Sunday, 11 February 2018


This ├╝ber delicious Bengali style CHINGRI ALOO PEPER DALNA was due for sometime now. This raw papaya, potato and shrimps dry curry is a regular at our home and it was / is so in my side of the family. I do have a vegetarian version of a similar recipe already on blog.... and it seems to be the most viewed recipe of mine so far haha... I did cook it at my in-laws place too after marriage .... the paa-in-law indeed liked the very authentic, heirloom recipes I cooked but was not at the liberty to go public with the appraisal... be it protocol or to avoid unwanted storm in the household... haha... I do not know why Bengalis fight over "Epar Bangla Opar Bangla"..... East Bengal - West Bengal.... Both sides of my family hails from East Bengal but I do not find much similarities between the two families.... Two women's cooking style from the husband's side of the family mesmerises me... one was of his mother's deceased big sister ... "mashi's" cooking and the paa-in-law's younger brother's wife's.... "choto kakima's"..... Now I did not care about any protocol in my life and naturally became a cause of irritation to the tigress mother-in-law.... I did not see her taking much interest in cooking... she was too busy with social work, chatting and restaurant hopping. She got angry and more angry with me when I praised my man's sister's maa-in-law breaking all protocol... because I always feel what I do not have in me should be appreciated in others! Do you know the tall, slim mother of two athlete boys played in the national Volley Ball Team representing Tripura... I could not hide my excitement when I first visited their home and saw a photograph with her team .... no doubt her younger son will be a cricket coach in Salt Lake and the elder a trekker. Our mother-in-law always regret that none of her kid's spouses hail from Dhaka and have origin in Comilla and bases in Tripura..... but remember.... a son-in-law is always dearer than a daughter-in-law... you bet.... at least in our society! Anyway, I do not care about all these sitting far from home... in another home.... where people do not fight over "chingri-ilish"..... "football-cricket"..... "allah-bhagaban-god"..... people are busy earning a livelihood.... strategising life and savings.... living / life is expensive here.... worthless, sit-at-home people like me are very rare here. So I have enough time to cook elaborate, heirloom recipes as this CHINGRI ALOO PEPER DALNA often.

CHINGRI ALOO PEPER DALNA is a Bengali style, semi-dry dish done with shrimps, raw papaya and potato in addition to few regular spices. We always have it with steamed rice but it should go well with hot chapati or paratha. Cooking this semi-dry, non-vegetarian curry does not take much time  in my kitchen as I do not fry the potatoes and raw papaya pieces separately unlike the mother. The idea is to retain the goodness of the veggies used, if at all after using a generous amount of spices. Bengali cooking is not health prone.... they have a platter of "shorshe bata diye Golda Chingri, Pathar Kosha, Pulao, Sweet Chutney, Pantua and then a bowl of gorom, mota shor pora dudh".... what after?.... complaining of "gola, buk jwala, ambal"..... one may faint  at the sight of our food platter and we have to complain of acidity after having it.... There are exceptions these days for those who live abroad for a long time.... Saying so, I am trying to avoid any kind of argument because I hate it. How much I dislike it, I am living with a man who loves to argue at all times. Just like parents warn their kids how to behave in a party, I keep on repeating and urging the husband to keep his mouth shut in a gathering.... but in vein... he inherited it! We are born with our both parents' genes. I think why people have to be vocal about their opinion at all gatherings, he things otherwise.... best is to stop bothering and sit at a corner with a favourite drink.... that is what I enjoy.... "manly chat, womanly chat, talking too much over phone" does not give me any high ..... I do not even know what to do with me.... that teen girl is back within me who loved to lie down on the easy chair in their balcony with a book and eat, eat, eat. The brother still may be making fun of his lazy, fat elder sister who never went out for playing and always walked in slow motion... according to him.... Anyway.... it is CNY celebration here in a week.... I wished to share with the prawn / shrimp loving nation a heirloom recipe from the Bengal kitchen with smaller shrimps, potato and raw-papaya. There are right people to share recipes that matches Valentine Day celebrations, I do not find myself motivated enough however. With cholesterol crossing over the danger level, not really in the mood to draw and design heart shapes.... I am miserable in that area... fine artistry! Here is the recipe of CHINGRI ALOO PEPER DALNA.... which should be had with steamed rice or say flat breads.


Raw Papaya : 1medium 
Potato : 1big
Tomato Paste : 1/2small cup
Shrimp : 300-350gm
Ginger Paste : 11/2tbsp
Cumin Powder : 11/2tsp
Coriander Powder : 1/2tsp
Red Chilli Powder : 2tsp
Cinnamon Powder : 1/4tsp
Green Cardamom Powder : 1/4tsp
Cloves Powder : 2-3pinch
Turmeric Powder : 1/2tsp +1/2tsp +1/2tsp + 1tsp
Salt : As Required
Cumin Seed : 3-4pinch
Bayleaf : 1
Ghee : 1tsp [clarified butter]
Sugar : 1tsp [optional]
Oil : 2tbsp [We use mustard oil]


De shell, clean and wash the shrimps / smaller prawns thoroughly. Marinate with salt and 1tsp turmeric powder.

Peel the skin of the raw papaya discarding the two ends. Also peel off the inner layer having the seeds    after we have cut the raw papaya into 4 halves. My poor English does not allow me to use the correct terms at times... sorry readers.... You can still rely on my recipes though.

Now cut the peeled raw papaya further into smaller cubes. Wash and apply 1/2 tsp of turmeric powder and salt.

Peel the potato, cut into 8 pieces. Wash and rub with 1/2tsp turmeric powder and salt.

Keep all three marinated for 15 minutes or so.

Heat oil in a wok. Fry the shrimps lightly and take out.

Temper oil with a bayleaf and the  cumin seeds.

Take the ginger paste, cumin powder, coriander powder, red chilli powder, 1/2tsp turmeric powder and some salt in a bowl. Sprinkle some water and mix well.

Add the spice mixture to the tempered oil and stir for a minute. Add the tomato paste and stir further for a minute.

Now add the cubed raw papaya pieces, fold in well and stir for 2-3 minutes. Add the potato pieces and stir further for 2 minutes all at medium heat.

Add one coffee mug of water, lower heat to minimum and cover cook for 3-4 minutes.

Open cover and add the lightly fried shrimps. Fold in well and let cook at low heat for 2 minutes or so.

Now add the cinnamon, green cardamom, cloves powder, ghee and sugar to the already semi-dry curry and let cook for a minute. We are done!

Enjoy the aromatic, spicy curry either with steamed rice or flat breads!

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