This is a traditional Bengali style chingri mach (prawn) curry. The otherwise boring bottle gourd made interesting with prawns/shrimps. This is an age old recipe and one of the stars of Bengali non-vegetarian kitchen. Interestingly, though it is a non-vegetarian dish, it contains absolutely no onion or garlic. A truly mild comfort dish which is full of flavours and goes amazingly well with rice. This dish is one of my all time favourites and can act both as side dish and main dish.
Maa cooks amazing Lau Chingri. Actually, what I feel is that, all the Bengali no onion-no garlic dishes are Maa‘s speciality. She cooks each one of these dishes so so good. Speaking of Lau Chingri, this has always been a family favourite. Growing up, I have never seen Baba liking chingri mach and he still does not like it much. There are very few chingri mach dishes that Baba relishes and Lau Chingri is one of them. I, on the other hand, love chingri mach and I relish each and every dish that has it. Luckily, my husband loves it too and this dish in particular, is both of our favourite.
I cook it just the way I have seen Maa cooking it. This is easy to make and a total non-fussy dish. Also, if you don’t like the taste of bottle gourd just like me and always search for a trick to make this vegetable interesting, Lau Chingri is surely for you then. Since this is a dry curry, people sometimes want to have it with Dal (lentil soup) as a side dish. I always treat it as a main dish and can have a complete meal just with this curry.
No extra water needed to be added to it while cooking as bottle gourd contains enough water to get it cooked. Also, prawns get cooked very easily and becomes chewy if overcooked. Do not overcook the prawns. Here’s the recipe for you all and I hope you like it.
- 400 gm prawn / shrimp, cleaned
- 1 bottle gourd, peeled and chopped into small pieces
- 1 tomato, chopped
- 5 green chilli, slitted
- 1 table-spoon grated ginger
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 dry red chilli
- 1 tea-spoon cumin seed
- 1/2 tea-spoon turmeric powder + few pinches
- 1 tea-spoon coriander powder
- 1 tea-spoon cumin powder
- 1/2 tea-spoon red chilli powder (optional / adjust to tolerance)
- 3 pinch garam masala powder
- 1/2 tea-spoon sugar
- 3 table-spoon mustard oil + some more to fry prawns
- salt, according to taste
- Rub the prawns with little turmeric powder and salt and fry lightly in some oil for 2 minutes approx. Remove and keep aside.
- Heat oil in a pan and temper with bay leaf, dry red chillies and cumin seed. Allow them to splutter.
- Add grated ginger and stir until the raw smell goes off completely.
- Add tomato, turmeric powder, cumin powder, coriander powder and red chilli powder. Sprinkle little water and stir until tomato becomes somewhat mushy.
- Now, add bottle gourd, green chilli and salt. Give a proper mix and cover. Over low to medium flame, cook until the bottle ground is properly done.
- Once the bottle ground is well cooked, add fried prawns and mix well.
- Cover and cook for another 5 minutes. Do not overcook.
- Open the lid and if you see that moisture still remaining, over high flame stir and cook till water evaporates.
- Sprinkle sugar and garam masala. Give a nice mix. Turn off the flame. Cover and let it rest for 5 minutes.
- Your Lau Chingri is ready to be served now.
Serve with piping hot rice and enjoy this authentic Bengali delicacy. Do drop me a comment giving your feedback about this recipe. You can also tag me on Instagram using the handle @when_a_bong_cooks.