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Daab Chingri » Simple and Healthy Recipe! ✅

Daab chingri, or literally shrimp cooked in coconut, is a celebration of Bengali cuisine. Made with quintessential ingredients for coastal Bangladesh and East India, this dish is arguably simple to prepare.

Slow-cooked shrimp in a rich sauce inside a whole coconut makes for a more tender, buttery texture. The lid on the batter keeps the steam inside, which gives the shrimp a lot of flavor. As you can imagine, choosing the right pan is perhaps the most important step. Shelled young coconuts can be found in specialty supermarkets and in most whole foods. And if you can’t find them in either place, depending on where you live, many Vietnamese and Thai restaurants sell whole baby coconuts, usually listed in the “drinks” section. No matter where you get them, make sure the coconuts do not have cracks on the surface, this is an indication that the fruit has aged. A handy trick when picking them up is to shake them a few times: you’ll want to feel little to no sloshing, which ensures a meaty, jelly-like interior. If you hear a splash, it means that the water inside the coconut is shrinking and starting to dry out.

As for the flavor inside the coconut, black mustard seeds and mustard oil give daab chigri its delicious kick, and panch phoron, a Bengali spice mix of fenugreek, nigella, cumin, mustard and fennel seeds, lends it gives off its wonderful aroma. Almost every grocery store in South Asia sells panch phoron (although you can even make your own!), as well as mustard oil from South Asian brands. Note: The FDA recommends against consuming most brands of mustard oil due to their high levels of erucic acid. Yandilla has exceptionally low levels of erucic acid and is food grade in the United States, but if you prefer not to go that route, extra virgin olive oil works too. —Anikah Shaokat

This post features products independently chosen (and loved) by our editors and writers. As an Amazon Associate and Skimlinks Affiliate, Food52 earns an affiliate commission on eligible purchases of products we link to. – Publishers

ingredients
  • 1 pound large shrimp, peeled, tails and tails removed

  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric

  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander

  • 3 teaspoons kosher salt, divided

  • 2 young coconuts

  • 3 garlic cloves

  • 1 medium shallot

  • 1 inch fresh ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped

  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar

  • 2 teaspoons of black mustard seeds

  • 1/2 cup whole coconut milk

  • 1/4 cup coriander leaves

  • 6 to 8 green Thai chilies, divided

  • 3 teaspoons mustard oil (or 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil), divided

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoon panchphoron

  • Cooked rice with jasmine or basmati, to serve

  • lime wedges, to serve

Indications
  1. Heat oven to 400°F.

  2. In a medium bowl, combine shrimp, turmeric, cilantro, and 1 teaspoon salt. Mix well, cover and refrigerate while you prepare the other elements.

  3. Lay the coconut on its side on a dry, sturdy surface. Using a sharp chef’s knife, shave the remaining white shell around the tip of the coconut until you see the brown inner shell. Use the tip of the butt of the knife to split open the coconut when you make a hole about 2 inches wide. The shell is quite thin, so a few taps around the tip should allow you to crack it open. Pour the coconut water into a measuring cup and reserve for later. Repeat with the second coconut.

  4. Using a large spoon or ice cream scoop, scrape out the coconut meat from both coconuts. The texture of the flesh varies from gelatinous to firmer depending on the age of the coconut: the younger, the softer it will be. Transfer the shells to a rimmed baking sheet and set aside. Chop ¼ cup meat and set aside (snack on the rest).

  5. To make the sauce, add the garlic, shallot, ginger, lemon juice, sugar, mustard seeds, coconut milk, cilantro, ¼ cup of the reserved coconut water, 2 to 3 chilies ( depending on your preferred spice), 1 teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon mustard oil (or 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil) in a blender. Blend until smooth.

  6. To create the dough tops, combine the flour and ½ cup of water and mix with your hands to form a dough. Divide the dough into two equal disks and, on a floured surface, roll out into ¼-inch-thick disks large enough to cover the tops of the coconuts. Place the discs on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and cover with a kitchen towel.

  7. In a large skillet, heat 2 teaspoons mustard oil (or 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil) over medium-low heat. Add the panch phoron to the pan and fry for about 30 seconds, until fragrant. Add the prawns (reserve the bowl) and sauté for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring frequently, until the spices are roasted on the surface of the prawns (the prawns are not cooked through).

  8. Return shrimp to reserved bowl and pour in pureed sauce. Add the reserved coconut meat. Fill the coconut shells with the spicy shrimp. Using the tip of the knife, carefully slice 2-3 chiles (depending on your spice preferences) lengthwise so they are freshly sliced, not cut in half all the way. Evenly spread the chopped peppers on each shell (this technique allows the peppers to brighten the dish without making it too spicy).

  9. Cover each coconut shell with the tops of the dough and fold the edges with a fork so that they are well fixed. (If the dough sticks, you can dust it with flour.) Place both shells on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 35-40 minutes, until crusts are golden brown and shrimp are cooked through. To check if the shrimp are cooked, make an X-shaped cut in the center of the lid of one of the coconuts. Gently lift the sharp edges to create a small opening, then carefully scoop out a shrimp with a fork and check for doneness. If the shrimp are undercooked, roll down the edges of the opening in the lid, or you can also put foil on top and return to the oven for a few more minutes.

  10. To serve, cut discs of dough and discard. Serve the prawns and plenty of sauce over hot jasmine or basmati rice with a squeeze of lime and any remaining green chillies, finely chopped, if on fire.

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