Shrimp and freshwater prawns are two of my favorite things to eat. I could eat these pretty much everyday if available. One might think that shrimp and prawns are the same thing but they’re not. Check out this link to see the difference.
I grew up eating fresh water prawns in Bangladesh and could get them fresh right out of my backyard. We raised them in two freshwater ponds. If we felt like eating prawns for lunch we would go out in the morning and catch them ourselves. When I was very young I would collect the smaller prawns from the pond edge. When I was older and able to cast a net, I caught the much larger prawns that lived in the deep water of the pond. Nothing could beat the taste of fresh-caught prawns! In the United States this is no longer possible, and I tend to eat shrimp from the store. Shrimp are generally much more available than prawns, fresh or otherwise.
Today I will be making shrimp curry with cucumber. I have a lot of cucumber on hand from my garden. In Bangladesh this same dish is called Lau Chingri and is made with bottle gourd – a pale green vegetable shaped like a bowling pin. Lau Chingri is a Bengali delicacy. Since I don’t have any Lau (bottle gourd) on hand, I substitute cucumber since they taste similar when cooked.
I made this curry without cream, but you might also add cream to add extra richness to the sauce. Either way I think you will love this one!
- 1 tbsp cumin powder
- 1 tbsp coriander powder
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp garam massala powder
- 1.5 tsp salt or to taste
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- 2 cinnamon leaves
- 1 cup yellow onion, grated (process in a food processor)
- 1 tbsp grated ginger
- 1 tbsp mince, garlic
- 1 cup tomatoes, chopped
- 3.5 cup cucumber, seeded, most of the skin peeled, cut into 1 inch chunks
- 1 lbs shrimp deveined and peeled (40-50 counts) thawed and drained well
- 1 cup water
- 1/4 cup heavy cream (optional)
Mix all the curry spices in a small bowl and set aside.
Heat oil in a large sauce pan over medium-high heat. Add in cinnamon leaves and fry for few seconds. Add onion, ginger, and garlic. Fry the mixture until you see brown bits forming and the raw onions don’t smell. Turn down the heat to medium-low. Add in the curry spice and fry for about a minute. If the mixture is too dry, add a tbsp. of water. Don’t let the mixture burn!
Add in chopped tomatoes and stir well. You want to make sure to incorporate all the spices. Cover and cook till the onions break down for around 3 -5 minutes, stirring in between. Add the cucumbers and give it a good ol’ stir!
Cover and cook for 5 minutes, stirring often. Stir in a cup of water. Cook for 10 minutes while covered and stir once or twice in the meantime. Check to see if the cucumbers are done to your liking. I like mine soft.
Stir in the shrimp. Cook for 3 minutes while covered. Stir in the cream and taste for seasoning. Turn off the stove and transfer the curry to a serving bowl. Serve with rice or grilled naan.
Did you make this dish? I’d love to know how it turns out! Feel free to like this post and comment or use the hashtag #globaldinein on Instagram.