Durga Puja Special: Prawn Pulao and crab in coconut gravy by Chef Debjani Chatterjee Alam
For Bengalis Durga Puja always comprise celebrating food besides fashion and fun. This is the time when almost everyone is busy exploring every nook and corner of the city gastronomically. Also, some of the most exotic recipes are tried at home, too. City food blogger and Chef Debjani Chatterjee Alam shares with Indulge two such exotic recipes comprising two eternal favourite seafood items in every Bengali household --- prawn and crab. Here you go:
Golda/ Bagda Chingri slow-cooked with rice till the rice absorbs the flavours. This dish is can be prepared during the puja to make the meal special.
Jumbo prawn 5 pcs (with the head and shell on but de-veined) |Basmati rice: 1 cup (150g) |Chopped onion: 1 cup | Ginger paste: 1 tbsp |Garlic paste: 1 tbsp | Green chilli: 4 | Turmeric powder: 1 tsp | Red chili powder: 1 tsp | Sahi jeera powder: 1 tsp | Nutmeg powder: 1/2 tsp |Bengali garam masala powder: 1 tsp | Sugar: 1 tbsp |Salt to taste |Bay leaf: 2 | Dry red chili: 2 | Cinnamon stick: 1 inch | Clove: 5 | Black cardamom: 2 | Green cardamom: 4 | Mace: a few strands |Ghee: 3 tbsp
Wash and clean the prawns with the head and shell intact. This dish calls for slow cooking with the prawn and hence the shell will help the prawn to not to turn chewy. The marrow from the prawn head makes the dish more flavorful.
Marinate prawns with 1/2 tsp each of turmeric and salt.
Soak rice in water for 15 minutes.
Heat the ghee in a deep bottom pan and temper it with bay leaf, dry red chilli, green and black cardamom, mace, clove, and cinnamon stick.
Add chopped onion and fry till the onion turns translucent in colour.
Add Prawns and fry along with the onion.
After 1-2 minute of cooking add ginger, garlic paste, turmeric powder, sugar, salt, sahi jeera powder, nutmeg powder,1/2 of the garam masala, and cook until the raw aroma goes.
Add soaked rice followed by green chilli.
After giving a nice mix cook till the rice turns glossy.
Keep the rice on the bottom side and top it with the prawns.
Now add boiling water to cover the rice plus one inch above.
Cover the pan with a lid and keep the flame on the lower side.
Cook for maximum 15 minutes or till the rice is properly cooked but not mushy.
Switch the flame off.
Serve Chingri Pulao hot and make your Pujo meal special.
Narkel Dudh e Kakra
When the crab aka Kakra is cooked with Coconut milk to the level of perfection; needless to say the end result is nothing but amazing. Narkel Dudh e Kakra is a Bengali delicacy and easy to make at home which for sure will make your pujo special.
Crab: 4 (body and legs separated) | Coconut milk: 2 Cup |Onion paste: 3 tbsp | Ginger paste: 1 tbsp | Tomato paste: 1 tbsp | Garlic paste: 1 tbsp | Green chilli: 4 | Turmeric powder: 1 tsp | Red chili powder: 1 tsp |Cumin powder: 1 tsp |Bengali garam masala powder: 1 tsp | Sugar: 1 tbsp | Salt to taste | Bay leaf: 2 | Dry red Chilli: 2 | Cinnamon stick: 1 inch | Mustard oil: 2 tbsp | Ghee: 1 tbsp
Wash and clean the crab chunks.
Marinate crab with half of the turmeric powder and 1/2 Tsp. Salt.
Heat the oil in a pan and lightly fry crab from both side and strain from the oil.
Temper remaining oil with Bay leaf, dry red chilli and cinnamon stick.
Now add onion paste and cook for 2-3 minutes.
Add Tomato paste followed by ginger and garlic paste and cook till the raw aroma goes.
Add green chilli as well and give it a mix.
Now add Cumin powder, turmeric powder, half of the garam masala powder, sugar and salt and cook till the oil leaves from the side of the mixture.
Add the coconut milk followed by 1 cup water and bring it to boil.
Now add crab and cook till the desired consistency reaches.
At this point add remaining garam masala and ghee and mix properly.
Serve it hot with your choice of rice/ pulao and make your Puja meal special.