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Shorshe Bhapa Chingri | Steamed Prawns in Mustard Gravy

Shorshe Bhapa Chingri | Steamed Prawns in Mustard Gravy

Bengalis along with the Malayalis know how to cook their seafood well. I remember falling in love with the mustard curry that they cook their fish in, the first time I tasted it at a Bengali friend’s house. I tried making it multiple times till I got the proportion of mustard right and since then I cook it regularly with rohu or catla fish at home. I love prawns. I really do. And, it was on one stray talk that my Bengali neighbour promised to show me a prawn recipe that was so simple that no one could go wrong with it. I have to give it to her. This is .a fool proof recipe, ready in minutes and delicious. Even a novice will be able to get it right.

shorshe bhapa chingri

So here is the recipe that I saw her make in her kitchen and later duplicated at home:


About 25 large prawns

2 tbsp. mustard seeds

1 tbsp. poppy seeds

250 ml. coconut milk or 1/2 fresh grated coconut

5-6 green chillies slit

3-4 tsp. mustard oil

1/2 tsp. turmeric powder

a pinch of sugar

salt to taste


Clean and devein prawns. Leave the tails on. Marinate them in turmeric powder and salt. Keep aside for 15 minutes.

Soak mustard seeds and poppy seeds in warm water for about 10 minutes and make a thick paste with a little salt and 2-3 green chillies. I steamed the prawns in a pressure cooker. You can use any steaming vessel. In a steel container, mix together the marinated prawns, mustard-poppy seeds paste, slit green chillies and coconut milk/grated coconut. Add salt and sugar and generously sprinkle mustard oil on top.

Now steam this container in a pressure cooker for about 10 minutes.

Shorshe bhapa chingri

That’s it. Your Shorshe bhapa chingri is ready to serve with some steaming hot rice. Enjoy this delicious gravy that has the punch of mustard complementing the sweetness of prawns. You will love it.


  • You can vary the quantity of mustard used depending upon how much pungency you enjoy. Bengalis like it more pungent. I have reduced the quantity of mustard seeds to my taste.
  • Don’t overcook the prawns. Keep their size in mind while deciding the steaming time. 10 minutes is right time for medium large prawns.
  • Using fresh coconut gives a thicker gravy. As I like my gravies runnier, I used coconut milk. Both taste great.
Fish in Coconut Milk Curry | Meen Moilee

Fish in Coconut Milk Curry | Meen Moilee

This is a recipe I’ve been making for years now. I first saw this recipe on a food show by Madhur Jaffrey and immediately wanted to try it. It is made with a few ingredients in a matter of minutes and is incredibly delicious. It is also versatile. Use any firm fish that you can find.

Meen moilee 1


500 gms. firm fish cut in pieces (mackerel, king fish etc.)

400 ml. coconut milk (Use fresh or tetra pack)

2 onions sliced

1 tbsp. minced ginger-garlic

2-3 green chillies (or less depending on your taste)

2 tsp. vegetable oil

1 tsp. mustard seeds

1/2 tsp. fenugreek seeds

1 sprig curry leaves

1 tsp. black pepper powder

2 tomatoes cut in eighths

salt to taste

Marinade for fish

1/2 tsp. turmeric powder

Juice of 1 lemon

1 tbsp. oil for shallow frying.


meen moilee 2


Marinate the fish pieces for about 15 minutes. Shallow fry it in oil and keep aside.

Take oil in a kadhai/pan. Tip in the mustard seeds and fenugreek seeds. Fry till mustard seeds have sputtered. Now add in the sliced onions, slit green chillies and  curry leaves. Cook for 2-3 minutes till transparent. Now add in minced ginger garlic and cook for a couple of minutes more.

Add in the coconut milk now along with the fish pieces. Add salt. Let it come to a boil and cook for 2-3 minutes more or till the fish is cooked. Lower the heat and add the tomatoes. Cook for about a minute more. Don’t let them get mushy. Taste and adjust seasoning.

Serve meen moilee hot with boiled rice. Simple and delicious.

Note: The traditional recipe of meen moilee uses coconut oil for cooking. But I skip that as I am not too fond of the taste of coconut oil.

Do watch the video of the same recipe:

Rohu in Bengali Style Mustard Curry

Rohu in Bengali Style Mustard Curry

rohu in bengali style mustard  curry

Golden brown pieces of succulent rohu (Indian carp) in golden brown, silken pungent, fiery gravy is the stuff dreams are made of. I took to fish very late in life. This mustard style curry that I’ve had at my Bengali friends’ houses, I’ve loved. I tried making it with recipes on the internet but somehow it never turned right. Either it was too pungent or too tasteless.

Many failed experiments, and I’ve finally come up with a recipe that tastes pretty good. Thanks to a Bengali friend who gave me some good inputs and also Sanjeev Kapoor recipe that I modified. So here you go:


8 pieces/fillets Rohu fish (ask for Bengali curry cut) (without head)

2 onions chopped finely

1 tbsp. ginger paste

1 tbsp. garlic paste

1 tbsp. mustard paste

4 tbsp. Mustard oil

1 tsp. mustard seeds

½ tsp. kalonji (onion) seeds

2 tsp. red chilly powder

2 tsp. coriander powder

1 tsp. turmeric powder

2 tsp. lemon juice

4-5 green chillies

chopped coriander to garnish

Salt to taste


First, clean the fish and marinate it with turmeric powder, salt and lemon juice and keep aside.

Heat 2 tbsp. of mustard oil and cook the fish fillets till they are golden brown. Keep aside.

To make the gravy, take the remaining mustard oil in the same pan. Heat it and add mustard seeds and kalonji. Allow them to sputter. Add in the onions and ginger-garlic paste and cook till the onions are golden brown and ginger garlic paste is assimilated.

You can make the mustard paste by adding a little warm water and blending it. Now add this paste to the onion, ginger-garlic paste. Cook for about 3-4 minutes. Now add chilly powder, coriander powder and salt. Add in a cup of water and the fried fish pieces along with slit green chillies. Cover and cook till the gravy looks well cooked. Taste and adjust seasoning.

Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot with boiled rice.

The gravy is slightly runny and goes well with rice. You will love this curry.



  1. Unless you’ve grown up eating mustard, keep the amount of mustard paste less when you cook for the first time. The pungency of mustard is not everyone’s cup of tea.
  2. Buy fresh fish. Check the eyes. They should look clear and transparent. You can use Catla (Bengal carp) or any other firm fish.

Let me know how it turned out.

Mangalore style crab curry

Mangalore style crab curry

crab curry These days, I am cooking a lot of sea food at home. Actually, I have almost stopped eating chicken, have it very occasionally. But, I relish my prawns and fish, though I don’t have the stomach for very smelly fish still. But, this is the first time I cooked crab at home. I have eaten crab with relish when I eat out. So, I decided to try it out. I tried this Mangalore style coconut curry that I’ve eaten at one of my favorite sea food places, Mahesh Lunch Home, in Mumbai.  Crab is really quite easy to prepare, and this curry took about 15-20 minutes to prepare. Of course, the crab was already cleaned and washed. I used two medium crabs which was about half a kilo.


2 medium-sized crabs (cut, cleaned and washed)

For the curry

1 large onion finely chopped

8-10 cloves garlic

2 tomatoes finely chopped

1 small ball tamarind immersed in some hot water and juice extracted

200 ml coconut milk

1 small coconut scraped

2 sprigs curry leaves

For the dry masala

1 tsp cumin seeds

1 tbsp. coriander seeds

1 tsp. mustard seeds

1/2 tsp. saunf

10 black peppercorns

1/4 tsp. fenugreek seeds

4-5 dry red chillies

2 tsp oil

salt to taste

coriander leaves to garnish

Recipe: To prepare the gravy heat oil in a pan. Add chopped onions and garlic and fry till transparent for about 5 minutes. Now add chopped tomatoes and curry leaves and fry some more till they are squishy. Now add the scraped coconut. Fry some more. Now add in the crabs along with the dry masala. Prepare the dry masala by dry roasting all the ingredients mentioned above and powdering them. Add salt. Cover and cook for about 5 minutes. Add in the tamarind juice and cook for 2 minutes. Now add the coconut milk to make a lovely thick curry. Cook some more on low flame. Taste and adjust seasoning. Now turn off the gas. Let the crab steep in the curry for some time to absorb the flavors. Serve hot after garnishing with coriander leaves with boiled rice. I was surprised at how tasty this was. The crab was succulent. The sweet flesh had soaked in the flavors so well. I can’t wait to make this again. Hope you enjoy this too.

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