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Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Echore - Chingri Dalna (Jackfruit Curry with Prawns - Bengali Style)

          This is an authentic Bengali homemade dish of green jackfruit cooked with potatoes and prawns. This humble veggie is very much popular among the Bengali crowd and is prepared in various ways, sometimes with or without peas, potatoes, prawns, mutton liver or fish head. 

          Adding of prawns, fish head or liver enhances the flavour of this dish. For a vegetarian version, they can simply be omitted and instead, vadi / dried lentil dumplings can be added. 

          It is cooked in a thick gravy consistency called Dalna with a tempering of whole garam masala, bay leaves, whole dry red chilies and cumin seeds. Onion and garlic may or may not be added but some potatoes are considered essential to go along with it. 

          It is sometimes cooked only with ginger and all the powdered spices for a pure veggie version. Some ghee added to the end product imparts a good aroma and is best relished with chapattis / parathas or as a side dish with rice and dal. Please find below a step by step guide to preparing it.

  • 1 small jackfruit,
  • 250 gms. prawns, cleaned and deveined
  • 1 potato, cubed
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp. ginger-garlic paste
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 1 tbsp. coriander-cumin powder
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp. red chili powder
  • 1 tsp. garam masala powder
  • 1" cinnamon stick
  • 2-3 cardamoms
  • 4-5 cloves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 whole dry red chilies
  • 1 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 3 tbsp. mustard oil
  • 2 green chilies, slit
  • 1 tsp. ghee (clarified butter)
  • 1 tbsp. coriander leaves, chopped & sliced onion to garnish

          Discard the skin of the jackfruit and cut into big chunks. Pressure cook along with 1/4 tsp. turmeric powder for 2-3 whistles. Drain and keep aside. When cool, cut into smaller pieces.

          Mix together the ginger-garlic paste, remaining turmeric powder, coriander-cumin powder, red chili powder and garam masala powder (except salt) with some water and keep aside.

          Heat 1 tsp. oil and fry the prawns till they changes colour. Drain and keep aside. Heat remaining oil and fry the potatoes till light brown. Drain and keep aside.

          Temper the same oil with the bay leaf, cumin seeds, dry red chilies, cinnamon, cardamoms and cloves.

          Add the onion and fry till light brown in colour. Now add the paste and saute till the oil separates from the sides of the pan. 
          Add the tomatoes and continue to fry till they are mashed. Then add the fried potatoes, fried prawns, boiled jackfruit, salt and green chilies.

          Combine well and add 1-2 cups water, depending on the consistency preferred. Cover and simmer on low flame till the gravy reduces and the potatoes are soft.

          When done, add ghee and serve, garnished with coriander leaves.

Discard the outer portion of the jackfruit & chop into big chunks.

Pressure cook, adding 1/4 tsp. turmeric powder for 2-3 whistles.
When cool, cut them into smaller pieces.

        Marinate the prawns with a pinch of salt & turmeric powder and saute 
in hot oil for a few seconds till the colour changes. Keep aside. 

Saute the potato pieces in hot oil till light brown. Drain and keep aside.

Heat remaining oil and temper with cumin seeds, whole dry red chilies, bay 
leaves, cinnamon, cardamoms & cloves.

Add the onion and saute till light brown.

        Add the ginger-garlic paste and other dry spices (except salt), mixed 
with a little water.

                           Add chopped tomatoes and continue to fry till they are mashed.

                          Now add the fried prawns, jackfruit, fried potatoes, green chilies 
                          and salt.

                          Combine well and add 1-2 cups water. Simmer, covered till the
                          potatoes are cooked and the gravy reduces. When done, add ghee
                          and serve.....

                           .....garnished with coriander leaves and sliced onion.

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