to achieve the desired consistency. Simmer for 4-6 minutes or until the shrimps are just cooked through. Add the green chillies towards the end of the cooking time.
Transfer the curry to a bowl and serve with steamed rice.