Durga Puja Special (Shashthi): Bhaapa Chingri / Steamed Prawns

It's the day when a year long wait has finally ended and you are often making the last minute amends for a perfect celebration. It could be anything from a half inch alter of your favourite blouse or dress, or getting another final coat of your new nail polish, or calling up friends and deciding on the time and place to meet up. So basically you are too busy because it is Shashthi. Nevertheless, you have decided to cook something special for your family, as there can be no celebration without great food. Therefore, I have the easiest and fastest authentic Bengali treat for you to kick start your Puja. It's my Mom's recipe and I can never have enough of it. Generally people use tiger prawns or jumbo prawns for bhaapa chingri. But my Mom always prefers to use medium sized prawns. They are easily cooked and the bite-size pieces just melt in your mouth. The fastest way to cook it is in the microwave and it is perfect for a quick homemade Shashthi lunch.

Bhaapa Chingri


Prawns (medium sized): 1/2 lb / 250 gms
Shredded coconut: 1 cup
Coconut milk: 1/2 cup
Mustard paste: 1 1/2 tbsp
Green chilli paste: 1 1/2 tsp
Green chillies: 2
Mustard oil: 2 tsp
Turmeric powder: 1/2 tsp
Sugar: 1 tsp
Salt to taste


De-vein the prawns and take off the shells. Then marinate them with salt and turmeric powder for 15 minutes.

Now add shredded coconut, coconut milk, mustard paste, green chilli paste, sugar and salt to the prawns. Mix well.

Slit the green chillies and add to it. Then drizzle mustard oil on top.

Cover it with plastic wrap and cook it in the microwave for 8 minutes.

Your bhaapa chingri will be ready to be served with hot steamed rice.

Photographs by Swakshar Ghosh.


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