Bengali Shrimp

Kolkata is known for its fish specialities and local fisherman pull myriad varieties of seafood off the Bay of Bengal. Mustard oil has a strong yet delicious flavor so use it sparingly.

Serves 6  |  45 minutes


2 Tbsp mustard oil 

2 Tbsp ghee

1 tsp cumin seeds

8-10 kari leaves, chopped

1 cup minced onions

1 Tbsp ginger puree

1 cup canned chopped tomatoes

1 tsp ground turmeric

1 tsp chili powder

1 1/2 tsp salt

1 cup coconut milk

1 Tbsp chopped jaggery


1 lb peeled and deveined shrimp with no tails

1 cup chopped cilantro


  1. Heat up the mustard oil and ghee in a saucepan and pop the cumin seeds. Lower the heat and add the kari leaves and minced onions and cook just until the onions are translucent - this will take around 8-10 minutes.

  2. Then add the ginger puree, tomatoes, chili powder, turmeric, salt and jaggery and simmer for another 4-5 minutes. Add the coconut milk and continue cooking until the mixture comes together as a wet masala.

  3. Just before serving, gently add the shrimp and cook for 2-3 minutes or just until the shrimp is cooked. Turn the heat off and let it rest for a few minutes. Garnish with cilantro and serve. 

  • ideas / variations

    • Serve with basmati rice or a roti. 

    • Substitute jaggery with brown sugar.

    • Replace shrimp with one inch pieces of firm fish.