Bhapa Chingri

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Doc: You shouldn’t eat Fish, it’ll cause you acidity.

Bong Patient: No problem S(a)ir, I’ll take an antacid afterwards

–          A joke on a typical Bong’s love for fish

Well, you can’t keep off a Bengali from fish for too long, can you? After the series on Breakfast with Egg, it time to go back to Fish. Chingri Bhaape is on the platter today.

Grinding of the spices to a paste just before preparing the dish is a typical of the Bengali recipes. We prefer the freshly prepared spices more than the preserved dry spice powder. Even while preparing Chingri Bhaape, I used a paste of mustard seeds (aka shorshe, sorshe, sarshe).

Chingri Bhape with steamed rice

Chingri Bhape with steamed rice

Chingri Bhaape is an authentic Bangali recipe, and had been prepared in every household since ages. It is enjoyed best with warm white rice. The pungent taste of mustard paste makes the sarshe chingri bhaapa even more appealing. Hilsa is also used similarly to prepare ilish bhapa.

Preparation time: 10 mins

Cooking time: 5 – 8mins

Serves: 4


  • Tiger Prawns (Chingri Maach): ½ kg, cleaned and deveined
  • Mustard seed (Sarse): 5 tablespoons, ground with 1 tablespoon water to make a paste
  • Turmeric powder (Halud guro): ½ teaspoon
  • Mustard oil (Sarser tel): 3 tablespoon
  • Green chili (Kacha Lanka):  5 – 6
  • Salt to taste


  • In a heat proof bowl, that has a lid (better to use a steel tiffin box) put all the ingredients together  and mix well
  • Close the lid and put it in a double boiler (bain marie) to cook for 5 minutes, check if the prawns have become tender, else cook for sometime more till the prawns are tender
  • Take it out and serve with warm rice

Hot Tips – Cut the back of the prawn with a knife and take out the dorsal vein completely. It is the main cause of food poisoning due to prawns.

Alternative cooking – Along with the above ingredients mentioned you can also put in two tablespoons of freshly desiccated coconut. You can also cook it in a pressure cooker. Lace the steel box inside a pressure cooker and fill it with one-inch of water and wait till the first whistle.

Bhapa Chingri

Bhapa Chingri

Double boiler-If you don’t own a double boiler, here’s a workaround. Just place the box in a deep pan and fill the pan with water upto a little below the lid of the box.

Further Readings-Shorshe Chingri Bhapa, Chingrir Malaikari

Sending this recipe to Indrani of Appyayan for hosting the first event on her blog, Spotlight: Fish.


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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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