Chingri Malai Curry Recipe

chingri malai curry
Image credits: Wikimedia Commons

A classic Bengali prawn curry known as chingri malai kari, this dish is produced by cooking enormous bagda chingri or gigantic freshwater chingri in mouthwatering coconut milk sauce, which is then served over rice. This popular Bengali dish has a beautiful appearance, but don’t be fooled—making chingri malaikari is simpler than making chicken!

There is a two-fold connotation to the name of this recipe. “Malai,” which translates as “cream” in the local language, refers to the coconut milk base in which the seafood is smothered. Bengali cooks may have acquired this prawn dish from Malaysian merchants, so’malaikari,’ really refers to “Malay curry,” which has been translated as “malai curry” over time.

How to Make Chingri Malai Curry


–  1kg of tiger prawns

– 10 grams of ghee

–  200 grams of onion paste

– 20 grams of ginger paste

–  4 grams of turmeric

–    1 tsp of chilli powder, preferably red

–  75 grams of plain yoghurt

–   6 jalapenos

–  200 grams of second-press coconut milk

–    300 grams of first-press coconut milk (first-press)

–     36 grams of sugar

– Salt to taste, approximately 22 grams

–  ½ teaspoon of garam masala, preferably the Bengali variation

Method on How to Make Chingri Malai Curry

  • Devein the prawns, but don’t remove the head, which adds a lot of flavor. If you like, you may extract the prawn’s stomach, which is found near its head. You are free to remove the shells if you choose.
  • Set prawns aside after coating with 1 teaspoon of salt and half a tsp turmeric powder.
  • Add the onions to the grinder jar and pulse until they are a fine paste. It’s a good idea to retain a separate jar for the thicker and thinner coconut milk, which you’ll use later.
  • Add some vegetable oil to a pan and bring it to a boil. Once the oil is heated, add the prawns one at a time and cook them for 45 seconds on every side in batches. Prawns grow harder the longer they’re cooked, so take them off the fire as soon as you can and leave them aside.
  • Ghee should now be added to the remaining oil.
  •  Toss in dried red chilies, bay leaves, cinnamon, cloves, and cardamom to bring out the flavors.
  • Cook for around 8 minutes on a medium heat with onion paste and sugar.
  • Stir in the ginger paste and cook for a further 3–4 minutes before adding the turmeric and red chili powder.
  •  Make sure the spices don’t burn by stirring them often. 
  • Adding a dash of the second-press coconut milk can help loosen the mixture and make it easier to cook, as well. 
  • Salt and three slit green chilies should also be added to the mix.
  • Stir in the yoghurt after the oil has separated from the spices and until the yoghurt is lump-free. 
  • To keep the yoghurt from splitting, turn the heat down to low and whisk constantly. 
  • Cook for 4 minutes at a time.
  • Cook for 2 minutes with the thin coconut milk from the second pressing before adding the thick coconut milk from the first pressing.
  •  Add your prawns after the mixture reaches a boil.
  • Cook the prawns in the curry for approximately 6 minutes with the lid on.
  • Garam masala should be sprinkled on top before serving.


Can we use store bought coconut milk instead of fresh coconut milk?

Yes, either variation is suitable for this recipe.