Monday, July 23, 2012

Bhapa Chingri - Steamed Prawn Curry

Steaming is an ancient and healthy technique in practice from time immemorial to cook food. The
 benefit of steaming results not only in lowering fat content, but also helps retain the effective
 functional nutrients that usually go flushed out of the food when cooked on high heat or boiled.

The benefit of nutrient preservation makes steaming a popular cooking method amongst health
 conscious people. Steaming is done through a number of ways, using pressure cooker, a steamer or
 simply by placing a closed tiffin box inside a larger container with little amount of water around to
 create steam covered with a lid. Whatever means you choose for steaming rest assured that the
 turnout would be a healthy treat, yet tasty one, giving competition to your regular meals.

Steaming is popular in Bengali cooking. A selection of traditional authentic Bengali dishes including
the sought-after and lip-smacking Bhapa Elish, Dab Chingri are adored and savoured delightfully
 by Bengalis and Non-Bengalis alike all over the world.

Ingredients:                                     Cooking time: 35 minutes
ü  500 gm prawns (shelled and deveined)
ü  75 gm poppy seeds (ground into paste)
ü  30 gm yellow mustard seeds (ground into paste)
ü  5-6 green chillies (split lengthwise)
ü  1 tsp sugar
ü  Salt to taste
ü  Mustard oil for cooking
1) In a mixing bowl, mix together all the ingredients and place the mixture inside a tiffin box.
2) Snap the lid tightly onto the tiffin box and put it in a skillet larger in size containing a glass of water, sufficient enough to create steam.
3) Cook on medium heat for 25-30 minutes. The prawns inside the tiffin box will get cooked in the steam sourcing from the water in the skillet.
4) Enjoy the dish with rice.


  1. Hi, i've been visiting your website for about a week now and am really impressed by the wide variety of recipes... you seem to have covered almost the whole of india which is absolutely fantastic for people like me who have travelled round, eaten, but not had the experience of cooking various cuisines of the indian subcontinent. However, as i now live in a country where you mostly get frozen and cooked prawns i would like to ask you for some tips on how to prevent the frozen prawns from getting chewy in indian recipes?

  2. Hi, Suntala, thanks for stopping by...actually the problem of cooking with prawns is if you overcook them, they become chewy in texture. So I usually fry the prawns (frozen or otherwise) a bit in hot oil before cooking them...and make sure to cook the prawns not more than 5-8 minutes because prawns get cooked really fast.