In Bengali, Chichinge refers to snake gourd, Chingri means prawns, and culinary magic happens when both meet. The simple dish from Ghoti Bengali kitchens celebrates the simplicity of gourds while relishing the taste of prawns, making it a dish worth having for your next big meal.
When it comes to Bengali cuisine, there is no dearth of vegetable and seafood medleys that work brilliantly well. Chichinge Chingri, which sounds like quite a tongue-twister, is one such delicious dish. Simply put, Chichinge refers to snake gourd, and Chingri means prawns. So, Chichinge Chingri is a simple Bengali dish that blends the neutral flavours of snake gourd and the fishy essence of prawns.
Chichinge Chingri derives its flavours, as mentioned before, from the two main ingredients in the dish. Like most Bengali vegetarian dishes originated in West Bengali or Ghoti kitchens, this one is mildly spiced and very easy to digest. The fact that snake gourd is exceptionally nutritious, and the perfect summer veggie also adds to the allure of the dish. Snake gourd not only detoxifies the body, but also improves kidney, lung and gut function. So, this simply prepared dish can benefit your health too.
Now, when it comes to prawns, many would argue that they aren’t the healthiest of ingredients. But you should know that prawns, especially the tiniest of prawns known as Kucho Chingri in Bengali, are packed with minerals, vitamins, antioxidants and, of course, proteins. So as long as you use Kuchi Chingri in this Chichinge Chingri, which is in fact recommended for better flavour as well, the dish does maintain its overall health benefits.
The cooking process for Chichinge Chingri is quite straightforward and simple. So easy is this dish to prepare that if you have all the ingredients at hand, you can whip it all up in half an hour at most. Many Bengalis also like to make Chichinge Chingri more filling by adding potatoes to the dish. This is also recommended because apart from being a staple in Bengali food, potatoes do add to the flavour of the dish. Here’s the Chichinge Chingri recipe for you to try.
100 g tiny prawns
2 snake gourds, peeled and chopped
1 potato, chopped
1 tsp nigella seeds
2-3 green chillies, chopped
½ tsp ginger, grated
1 tsp turmeric powder
½ tsp garam masala
½ tsp sugar
Salt, to taste
1 tbsp mustard oil
1. Place the washed and cleaned prawns in a bowl. Add some turmeric powder and salt.
2. Mix well and set aside to marinate for some time.
3. Heat the mustard oil in a wok until it smokes.
4. Now, add the marinated prawns.
5. Fry the prawns until they turn golden, then remove.
6. In the remaining oil, add the nigella seeds and green chillies.
7. Once these stop spluttering, add the grated ginger and potatoes.
8. Fry the potatoes for a few minutes, then add the snake gourd.
9. Keep stir-frying the veggies, then add turmeric powder and salt.
10. The snake gourd will release its water naturally, so let the veggies cook in the same.
11. Once the snake gourd and potatoes are both cooked, add the fried prawns.
12. Mix well, then add garam masala and sugar.
13. Mix again and serve the Chichinge Chingri hot with rice.