Prawns In Mustard And Coconut Sauce/Narkel Chingri

Prawns In Mustard And Coconut Sauce/Narkel Chingri
A quintessential Bengali Dish
Mustard, coconut and prawns always a firm Bengali favourite
Finished of with the quintessential mustard oil for that peppery zing!

Narkel Chingri is a quintessential Bengali dish with its roots deeply steeped in the regions culture, geography and natural resources. Prawns in a mustard and coconut sauce.

There is an unspoken love of all things made with mustard and seafood for bengalis. An inherited love through cuisine.
Just as mustard oil is the unsung hero off all Indian curries.

Cooking this narkel chingri gives the feeling off being home. The smell of embers and smoke. The smell of fish and mustard. Its the smell of a Bengali home. My home.

There are endless variations of this. Traditionally cooked with freshly ground coconut its hard to always recreate.
My mum bought back a little hand held gadget from India decades ago just so I could finely grate fresh coconut to make my curries authentic.

Alas the shoulders and elbows don’t allow me the luxury anymore!

So I have adapted it so it more chef friendly!
I use dessicated coconut or creamed coconut. The coconut milk provides the sauce.

It’s not far off from the original but it’s far more achievable for everybody.
I switched the oil to vegetable as its used more readily here. I have mustard oil for human consumption so I use that. But you can get the same mustard hit by simply drizzling a little mustard oil the end for that pungent aromatic zingy hit!

Narkel Chingri is eaten with rice, steaming hot boiled plain rice. It needs nothing else.

And there you have it. A lot of Bengali love served on a plate! Try it, the flavours of Bengal!


450g prawns, ideally raw.
165ml can coconut milk
3 tsp brown mustard seeds
4 green chillies to paste
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp chilli powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp Nigella seeds
3 tbsp dessicated coconut
4 tbsp Veg oil
1 tbsp mustard oil
2 dried chillies
1 tsp Salt
2 slit green chillies
1 tsp Sugar


Marinate the prawns with pinch of turmeric and salt. Mix well and set aside.

Ideally use raw prawns, I used cooked as that’s what I had in
Marinate with pinch of salt and turmeric

Place the 3 green chillies, desiccated coconut, mustard seeds, 5 tbsp of water with pinch of salt in a blender or magic bullet and blitz to fine paste. Set aside.

Place in blender
Add splash of water and blitz to fine paste

In a non stick pan heat some of the oil. When hot add the prawns and gently fry till they firm up. Remove the prawns with slotted spoon and keep aside.

Fry prawns
Just till firm then remove and set aside

Add the remaing veg oil and when hot add the nigella seeds, dried chillies, slit green chillies and wait till you can smell the aroma.

Add remaining oil
Add chillies and whole spice
Fry till aromatic

Lower heat and add the spices. Stir for about 30 seconds then add quarter cup of water. Add the salt and sugar, stir cover and cook untill the water evaporates and oil separates.

Add spices
Splashes of water and fry
When oil separates and water evaporates

Now add the blended mustard paste and cook this out on med low untill the oil separates through this too.

Add mustard paste

Next add the coconut milk, stir well and gently bring to a simmer.

Small can of coconut milk
Add coconut milk
Simmer till oil floats

Lastly add the prawns and all the juices in the dish. Rinse the dish with a little water and add to the pan, just a few tbsps. Now simmer to reduce the sauce, till the oil separates and floats to the top. The sauce should have thickened.

Add prawns
A little water
Gently reduce and thicken
Prawns should be tender

Taste for seasoning.

Drizzle with mustard oil and stir in. Remove from heat.

Drizzle with 1 tbsp mustard oil

Copyright © 2020 -2022 Papli Rani Dey
All Rights Reserved.

Serve with hot rice.

Serve with hot rice
Enjoy the flavours of Bengal

Copyright © 2020 -2022 Papli Rani Dey
All Rights Reserved.

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