Shrimp Koftas In Coconut Sauce

This recipe, from Khulna, is adapted from my favorite Bangladeshi Regional Cookbook. It is similar to the traditional coconut shrimp recipe, Chingri Malaikari except the shrimp is formed into koftas (meatballs) and the sauce is spicy, sweet because of the combination of  roasted onions and chili powder. The ground shrimp balls are airy and almost have the consistency of a dumpling. The spongy texture absorbs the sauce more than intact whole shrimp. It doesn’t really stretch the shrimp because no fillers, breadcrumbs or otherwise is added. But, it is a good use for small or medium shrimp. I wonder if this would be good with polenta or grits, a deshi adaptation of southern shrimp and grits?

IMG_2039Shrimp Koftas in Coconut Sauce (Chingri Koftai Narkel)

  1. Process shrimp in a food processor until smooth, yielding a cup. This a good recipe to use small and medium shrimp (preferably on sale).

  2. Saute a cup of chopped onions until roasted and brown.

  3. Add 1 teaspoon ginger paste, 1/2 teaspoon garlic paste, 1 teaspoon chili powder, 1/2 teaspoon tumeric and fry until fragrant (about a minute). The oil will roast all the spices into a sauce. Add a splash of water to keep it from sticking to the pan.

  4. Add 2 cups of coconut milk (one can).

  5. Bring to a simmer. Drop spoonfuls of the ground  shrimp into sauce.

  6. Simmer on low. High heat will break up the delicate shrimp meatballs. Shrimp cooks very quickly.

  7. Add a stick of cinnamon, 2 cardamom pods and a bay leaf and remove from heat. Sprinkle sugar over the tops of the koftas. This adds a sheen and a contrast against the spice.

  8. Serve with rice. Makes about 4 servings.


It was very well recieved by Atiya and Jim. A keeper recipe for me. I hope for you too!

Happy eating,