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,


Deshi in the Dorm Kitchen (Chicken Rezala)

Dear Amani,

Here is the chicken rezala recipe. When cooked the yoghurt will look a little curdled. Don’t be alarmed. After it cooks down and you add the fried onions (and the oil you fried it in)…chili pepper, sprinkle sugar and squeeze lemon, it all looks good. Very yummy with porata but rice always works. You can add sauteéd mushrooms to stretch the dish and make it more non-deshi friendly.

The mixed vegetable dish is one that your Dadi makes really well. My shortcut and take on her recipe is simply to boil a bunch of vegetable together (be sure to cube the same size). In this case eggplant and squash (lao?). Boil with spices, half a teaspoon of each until the vegetables are tender. Add water almost covering the vegetables.

Cumin, Coriander, Chili powder, Tumeric, Ginger and Garlic (paste)

Salt about 1 teaspoon.

Fry half an onion sliced and one clove of garlic with ghee, butter or oil. If you have “panchforan” and cilantro, add it. If not, no problem. Finish with a sprinkle of sugar and a squeeze of lemon.

Eat well.



Photo from Sep 2014 Photo Stream

photo 1photo 2photo 3