Chingri posto is a Bengali delicacy which is a perfect fusion of vegetarian and non-vegetarian flavors and is every prawn-lover’s dream!
Posto is an exquisite Bengali preparation primarily with vegetables, mainly potato, but today I am having my take on the perfect fusion dish called chingri posto. Chingri posto is essentially the fishy (or shall we call ‘seafoody’?) version of our Bengali classic aloo posto where the vegetarian dish is amped up by adding our favorite chingri a.k.a. prawns to suit the fish-loving Bengalis’ palate! Posto is one such gem of Bengali cuisine which has the potential of turning the blandest of food into the tastiest one; now imagine what posto could essentially do to something which is delicious in itself! Yes, I mean prawns which are super-tasty in itself; hence the chingri posto had to turn out freaking awesome, isn’t it?
Chingri posto is a delightful combination of posto and prawn which would be an unforgettable dish once you try it for the very first time. The flavors of prawns and posto i.e. poppy seeds paste mingle with each other beautifully creating this most amazing dish called chingri posto, which is best served with plain warm rice accompanied with a flavorful dal. That will be the picture-perfect comfort food for any Bengali on any given day!
This blog of ours is quite heavily dominated by Bengali recipes which I believe is expected as we both belong to the Bengali community and had been raised in the most typical Bengali way possible. Our moms’ kitchens churned out ample Bengali delicacies that we were brought up with and I love to share them here with you all. And also, I would like to establish the fact that Bengali food is not all about fish! We have numerous vegetarian preparations which are equally mind-blowing as our non-vegetarian counterparts.
In know that my today’s chingri posto recipe is not a vegetarian dish to offer, but you can take a look at my recipe of mochar ghonto or potol posto or shada aloor torkari. There are many more scrumptious Bengali dishes which will eventually appear here and delight you guys as they have been delighting us since ages. Posto is a personal favorite of mine, be it in the vegetarian and non-vegetarian version. Prawns are definitely the added bonus in a chingri posto especially for a freaking prawn-lover like me! Try this easy recipe of chingri posto and I am sure you will fall in love with this Bengali classic instantaneously!
- Chingri/prawn/shrimp – 300 gms, about 12 to 15 medium-sized prawns
- Potato – 2, medium, peeled and cut into 1-inch long pieces
- Onion – 2, medium, sliced thinly
- Poppy seeds – 6 tbsp
- Mustard oil – 4 tbsp
- Kalonji/onion seeds – ½ tsp
- Green chili – 2, slit lengthwise
- Turmeric powder – 1 tsp
- Red chili powder – ½ tsp
- Sugar – ½ tsp
- Salt to taste
- Soak poppy seeds in plain water for 30 minutes. Then drain and grind it to a smooth paste using minimal water. The thicker the paste is, the better. Set the poppy seeds paste or posto aside.
- Remove the heads of the prawns. Also peel them keeping only the tails intact for a nice presentation. Devein, wash and drain all the waters from the prawns. Sprinkle half a teaspoon each of salt and red chili powder, toss the prawns to coat well.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of mustard oil in a kadhai. Once the oil is hot, add the cut and washed potatoes to the kadhai. Fry the potatoes on medium flame until they turn golden brown, about 6 to 8 minutes. Take them out and set aside.
- Next add another tablespoon of oil to the kadhai. Once the oil is hot, tip in the prawns. Cook the prawns for couple of minutes or until they turn pink. Then flip them over and cook for another 2 minutes or until they turn opaque on all sides. Take them out and set aside.
- Add the remaining mustard oil to the same kadhai. Temper the oil with kalonji and green chilies. Let them crackle and become fragrant for few seconds. Keep the flame on medium to avoid burning the onion seeds.
- Add the sliced onions. Sauté the onion on medium flame until they turn golden brown and translucent. It would take about 6 to 8 minutes.
- Then add all the poppy seeds paste or posto to the kadhai; you can add a little water if the paste is too thick and starts to stick to the kadhai. Add the turmeric powder.
- Fry the posto on low flame for 5 to 8 minutes or until the paste turns golden brown and oil starts to separate from it.
- Once the posto is nicely fried, drop in the fried potatoes. Add about ½ to ¾ cup of water. Add the sugar and season with salt to taste.
- Once the water comes to a boil, add all the sautéed prawns along with all the juices which might have oozed out from the prawns. Carefully stir everything to mix using a spatula.
- Now cover the kadhai and simmer on low heat for 5 minutes to allow all the flavors to come together.
- After about 5 minutes, uncover the kadhai and check for the doneness of potatoes. They should be all tender and cooked through by now and most of the water should have been absorbed. This chingri posto is a dry dish with the posto i.e. poppy paste clinging to prawns and potatoes.
- Switch the flame off and drizzle half a tablespoon of mustard oil for that final pungent kick. Serve chingri posto with plain white rice and a bowl of warm dal. Enjoy!