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Chingri Malaikari I Prawn Malai Curry Bengali Style

Fresh water prawns and coconut milk are used to cook this creamy Bengali style prawn curry
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Course: Main Course, Non Vegetarian, Side Dish
Cuisine: Bengali, Indian
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Servings: 3 people


  • 6 nos galda chingri jumbo freshwater prawns with a large head. (see recipe notes)
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 no medium sized onion
  • 1 no dried bay leaf
  • 3 nos green cardamom
  • 1/2 inch cinnamon stick
  • 4 nos cloves
  • 1 1/2 tsp ginger paste
  • 1 tsp Kashmiri chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp powdered Bengali garam masala
  • 3 nos green chillies
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp mustard oil
  • 1 tsp ghee
  • salt as per requirement
  • 400 ml coconut milk


  • Clean and wash the prawns as described above. Sprinkle 1/2 tsp turmeric powder and salt. Make a paste of one oinion. Use the juice of that onion in the prawn marinade and keep the rest for later use. They need to be in the marinade for 10 - 15 minutes.
  • In a kadai, heat the mustard oil and slowly slide the prawns one by one or two at a time. The prawns need to be cooked for half a minute. Once both sides have a little bit of colour, take them out and keep aside.
  • In the same oil, temper the following spices- dried bay leaf, one slit green chilli, whole cardamon, cinnamon and cloves.
  • Once the spices have released a beautiful aroma, add the leftover onion paste. Stir it for a minute and add the ginger paste. Over medium heat, keep stirring until the raw smell goes off.
  • Then add kashmiri red chilli powder, 1/2 tsp turmeric powder and sprinkle some water. Cook the spice for a couple of minutes and then add coconut milk. Add only 200 ml in the beginning and if you feel you need more gravy, add the rest of the coconut milk.
  • Add salt and sugar. Let the gravy simmer and cook for 5 - 6 minutes. Then slide the prawns in with all the juices which are left on the tray you have kept the prawns on.
  • Let the prawns simmer in the coconut gravy for another 5 - 6 minutes. Deepending on the size of the prawns, the cooking time will vary from 5 to 7 minutes.
  • By this time, oil would also start to release on top and then add more slit green chillies, ghee and Bengali garam masala powder.
  • Cook for 1/2 a minute more and turn off the heat. Serve chingri malaikari with steamed rice or pulao.


Fresh water jumbo prawns are called golda chingri and are found in West Bengal. You can cook with tiger prawns in case you cannot find these in your local market.