Thursday, August 8, 2013

Shim er Dana Diye Chingri - Prawn Curry with Hyacinth Seeds

How would you feel if you are away at your work and upon returning home find out that your home is not there anymore, but completely bulldozed by some goons into rubble with your valuables stolen by people? This is what I see have happened to a couple in India and it is utterly shocking. What more when the distressed couple went to file a complaint to police, the police refused to lodge a case. I wonder at times where are we heading? It is when we find ourselves in problem like this we begin to understand how the entire system is seeped in corruption. I myself have pretty bad experience while getting our passports done. The officials whose responsibility was to verify files and addresses of the applicants simply won’t do their job or delay the process intentionally unless you grease their palms. It is so pathetic. Anyone having gone through the process would acknowledge my pain.


Hyacinth seeds that we call shim er dana in Bengali have been a rarity here. I have been looking for hyacinth beans for over a year but to no avail. So I thought if the hyacinth beans are such a rare sight, hyacinth seeds would be a complete nonentity here but I proving me wrong I found one Bangladeshi grocery store selling hyacinth seeds and not only that my favourite pui shaak was also there. For me that finding had been similar to the experience of discovering a treasure trove. Just Amazing!

Ingredients:                                                       Cooking time: 30 minutes

ü  1/2 cup of Hyacinth seeds (boiled and peeled)

ü  250 gm of medium size prawns

ü  1 large potato (cut into cubes)

ü  1 red onion (ground into paste)

ü  5-6 green chillies (ground into paste)

ü  1 tomato (chopped)

ü  1 tsp ginger-garlic paste

ü  1 tsp turmeric powder

ü  1 tsp dry red chilli powder

ü  1 tsp cumin powder

ü  1 tsp coriander powder

ü  Salt to taste

ü  1 or 2 tsp sugar (optional)

ü  1 tsp cumin seeds

ü  A pinch of garam masala powder

ü  White oil for cooking


1) Heat oil in a wok. When oil becomes hot, add prawns and shallow fry. Take them on to a plate and keep aside. Into the same oil, add cumin seeds and wait till the seeds sputter.

2) Add onion paste and fry till onion turns translucent in color. Add green chilli paste and tomato. When tomato softens, add ginger-garlic paste, cumin powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder and dry red chilli powder. Sauté for 5-7 minutes.

3) Add hyacinth seeds or shim dana, sugar and salt. Add 1 cup of water and bring the gravy to a boil.

4) Add prawns and cook for 5-10 minutes till prawns are cooked through. Add a pinch of garam masala before turning off the heat.

5) Dish up with rice or fried rice. 

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