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Chingri Bhorta: Spicy Shrimp Mash

 

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The smoky aroma of the fried garlic, ginger and brown, brittle dried chili peppers infused with the fried shrimps is what I would like to call  a shrimp lover’s dream.

 

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When I first saw this recipe in Pree’s blog, I knew this was for me. Then my cousin came by and amidst all the food talk, we started conversing about Bangladeshi recipes her MIL cooks. We naturally moved to “Chingri r Bhorta“… “Bhorta” or any Spiced Mash, is very popular in Bangladeshi cuisine: which is very very similar to Bengali cuisine but with some minor but unique differences. There are simple, heartwarming mashes made with vegetables or seafood. The process is simple. The flavors intense with a generous drizzle of mustard oil and crunch of raw onions and chili peppers.

 

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My maternal grandparents belonged to Bangladesh, and I grew up with a lot of recipes with strong Bangladeshi influence. However never did I have this lip smakcing mash of shrimps.

 

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I have been away from my blog for a long time now, savoring every minute with the kids and getting a zillions things done before school opens. All summer I cooked all day long, but hardly got a minute to photograph anything for the blog. Or to create a post. I hope that I am able to get back to the regular routine after they are back in school.

 

This is a very easy recipe to make and if you are a lover of all things shrimp and prawn like I am, you are going to  love this too. Over the few times I have made this, I have adapted Pree’s and my cousin’s recipe with some touches of my own like the use of the nigella seeds. The flavor of the nigella seeds works like magic with mustard oil and green chili peppers. But you can do this without the spice too!

Recipe Inspiration: “PreeOccupied’s Chingri r Bhorta“.

 

 

 Chingri Bhorta: Spicy Shrimp Mash
  1. 12 -14 oz shrimps/prawns, shelled, de-veined, washed and patted dry (any size is good: smaller sizes work better. I have used medium)
  2. 3/4 teaspoon kalonji/nigella seeds (optional)
  3. 4 red dried chili peppers (remove seeds for less spicy)
  4. 2-6 hot green chili pepper (adjust to taste and remove seeds and membrane if you want it less spicy), divided
  5. scant 1/4 cup chopped red onion + about 3 tablespoon more
  6. 1 heapful tablespoon finely chopped garlic
  7. 1 inch fresh ginger, julienned
  8. 3-4 tablespoon pure virgin mustard oil + 2 tablespoon pure virgin mustard oil
  9. fresh cilantro/coriander for garnish
  10. salt to taste

 

 

Method:

Heat 2 tablespoon mustard oil in a heavy bottomed pan. Add the nigella seeds and when they sizzle add the cleaned shrimp. Cook them just until they are cooked through and pink. Do not over cook. Remove them from the pan and place them in the blender or food processor.

In the same pan, add another 1.5-2 tablespoon mustard oil and add the dry red chillies and cook them until they start to brown.Now add half the amount of the green chillies, 1/4 cup onion, garlic and the ginger in the pan and cook them on low to medium heat until the onion, garlic and ginger softens. They should not turn brown. Once done, transfer the all the content of the pan (including the oil) to the same blender/food processor with the shrimp.

Pulse the blender/food processor to process the shrimp and the spices to a coarse and chunky consistency. It should NOT be a fine paste.

Remove from the blender/food processor to the serving bowl. Add the rest of the chopped onions, green chili peppers, rest of the mustard oil and salt. Gently toss. Garnish with fresh cilantro.

Serve over hot rice or as a side.

 

Preparation Time: 10 minutes

Cooking Time: Less than 15 minutes

Serves: 3-4 as a side

Difficulty Level: Easy

 

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