Bengalis love all kinds of fish, but they adore seafish especially Shrimp/Prawn. Lots of our fish delicacies are cooked with shrimp. It is because shrimp makes any dish much tastier when cooked alone.We cook shrimps or medium sized prawns with possible all vegetables, like bottle gourd, arbi/taro roots, radish, green papaya, yam and many more. Bigger sized prawn or Tiger Prawn are cooked alone normally. Bengalis love prawn any way you serve. I already posted Prawn with elephant foot Yam or Ol Chingri recipe earlier. Today I'll post two recipes of prawn, Prawn cooked with bottle gourd(Lau in bengali) or Lau Chingri and prawn cooked with Taro roots(Kochu in bengali) or Kochu Chingri.
1) Lau Chingri or Prawn with Bottle/White Gourd
Lau/lauki/white/bottle gourd : 1(medium)
Prawn(small/medium) : 14-15 pieces
Tomato : 1(small-chopped)
Ginger : 1"(grated)
Green chilli : 1(slitted)
Bay Leaf : 1
Cinnamon stick : 2 (small)
Jeera/Cumin seeds : 1/2 tsp.
Turmeric powder : 2 tsp.
Red chilli powder : 1/2 tsp or adjust to your test.
Jeera/cumin seed powder : 1/2 tsp.
Salt to taste
Sugar : a pinchOil : 2-3 tblsp
How To :
- Wash and marinate shrimp pieces with a pinch of salt and turmeric powder. Keep them aside for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, peel lau/lauki/bottle gourd and chop in very small pieces. Large chunks won't taste great in this dish. So take your time and chop finely.
- Heat 1 tblsp. oil in a pan, shallow fry the shrimps lightly on both sides in medium flame. DO NOT fry longer than 2 minutes on both sides. Keep them aside. Do not make the curry in the same oil where you fried the fish.
- Take another pan, heat rest of the oil, temper with the tempering ingredients. When cumin seeds start to splutter, add finely chopped tomatoes and slitted green chilli. Saute for a minute until tomatoes get pulpy, then add chopped lauki or gourd. Gourd may release some water, so wait until all water evaporates.
- Then add salt, all powdered spices and grated ginger. Stir to mix everything evenly. Add fried shrimp pieces and coat well with the spices. Add little water, about 1/2 a cup, as lau cooks real fast and it also releases water while cooking. Then cover the lid and let it cook in medium flame.
- Open the lid and check time to time and give it a stir. When water almost dries up and vegetables are well-cooked and kind of mushy, add a pinch of sugar, adjust seasoning. Dry up all the moisture stirring continuously. Garnish with coriander leaves.
- Lau Chingri is ready to serve with piping hot rice. A truly delicious meal...........
Colacasia is a plant grown for its root vegetable, known as Taro or Arbi/Ghuiya in Northern and western part of India and Kochu in Bengal and eastern part of India and Patra in Gujarat. Taro root looks from outside like a potato, but has a hairy outer coating on its surface just like on a coconut shell. Taro roots can be used as an alternative to potato. Taro roots are very nutritious as they are very high in starch and are a good source of easily digestable dietary fibre. Its stems and leaves are also cherished in all over India. The tube like stems are used as a starch staple in India. Taro leaves are rich in vitamins and minerals.
In Bengal, we use this root vegetable extensively in veg. and non-veg. preperations like in fish dishes with Prawn. Another favorite relish of Bengal, Kochu shager ghonto,(which is one of my favorite dish & my mom always makes it whenever I visit her) made from the stems of this plant.
But you have to careful before buying taro roots. Choose more whiter ones(as shown in the picture) than dark gray or blackish ones. As whiter ones cook faster than the blackish ones. And when cooking with stems and leaves, One must put oil on both hands as some leaves and stems are acidic and cause scratching.
You need :
Shrimp(medium) : 12-15 pieces (Frozen or fresh)
Taro roots/arbi/kochu : 5-6 pcs.
Onion(medium) : 2 (chopped)
Ginger-garlic paste : 2 tblsp.
Chopped tomato : 2/3 cup
Green chillies : 2 (break in half)
Turmeric powder : 3 tsp.
cumin powder : 2 tsp.
Coriander powder : 1 tsp.
Chilli powder : 2 tsp. (adjust to your taste)
Sugar : 1 tsp.
Salt to taste
Oil(preferably mustard oil) : 3 tblsp.
Bengali Garam masala powder : 2 tsp.(Grind 2 cardamoms, 3 cloves & 1(1/2") cinnamon stick)
Bayleaf : 1
Cardamoms 2, cloves 3 & Cinnamon stick 1(1")
How To :
- Cut taro roots/arbi in medium cube like chunks. If using frozen clean shrimps, then defrost, wash the shrimps well. If using fresh shrimps, then remove the hard shell, devein them and then wash properly. After washing marinate the shrimps with 1 tsp. of turmeric powder and a pinch of salt. Keep them aside for 10 minutes.
- Lightly shallow fry the shrimps until golden brown on both sides. Do not fry them for long time, then it tends to get hard and rubbery.
- In another pan, heat rest of the oil, add the tempering ingredients, wait for them to splutter, then add chopped onions and sugar. Fry onions until brown, then add ginger-garlic paste.
- Stir for 2-3 minutes, then add arbi/kochu, chopped tomatoes and green chillies. Stir until tomatoes get pulpy. In a bowl, mix all powdered spices with 3 tblsp. of water and a pinch of salt. Pour in the pan, mix and stir until oil seperates from the spices.
- Add fried shrimps now and mix well with the spice paste. Pour about 1 cup of water. Close with a lid and in medium flame let it cook. When gravy dries up and arbis are cooked, check the seasoning. Take the pan out of heat and sprinkle garam masala powder over it.