Recipe of MOCHA CHINGRI
Print Recipe

Mocha Chingri (Recipe of Banana Flowers with Prawns)

Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: banana blossom, banana flower, bengali cuisine, bengali prawn recipes, bengali recipe, mocha, mocha chingri
Servings: 4
Author: Purabi Naha

Ingredients

  • 1 Big-sized Banana flower or Mocha
  • 1 kg Medium-sized prawns (deveined)
  • 2 Potato
  • Around 4.5 tsp Salt (divided)
  • 2.5 tsp Turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp Ginger paste
  • 1.5 tsp Freshly roasted and ground cumin powder
  • 1.5 tsp Cow Ghee
  • 12 tbsp Mustard oil for frying
  • 10 tbsp Mustard oil for cooking Mocha Chingri
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • 1 Cinnamon (1-inch)
  • 4 Green cardamoms
  • 4 Cloves
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin seeds
  • 2 Dry red chillies
  • 3/4 tsp Bengali Garam masala powder (toasted and powdered three 1-inch cinnamon sticks, around 20 cloves and around 12 green cardamoms)
  • Handful of Raisins
  • 2 tbsp Coconut (cut into very small pieces)
  • Around 1 tsp Sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Red chilli powder
  • 4 Slit, green chillies

Instructions

  • Marinate the deveined and washed prawns with 1 tsp salt and ½ tsp turmeric powder. Marinating the prawns for 20 min is enough, but even marinating it for upto an hour is fine.
  • After finely chopping the clean Mocha florets, immerse the florets in salted turmeric water immediately (1.5 tsp salt and 1 tsp turmeric powder). This is done to prevent discolouration (blackening) of the florets. Soak for three hours.
  • Drain the water and rinse a few times. Pressure-cook (one whistle) with 1 tsp salt and water just enough to submerge the florets. Open the lid immediately and drain the liquid. (Bonus tip: As this liquid has a lot of nutrients, I add this to various curries like Macher Jhol, Dal, etc.)
  • When the boiled mocha is cool enough to handle, mash it a bit with hand. Make sure that you don’t mash this finely. We just need some uneven mashing here, so that almost 60% texture is retained. 
  • Meanwhile, heat around 12 tbsp mustard oil. Add the potato, cut into medium-sized cubes. Sprinkle 1 tsp salt while frying. Remove the fried potatoes on a plate, lined with absorbent paper. 
  • In the same oil, fry the coconut until golden in colour. Also fry the raisins until puffed up. Remove in a bowl.
  • Discard the oil in which the potatoes, raisins and coconut are cooked. 
  • Wash the Kadhai and heat 10 tbsp of mustard oil. Reduce the heat to medium. Now add small batches of marinated prawns to the oil. Fry for 5 min, flipping once. Remove into a bowl. 
  • In the same oil, add the bay leaves, dry red chillies, cinnamon, cloves and green cardamom. Add the cumin seeds. The flame should continue to be at medium.
  • When the cumin seeds turn brown, reduce the flame and add a paste of turmeric powder, cumin powder, red chilli powder, ginger paste and salt. Sauté continuously until oil separates. 
  • Add the boiled Mocha, fried coconut pieces and fried raisins. Cook on a high flame for 10 min.
  • Add the potatoes and continue sautéing, until the Mocha releases some oil. At this stage, add the fried prawns (along with some residual liquid/oil that settled at the bottom of the bowl where you kept the fried prawns).
  • On a medium heat, continue cooking for 10 min. Add sugar, Bengali garam masala powder and slit, green chillies. Cook for 5 min, or until the sugar dissolves. Check for the seasoning. The dish should be slightly on the sweeter side. Adjust salt and sugar accordingly.
  • Now, mix the ghee properly into Mocha Chingri. Cover the lid and switch off the flame. Open the lid after 15 min and remove the Mocha Chingri into a serving dish. Serve this Bengali delicacy with steamed rice.