"Food for me was a connecting link to my grandmother, to my childhood, to my past. And what I found out is that for everybody, food is a connector to their roots, to their past in different ways. It gives you security; it gives you a profile of who you are, where you come from." - Lidia Matticchio Bastianich
I have been cooking all the delicious Bengali food for RCI:Bengal. Last week, I made this delicious "Narkel Chingri"which is coconut shrimp/prawns in Bengali. The recipe is adapted from "Bengali Cooking" by Chitrita Banerji.
The taste of this dish is quite bold due to mustard oil and freshly ground mustard seeds. If you are not familiar with these ingredients, you can reduce the quantity. But for the authentic taste, I do not recommend substituting them with anything else.
Adapted from "Bengali Cooking" by Chitrita Banerji
1 lb shrimp, peeled/deveined/cleaned
1/8 tsp Turmeric powder
1 tbsp or 3 tsp Mustard oil
Grind to a fine paste
1/2 of fresh coconut
1 tsp - 1 Tbsp Mustard seeds (Decide your own range!)
2-3 Green chilies
Garnish 1 Lemon wedge
1. Heat 2 tsp mustard oil.
2. Sprinkle turmeric powder on the shrimp/prawns.
3. Saute the shrimp/prawns in the oil for 2 minutes.
4. Add ground paste and 2 tbsp water.
5. Saute till all the moisture evaporates. Add remaining 1 tsp of mustard oil. Switch off the gas as the shrimp/prawns are cooked.
6. Keep covered till ready to serve.
7. Squeeze some fresh lemon juice before serving.
1. I served this Bengali coconut shrimp with "Kaljira rice" that I found in Whole Foods with a label "Imported from Bengal".
2. If you are in Mumbai, don't forget to visit "Only Fish" which is now "Oh! Calcutta" for some delicious Bengali delicacies.