One of my personal favorites, this dish is not just special to me but to most Bengalis I know! A flavorful dish with shrimps (or prawns), cauliflower and potatoes! Comfort food, at it’s best.
Recently I posted on a favorite festival dessert ~ Suji Halwa ~ recipe is here. Why am I putting up these recipes now? Because it’s Durga Puja and I am a true blue Bengali. 🙂
But what is so special about this festival? Vir Sanghvi, an Indian print and television journalist has the answer for you.
“You can take the craze of Diwali in Delhi, Christmas in London, Summer Carnival in Rio de Janeiro, Valentine’s day in Paris and then add it to the month long madness of Olympic Games or the World Cup and cram all that into a span of 5 days and you still wouldn’t know what you are missing if you haven’t been in Kolkata during Durga Puja”
– Vir Sanghvi in the Hindustan Times
For me, Durga Puja is a five day fun-filled festival of food, family, friends, dressing up, pandal-hopping and a reverie in reality! And Kolkata (or Calcutta) comes alive with lights, colors, beautiful idols of the Goddess with her four children in exquisite and theme-based ‘pandals’.
Therefore, as this year the Puja starts, it seems, but imperative, to share an authentic Bengali recipe.
Ingredients you will need :
1 lb or 500 gms shrimp, cleaned and deveined
2-2 ½ cups cauliflower florets
2 big potatoes, peeled and cut in cubes (about 2 cups)
3 medium onions, finely chopped
2 medium (or ¾-1 cup) tomatoes, chopped
1 tbsp garlic, chopped
1 tbsp ginger, grated
2 tbsp green chillies, finely chopped (adjust accordingly)
½ tbsp coriander or dhania powder
½ tbsp cumin or jeera powder
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp paprika powder or kashmiri lal mirch
¼ red chilli powder
¼-½ tsp garam masala powder
4 tbsp (2+2) mustard oil
¾ – 1 cup water
Salt, according to taste
Method for cooking:
1) In a bowl, add the cleaned shrimps with salt, red chilli powder and half of the turmeric powder, mix well coating all shrimps with the ingredients. Leave aside to marinate for 10 mins.
2) In a cooking pan, heat 2 tbsp mustard oil and shallow fry the shrimps. Fry for 3-5 mins till shrimps change color to light brown. Remove from the pan.
3) In the same cooking pan, heat the remaining mustard oil. Add chopped onions, ginger, garlic and chillies with a pinch of salt. Mix well and cook while stirring till onions have some color to them.
4) Add tomatoes, remaining turmeric powder, cumin, coriander powder and paprika. On low-medium heat, mix well, cover and cook for about 15-20 mins. The more you cook this mixture, the more flavorful the dish will be! Stir occasionally.
5) To the cooked onion-tomato mixture, add the potatoes and some salt. Cook for 7 mins or so. Add the cauliflower florets at this point when the potatoes are half cooked. Stir well, cover and cook for 3-4 mins.
6) Add the shrimps and water now, stir well, on medium heat uncover and cook. Do not cover this as the florets might get overcooked. The water will boil and gradually the oil will come to the top. Add the garam masala powder at the end. The dish will come together when you see the sauce thicken and potatoes and cauliflowers cooked. Serve hot with steamed rice. It’s delicious!
Wherever you are, may you all have a joyous festival season this year!