Chingri Malaikari is a creamy prawn curry from the Bengali fare that is often savoured during lunch.
Bengali cuisine is a melting pot of flavours and dishes. Their inclination towards meat, seafood and lentils is no stranger to us. Bengalis are known to be hard-core foodies who not only enjoy savoury curries but also love digging into desserts. They have a huge sweet tooth for chenna-based desserts like sandesh, kaccha gola, cham cham and more. Did you know that Bengali cuisine has a huge influence of the Arab and Persian culture? The Mughals had a great impact on the Bengali food and eating habits. While chicken and fish were commonly eaten, it was their fixation for mutton that introduced the Bengalis to a variety of lamb curries. In fact, things like biryani which were once food of the elite, slowly trickled onto the plates of middle and lower classes too.
Although the meat-intensive cuisine of Bengal renders our minds to believe that there is rarely anything vegetarian, the opposite is true. They’ve got plenty of vegetarian dishes too. Take dum aloo as a case in point. The interesting bit is that Bengali cuisine also became slightly different in Bangladesh and West Bengal after the Partition. Largely, it is said that there are four types of food under Bengali cuisine, one that can be chewed, sucked, licked and drink-based foods. Now fish and rice or machh bhaat is commonly eaten in Bengali households. This can be easily chewed so it falls under the former category. Similarly, chutneys are meant to be licked and drinks usually comprises of milk-based beverages.
Going back to the former category, it reminds us of a classic Bengali dish that is a usual suspect on the lunch table. We’re talking about Chingri Malaikari. Chingri refers to prawns in Bengali and malaikari is a type of curry in which the prawns are cooked. This together gives us a delicious prawn curry that you can have for lunch today. Have you tried it yet?
Here’s a detailed recipe for you to try.