Bhendi Diye Chingri

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Now, this is a tricky question. Do you think Bengalis are all about fish? Whenever I meet someone who is not a Bong, he/she always ask me this question – do you eat vegetables or is it just fish? Growing up in a family with my widowed grand mom, I have seen lots of vegetables being made at home, vegetables curries without even the hint of onion or garlic – and believe it or not those tasted heavenly.

Its probably because Bengal being such a fertile land and with loads of rivers the balance between vegetables and fish is always there. Whereas in the Western parts of India though the majority of population is vegetarian they mostly stick to different types of lentils for their daily home made recipes.What is your opinion of this?

Chingri Bhendir Tarkari

Coming to vegetables in Bengal, especially in summer, its like a fair. The different types of veggies that you get in the market is beyond imagination, and of these patol or pointed gourd and bhendi or okra are two of my favorites.

My grandmother had her way into the kitchen. Her way of balancing whole spices and ground ones had its own unique style. She used to make this dry curry with okra, pumpkin and potatoes with just a little nigella – and it was tasted out of the world. I made this the same way with just a little twist – I added a few shrimps to it.

Chingri Diye Bhendi

Indian, Side, Prawns, Bengali shrimp recipe, Bangla ranna, Bengali cuisine, Bengali vegetables
Cooks in    Serves 4
  • 1 cup okra, split lenthwise
  • 1 cup cued pumpkin
  • 1 cup cubed potatoes
  • 8-10 medium size shrimps
  • 1 teaspoon nigella
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 3 tablespoon mustard oil
  • Heat a tablespoon of oil in a skillet and lightly fry the shrimps tll they turn pinkish in color and starts to curl, take out and place them in a kitchen towel to drain out the excess oil
  • Heat the rest of the oil in a wok, mix a pinch of salt and turmeric to the split okra and lightly fry them. Take out and keep aside
  • In the same oil add the nigella, and saute till they start sputtering. Add the pumpkin and potatoes and fry for 2-3 minutes.
  • Pour about 3 tablespoons of water in a small bowl and mix the turmeric powder, chili powder and salt – mix to make a runny paste. Pour the paste to the wok and mix to coat the vegetables
  • Stir till the spices start to dry, make sure it doesn\'t stick to the bottom of the wok. Pour in about 1 ½ cup of water and cook covered till the vegetables are almost cooked
  • Add the okra and shrimps, cook for 2-3 minutes more. Serve hot with warm white rice or roti.

Chingri Bhendi

Hot Tips – Okra being a very slimy vegetables, its always better to wash and then cut the okra. If you do it the other way, the okra will be slimier making the gravy very gooey. Also, that’s the reason I fry the okra first and then put it in the curry.

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Chingrir Malaikari

As promised here I am with my “Chingrir malaikari” recipe to mark the 2000+ hits of my blog. Prawns are always a delicacy in all Bengali household and even those who loves fish but are afraid of those bones. I would share one very interesting fact about prawns, though we call it Chingri mach(fish) in Bengali , but actually it is not a fish. According to the characteristics of prawns scientists have grouped it as an arthropode,i.e, it is an insect. You can also use shrimps for this preparation.


Prawns (Chingri): 1kg, deshelled

Coconut milk(Narkeler dudh): 1 1/2 cup

Whole garam masala: 1tablespoon

Ghee: 2 tablespoons

Curd (Doi): 1/2 cup

Garlic-ginger paste (Aada-rasun bata): 1teaspoon

Turmeric powder(Halud guro): 2 pinches

Chilli powder (Sukhno lankar guro): 1/2 teaspoon

Salt to taste


Just a few words before we start with the cooking procedure. Prawns are very delicate, so beware when you are deshelling them. Keep the head of the prawn intact, but wash it carefully. Marinade the prawns after washing with curd and garlic ginger paste for at least an hour.

Whole garam masala consists of green cardamon: 3 /4, cloves: 5, cinnamon: 1” piece


  • Heat the ghee in an wok and add the whole garam masala, sauté for just a minute.
  • Add the marinated prawns to the wok.
  • Sauté the prawns for just a few minutes so that it becomes a bit stiff.
  • Add the coconut milk, chilli powder,ginger-garlic paste, salt and turmeric powder.
  • Cook till the gravy thickens.

Serve with rice and enjoy the delicious but easy to cook chingrir malaikari. Keep looking for more recipes here. Till then happy cooking and happy eating.

Sending this to Sunita’s Think Spice event of the month.

Sending it to SWC-West Bengal hosted by Lakshmi of Cooking Station.

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