Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Sungta PhaNNA Upkari - Hot and Sour Prawns

Ma’s face crumples up as soon as a spoonful of bland food lands on her tongue. She blurts out “Ekdom jhaal hoi ni” (Meaning – not spicy at all). I always cooked hot spicy food but have been compromising on chillies ever since Mannu Tammu began sharing our food. Ma, at several times, reminds me of my Annamma (grandma). My amma had a tough time planning what to cook. Everybody at home had diverse preferences. This was a dish Amma would prepare when Annamma would not be eating well due to sickness saying “Jibbe Ruchi Na” (Meaning – my tongue has become senseless). This would ignite Annamma’s taste buds and make her eat. I tried this trick on Ma once too but she didn’t even let her tongue taste it, leave alone igniting it. Reason? She is allergic to prawns. Kosha Mangsho is an all-time winner with Ma although she is allergic to Mutton too! (That’s called situational allergy he he)

Here goes the original recipe. However I, at times add cubed potatoes, just to give it that Bengali touch. I would suggest cooking this gravy in the morning if you wanna have it for dinner coz the standing times simply boosts the taste. Nevertheless, it tastes great even when had immediately.


Prawns – 1 cup, peeled, deveined and cleaned
Onions – 2 large, finely chopped
Tamarind extract – ½ cup
Green chillies – 2, slit
Red chilli powder – to taste (ideally the hotter the better for me)
Salt – to taste
Oil – 2 tbsp
Water – 1 cup

1. Heat oil in a pan. Add slit green chillies and chopped onions and sauté till they turn light golden in colour.

2. Add prawns and sauté on low to medium flame till they are well cooked.

3. Add salt, red chilli powder, tamarind and water.

4. Cook till the gravy achieves your desired consistency.

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