- 250 g prawns
- 300 g pumpkin (5-cm cubes)
- 150 g potatoes (4-cm cubes)
- 20 g tomato (roughly chopped)
- 35 g mustard oil
- 1 pc cardamom
- 1 pc cinnamon
- 1 pc clove
- 2 pcs dried red chillies
- 1 pc bay leaf
- ¼ tsp cumin seeds
- ½ tsp turmeric powder
- ½ tsp cumin powder
- ¼ tsp red chilli powder
- 15 g ginger paste
- 10 g salt
- 15 g sugar
- 1 pc green chilli (slit)
- 225 g water
The Bengali prawn and pumpkin curry, known as kumro-chingri’r jhol or kumro-chingri’r dalna, is a light preparation best made with small-sized (7–10 cm), fresh/live prawns (chingri). The curry also contains pumpkin (kumro) and potatoes in chunky cubes, which get juicy with the flavourful jhol. This is a Bengali-style dalna (curry), so it contains the usual suspects—whole garam masala, ginger, cumin, red chilli, and turmeric. However, the proportions of the spices here is dialled down to a great extent so as not to overpower the flavour of the prawns.
This kumro-chingri recipe is so quick to put together that it can be prepared on busy weekdays to go with some steaming, hot rice. If you like the idea of a hearty Bengali-style prawn curry, with some nutritious pumpkin thrown in for good measure, you must give this recipe a try.
- Shell and devein the prawns as shown in this video. Coat them with ¼ tsp each of salt and turmeric, and set aside.
- Peel and cut the pumpkin in 5 cm cubes and potatoes in 4 cm cubes. Roughly chop the tomato and slit the green chilli.
- Make a slurry by mixing together the ginger paste, turmeric, cumin powder, and red chilli powder with 50 g water. Set aside.
- Heat mustard oil in a pan until smoking gently. Drop the prawns in, straining as much water from the marinated prawns as possible, and fry them on medium heat for about a minute, stirring them often. Don’t overfry as that may result in chewy prawns. Drain from the oil and set aside.
- Now add pumpkin chunks to the same oil and fry them lightly for about 4 minutes. Set aside.
- Temper the oil with dried red chillies, bay leaf, cardamom, cinnamon, clove, and cumin seeds. Once they crackle, add the potatoes. Cover and fry them for 4 minutes. Add tomatoes. Fry for a couple of minutes before adding the spice slurry. Fry the spices on medium heat for 6 minutes until the raw smell goes away. If the pan becomes too dry, add a splash of water and continue frying.
- Now add the fried prawns and pumpkin, and sauté them with the spices for 2 minutes.
- Add 225 g hot water, as well as the salt and sugar. Cover and pan and allow the contents to simmer on medium heat for about 6 minutes until the potatoes are soft.
- Stir in the slit green chilli, just before turning off the flame.
- Kadai | frying pan (with lid)
- Khunti | long spatula
- A pair of scissors (for cleaning prawns)