Recipe by: Sukanya Banerjee

Source: Family recipe

Serves: 4


  • ~ 500 g large prawns, heads off and deveined and some with the heads on for more flavor* (~ 1kg whole)
  • 1 Tbsp turmeric and 1 tsp of salt for the marinade
  • 1 large onion, in order to get ~ 5 Tbsp of paste
  • 2 Tbsp oil
  • 1 small tomato, chopped (optional)
  • 1 large clove garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tsp ginger paste
  • 4 Indian green chillies, slit
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 cardamoms
  • 2 cloves
  • 2 small cinnamon sticks
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • Salt, to taste
  • Sugar, to taste (depends on the sweetness of the coconut milk; I added 2 tsp)
  • ½ tsp grated nutmeg
  • 1 Tbsp ghee (optional)


*You can also remove all the heads from prawns and keep some for stir fry in order to give more flavor to the sauce. Then remove the heads before serving the dish.

  • Mix the cleaned prawns with turmeric and salt and keep aside for about ½ hour
  • Meanwhile grind the onion to a paste.Note: If your onion paste tends to turn bitter, saute the onions until translucent and then make the paste.
  • Heat oil in pan. Lightly fry the prawns and heads so they turn golden in color. As soon as the prawns turn a pale golden take them out.
  • In the same oil, add the chopped garlic and bay leaves, then cardamom, cloves and cinnamon.
  • Add the onion paste when you see the whole garam masala crackling. Continue frying the onion with a little bit of sugar till it turns brown in color or the oil separates from the paste.
  • Add the ginger paste, the turmeric , cumin and coriander powder. Fry till cooked.
  • Add the chopped tomato if using and a can of coconut milk , mix a little water (about 1/2 of the can) to clean the can, mix well and add it too.
  • Add red chilli powder, salt to taste and the green chillies.
  • Mix well and cook the gravy. The gravy tastes best when you simmer it a low heat for about 25-30 minutes.
  • When you see the oil surfacing on the gravy add the fried prawns.
  • Cook on low for some more time, till the gravy thickens and acquires a creamy consistency.
  • Before removing from fire, you may add a Tbsp of ghee and a sprinkling of nutmeg powder for more flavor.
  • If you prefer, remove the prawn’s heads before serving.

Download PDF version here: indian-chingri-maaacher-malai-curry-sukanya-banerjee