Chingri Malaikari Recipe: Prawn in Coconut Milk

Chingri Malaikari is a combination of tiger prawn cooked in mild spicy rich coconut milk gravy. The recipe is usually part of the formal Bengali lunch menu. It is also perfect for dinner parties.

The coconut milk is the name commonly given to the sweet liquid which is obtained by pressing the inner flesh of coconut ground and mixed with water or milk. Coconut milk is made by adding hot water or milk to a whitish pulp and fresh and dried minced, also called coconut flour or copra. It is said coconut cream if it contains a lower percentage of water.

The preparation of coconut milk can be done in a traditional way simply boil water in a metal container and add coconut powder and the dried flakes, let stand off the heat, stirring occasionally, and then separate the pulp from the liquid. The efficiency of this method is still very low, whereas more than half of the proteins and fats remain in the pulp.

Chingri Macher Malai Curry is considered as a signature dish from West Bengal. It is usually cooked on festive occasions It is among the ultimate Indian curries with an unforgettable taste.


Jumbo prawns: 4 pieces
Coconut milk: 200 gm
Small cardamom: 5-6 pieces
Cloves: 2-3 pieces
Cinnamon: 2 sticks
Red chili paste: ½ tsp
Ginger paste: 1 tsp
Turmeric powder: ½ tsp
Chopped green chilies: 4
Ghee: 2-3 table spoons
Sugar: to taste
Salt: to taste

Dressing the prawns:

Remove the skin, clean properly, but tails and heads on. Be sure to remove the hard sacks inside the head.

Coconut milk:

Make a mixture of dry coconut milk powder with plain water to a thick paste.


Heat a little ghee in a frying pan. Add the cardamom, cinnamon and the cloves. When it starts crackling, add the prawns and chopped green chilies, turmeric powder, red chili paste and ginger paste. Saute for a little while. Now add the coconut milk. Add salt and sugar. Cook till the prawns are properly done and the gravy thickens. Before removing from heat add a little ghee. Serve hot with steamed rice.