Kumro-chingri’r dalna is a warm, mellow, hearty Bengali-style prawn curry with some nutritious pumpkin thrown in for good measure.

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.


COOKING TIME 30 minutes
YIELDS 5 servings
CALORIES 155 kcal per serving


Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
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

Equipment

  • Kadai | frying pan (with lid)
  • Khunti | long spatula
  • A pair of scissors (for cleaning prawns)

Method

  1. Shell and devein the prawns as shown in this video. Coat them with ¼ tsp each of salt and turmeric, and set aside.
  2. Peel and cut the pumpkin in 5 cm cubes and potatoes in 4 cm cubes. Roughly chop the tomato and slit the green chilli.
  3. Make a slurry by mixing together the ginger paste, turmeric, cumin powder, and red chilli powder with 50 g water. Set aside.
  4. 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.
  5. Now add pumpkin chunks to the same oil and fry them lightly for about 4 minutes. Set aside.
  6. 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.
  7. Now add the fried prawns and pumpkin, and sauté them with the spices for 2 minutes.
  8. 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.
  9. Stir in the slit green chilli, just before turning off the flame.

Served with