October 24, 2006

Steamed Shrimp Curry with Coconut

My calls with my parents in India always revolves around food. We ask what each of us has been cooking, what ingredients and vegetables are in season, we talk about new recipes my mom saw on television and so on. And now that they know I have a food blog, they always ask me what I have been writing about as well.

On a recent call, I told them I have bought fresh shrimp from the supermarket and want to make something different with it. After that the conversation went something like this… (this was early morning for them)

Dad: Make it with coconut and steam it.
Me: Hmm, interesting, what do I put?
Dad (enthusiastically): Well, let’s see, some posto, coconut, tiny bit of mustard, green chilli, garlic, ginger…
Mom (in the background): Garlic, yes but no ginger.
Me: No Ginger?
Dad: No ginger.

You get the idea. I got the recipe and made it the very same evening. The flavors of coconut, and posto with the sharpness of green chilli and the pungent mustard and garlic worked wonders for the shrimp. It was delicious. I steamed the mix in a cooker without the weight and it worked just fine.

Shrimp – 25- 30 uncooked
Fresh Coconut grated – ½ cup
Posto (khas khas) – 4-5 tbspoon
Mustard – 1 tspoon
Garlic – two cloves
Green chillis – 2
Panch Phoron – ½ tspoon
Turmeric – ¼ tspoon
Salt to taste
Oil to cook

Cook the shrimp with turmeric and salt till they are turn orange and spongy, but not chewy. It can be anything from 4-10 minutes depending on the shrimp.
Grate the coconut, posto, mustard, garlic and green chillis to a fine paste.
Heat a vessel you can also steam the shrimps in later. Temper the oil with panch phoron.
Add the masala and sauté for a couple of minutes till the raw smell goes away. Then add the shrimp, turmeric and salt.
In the meantime, boil some water in a pressure cooker. Once it starts boiling, put the pan in, close the lid and let it cook in the steam for 7-8 minutes.

Serve hot with steamed rice.


  1. u are so shellfish:) you ate all of that by yourself??
    i have new bengali (you people are everywhere) friend who needs to down some wine with the gang. lets meet soon.

  2. I didn't think coconut was typically used in Bengali preparations, My indication was that it was more Konkani or southern cooking.

  3. wow...this looks good and definitely would taste good too. I love chingri.
    A friend of mine has a similar version in the microwave, but more dry.

  4. Hi Mandira,yes ,shrimp is my fav too ,and I tell you ,I would have loved it for my noon meal with garam Bhaat ,lovely pics specially the sunlight beaming over the shrimp,so lively ..
    I have a quetion for you ,pls let me know how do you grate coconut ,thanks for your help in advance.

  5. What a coincidence...I was planning to make chingri malai-curry with shrimp shortly, but now this looks so good, I might have to change my mind to this recipe :D. because that looks delicious!

    How do you put that drop down menu for the labels in the 'recipes so far' section ?

  6. That looks fantastic! Shrimp and coconut goes well.Do Bengalis use a lot of coconut. I had a Bengali friend who described to me a dish that is made by piling coconut on top of the fish and steaming it. Do you know what that might be?

  7. Mandira,
    I really enjoy to see how people come up a recipe... yours definitely fills with family love! The gravy in this dish is what I'd die for!

  8. Soo delicious Mandira! Looks like soaked in coconut chutney!! Oooh, I can almost taste it!Good job girl:)

  9. Swati - We haven't been to your housewarming party as yet. When are you inviting us? :)

    Foodie jr - I think food uses ingredients that are readily available in regions. Coconut is used in bengali recipes whether it is cholar dal with fresh coconut or narkaler nadu (coconut laddus) and so on...

    Sandeepa - Thanks, I hope you will share your friend's recipe too!

    Mantu - thanks, I made it for dinner but had enough left for a nice lunch too :) I just buy frozen fresh coconut from Indian store. You can probably buy it in asian stores too.

    Mystic - Thanks, I hope you will enjoy it. If you send me an e-mail at ahaarmail@gmail.com, I can send you the html for it.

    Gini - Shrimp and coconut do go well. Bengalis use coconut in some specific recipes. In some dals, some fish and some sweets ofcourse. The process that you describe sounds like paturi, but I am not sure about piling coconut. I will check with my parents and see if they know about it!

    Gattina - Thanks. It does taste wonderful especially when it comes from parents, isn't it?

    Asha - Thanks, coconut chutney with more flavors too! Tasted wonderful.

  10. I love shrimp and this recipe! I'm going to have to try it! Thanks!


  11. yummmmoooooo.....shrimp is one of my favorite seafood and i cook it in different ways...but this recipe is quite new for me..shrimp and coconut is a perfect match..its a must try recipe..thanks mandira.

  12. Paz - do try and let me know how it turns out!

    Maneka - thanks, coconut with shrimp certainly enhances the taste.

  13. We make this in a much more elaborate way. Will try ur next time. Thanks.

  14. This is a simple recipe, easy to cook and delicious. Looking forward to your recipe Shaheen.

  15. Anonymous2:35 PM

    Hi, your recipe looks absolutely delicious. How do you make the mustard seed-coconut-posto paste? Do you have a 'shil-nora' like back home? Hoping for a response...

  16. Anon - I wish I had a shil nora...maybe I will bring one back this time... made it in my food processor. It works out great.

  17. Interesting. I have never made prawns/shrimp with posto. Your recipe looks pretty easy to make. I should try this since I have some coconut at home now.

  18. I love shrimp and this looks wonderful.


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