A nuclear family with working parents and a super supportive toddler, where the momma bear is a food blogger herself apart for working full time for the development sector and the daddy dearest is an architect and our story is typically like several other families who crave for quality time spending with each other. We though want to spend more and more time with the little one but we couldn’t able to do so and that is probably the reason our Sundays are just for the family. Family lunch with comfort food is what we crave almost every Sunday at my place followed by afternoon sleep with the little munchkin. In my case, after having food outside home almost more than three times a week, thanks to the restaurant review I do, I couldn’t feel like having anything but homemade comfort food for Sunday lunch and Husbandman has always been fond of homemade food; while the little one enjoys her exclusive time with us on Sundays. I prefer to cook on Sundays and not to mention, those are mostly comfort food. A simple lunch arrangement with boiled Rice, Daal, may be Macher Jhol or Mangsher Jhol is something I prefer and our lunch always started with a Bengali dish like Shukto or Shak bhaja or Bhorta. With this post, I am going to share the recipe of Shutki Chingri Bhorta (Dried Prawn Paste) which is a famous Bengali dish and goes amazing with plain rice.
A mash or pureed dish ( it can be prepared with vegetables or fish or even with meat) is known as Bhorta or Bharta. You can check the recipe of Baingan Bharta here.”Bharta” it is north Indian and when it is “Bhorta” it is so very Bengali! Well, be it Bharta or Bhorta, the mash dishes are unique to Indian and Bangladeshi cuisine and I personally am a fan of the mash dishes. By birth, I am “Ghoti” (well, Bongs having the origin in West Bengal) but the recipe I am going to share today is something a Bangal (Bongs having the origin in Bangladesh) can strongly relate; and obviously a Bhrota for sure. “Shutki Mach” or dry fish is immensely popular among Bangal community as well as in Bangladesh however, people like me who are the true blue lover of Bengali food also cherish their portion of Sutki Mach as well. In my North Calcutta residence, Shutki Mach is a strict no no till date. When I was in college followed by in university I used to request my friends to bring “Shutki Mach” for me however, these days I prepare it at home and not to mention enjoy every bit of it with a spoonful of rice. Mehebub loves his portion of Shutki Bhorta and his favorite is Shutki Chingri Bhorta (Dried Prawn Paste) and mine too.
Coming to the recipe, Chingri Shutki Bhorta is prepared with very basic ingredients and obviously, Chingri Shutki or Dried Prawn is the main ingredient apart from onion, garlic, chili and a few spices.
- Chingri Shutki/ Dried Prawn (small size): 250g
- Onion: 4
- Garlic Paste: 1.5 Tbsp.
- Ginger Paste: ½ Tsp.
- Green Chili: 3-4
- Dried Red Chilli: 2
- Salt: to taste
- Mustard Oil: 2 Tbsp. + 1 Tsp.
- Lemon juice: 1 Tbsp.
- Dried Prawns need to be cleaned thoroughly before cooking. Wash under running water for 2-3 times followed by washing the shrimps in a bowl full of water.
- Now strain water from the prawns using your hand; as much as you can.
- Chop onions roughly.
- Heat oil in a wok and fry half of the onion crisply to make "Piyaj Beresta" (fried crisp Onion) and leave those aside.
- Now in the same oil fry, two dried Red chilies with the stem on for a minute or till the chillis change color and strain from the oil and leave aside.
- Now add washed dried prawns in the remaining oil and start sauteing till water evaporates completely and the prawns started emitting aroma.
- Now add remaining chopped onion, ginger and garlic paste and 2-3 green chilies and cook for 8-10 minutes in low flame till the prawns along with onion cooked properly after adding salt.
- Now switch the flame off and give the fried prawn a rest of at least 15 minutes to cool it down properly.
- Take cooked prawns along with friend onion, fried red chili and a dash of lemon juice along with little mustard oil in a mixer grinder and make a smooth paste of it.
- Instead of mixer grinder, traditional "Shil Nora" or Shil Batta" can also be used.
- You can serve the Shutki Chingri Bhorta or Dried Prawn Paste as it is with rice or can make small balls out of the paste like I did and serve with steamed rice with a side of green chili and a piece of lemon.