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Monday, February 8, 2016

Prawn Butter Masala

In our last Kolkata visit my venerable Buria Pishi asked my daughter, what she’d like to have. My daughter asked for some butter masala without eluding to butter masals of what. Pishi cooked up this amazing prawn butter masala. I asked her for her recipe and she sent me this beautiful hand written note.
I followed her recipe and made some fantastic prawn butter masals (if I may say so myself Smile). Hope you get equal success.


  • 1kg tiger prawn cleaned and deveined
  • 2 medium onions chopped finely
  • 2 medium onions ground to paste
  • 2 tsp. ginger paste
  • 1 tsp. garlic paste
  • 100gms. cashew
  • 50gms. golden raisins
  • 50gms. chaar magaz
  • 1tsp. coriander powder
  • 1 tbsp. Kashmiri chili powder
  • 1 tbsp. turmeric powder
  • 1 lit whole milk
  • 1 tsp. Bengali garam masala powder
  • 3 tbsp. ghee (clarified Butter)
  • 1/2 cup refined oil
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • Salt to taste
  • Tempering
    • 4 whole dry red chilies
    • 2 large bay leaves
    • 4 green cardamom
    • 1" cinnamon
    • 4 cloves
    • 1/2 tsp. shahi jeera

In a grinder make a fine .paste of cashew, raisin and chaarmagaz with minimum water and keep it aside for later use.

In a mixing bowl take the cleaned prawns and smear them with turmeric powder and salt. Keep aside for about 15 minutes.
In a pan take 2 tbsp. oil and heat it. Add the marinated prawns and sauté. Lower the heat and keep it covered for a minute. You will find water releasing from the prawns. Turn off the heat and reserve the sautéed prawns along with its water.
Take another big clean pan and add rest of the oil along with 2 tbsp. ghee to it. Heat it up and temper it with whole red chili, broken whole garam masala, bay leaves and shahi jeera. When the spices stop buzzing lower the heat and add 1tsp. sugar to it. Soon you will see the sugar frothing. Immediately add chopped onions to it and fry on low heat till the onions turn golden brown.
Add onion paste along with the ginger garlic paste to it. Sauté till you see oil seeping out of the spices. In a bowl mix coriander and chili powder with little water to make a paste.
Next to go in are the reserved sautéed prawns along with coriander and chilii powder paste. Mix everything well on low heat for about 2 minutes. Add cashew, raisin and chaar magaz paste. Mix well. Now add about a liter of whole milk and give it a nice stir. Check the seasoning and adjust accordingly. Remember don't boil too long after you add milk. So adjust the quantity of milk depending on how much gravy you want.
Let the entire mixture simmer for about a minute or two.
In a small pan heat 1 tbsp. ghee and temper it with Bengali garam masala powder. Pour it over the gravy and turn off the heat. Keep it covered till you serve.

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