Bengali Shrimp
45 Min

Bengali Shrimp

On the east coast of India, previously known as Calcutta and the capital of the British Empire in India, Kolkata in the state of Bengal is known for its fish specialties and local fisherman pull myriad varieties of seafood off the Bay of Bengal. The Bengalis are known for their pungent fish dishes, wide use of mustard and a penchant for adding a touch of jaggery at the end. Mustard oil is widely used in curries and fish stews. Mustard oil has an almost horseradish like aroma so don’t be put off by it strong taste ~ when used correctly, it adds a tremendous depth of flavor to foods.
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Cook Time

45 Minutes



Step 1
Heat 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, 8 to 10 minutes.
Step 2
Then add the ginger purée, tomatoes, chile powder, turmeric, salt, and jaggery and simmer for another 4 to 5 minutes. Add the coconut milk and continue cooking until the mixture comes together as a wet masala.
Step 3
Just before serving, gently add the shrimp and cook for 2 to 3 minutes or just until the shrimp is cooked. Turn the heat off and let it rest for a few minutes. Garnish with herbs before serving.
2 tablespoons mustard oil
2 tablespoons ghee
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
8 to 10 kari leaves, chopped
1 cup minced onions
1 tablespoon ginger purée
1 cup canned chopped tomatoes
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon chile powder
1 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup coconut milk
1 tablespoon chopped jaggery
1 pound peeled and deveined shrimp with no tails
Chopped cilantro or herbs for garnish

Notes & Variations

  • Kari leaves, sometimes called curry leaves but not what curry powder is made of, are intensely aromatic with flavor notes of pine and lemon. They are delicious when fried or added to soups or stews.
  • Serve this shrimp curry with basmati rice or roti.
  • Substitute jaggery with brown sugar or plain sugar.
  • Replace shrimp with 1-inch pieces of firm fish.
45 Min

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