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Chingri Maacher Chatni (Sweet and Sour Bengali Chutney with Prawns)


  • Small prawns heads removed and de-veined: 750 g
  • Sugar: 2 tsp
  • Mustard seeds: 1/4 tsp
  • Salt: 1 tsp
  • Turmeric powder: 1/2 tsp
  • Paanch Phoron: 1.5 tsp
  • Cumin seeds: 1 tsp
  • Dry red chillies: 2
  • Mustard oil: 4 tbsp
  • Tamarind pulp: 1/2 cup
  • Warm water: 2 teacups


  • Marinate the prawns with half the amount of salt and turmeric powder, respectively, for 10 min. Lightly fry and keep aside.
  • In a “non-reactive” Kadhai, add oil and let it smoke. Add the mustard seeds.
  • When the mustard seeds sputter, add a mixture of tamarind pulp, sugar, rest of the salt, the remaining turmeric powder and 1/2 cup water.
  • When the contents of the Kadhai come to a boil, add the fried prawns and simmer the flame. Sauté for 2 min and then add the remaining warm water. Just bring this to a boil.
  • Sprinkle the freshly roasted and coarsely ground powder of cumin seeds, red chillies and Paanch Phoron. Give the contents of the Kadhai a good mix and switch off the flame.
  • Immediately transfer the Chatni into a non-aluminum serving bowl. Allow to cool at room temperature and serve it at the end of a Bengali meal, with steamed rice.
  • The _Chatni_is best consumed within a day. On standing for almost more than 24 hours, the acidity of the tamarind changes the texture of the prawns.