“To prawn or not to prawn, that is the question” – Certainly Shakespeare did not give enough thoughts on prawns as he was too busy cooking up recipes related with words and literature. So for those who are too busy with day to day banalities of life and not have enough mind-space and stomach-space to give for prawns, I have brought this easy-peasy formula to introduce prawns and peace into their gastronomic experiences.
Lovingly eaten as “Chingrir Chop” ( চিংড়ীর চপ in Bengali), these are essentially prawn croquettes which are a popular street food in Kolkata, India loved by Bengalis all over the world. Ideal for a quick break at a roadside food joint or as light bites when friends are coming over in the evening. I had recently prepared these on the Bengali New Year’s day and many readers had asked to share the cooking stories behind this Chingrir Chop. So here you have some delectable prawn croquettes telling you a story of how they were prepared and presented to you. I leave it on you whether you want to bite, chew or devour in one go! Or whether you want to call them Chingrir Chop or Prawn Croquettes – you will love eating them.
Serves: 7-8 Croquettes
Preparation Time: 1 hour
Ingredients I used:
Prawn- 450g (Use any size of Prawns, I used medium sized Prawns)
Medium sized Potatoes- Boiled (3 potato)
Onion- 1 (thinly sliced)
Ginger paste- ¾ tsp
Garlic paste- ½ tsp
Cumin powder- ¾ tsp
Coriander powder- ¾ tsp
Black pepper powder- A pinch
Salt to taste
Sugar- ½ tsp
Green chilies- 2-3 (chopped)
Garam masala powder- ¼ tsp
Vegetable/Sunflower oil- ¾ cup
For coating and frying
Bread crumbs- 3 tbsp (hipped) to coat the Croquettes
1 egg beaten with a pinch of salt
Vegetable oil/Sunflower oil for frying
Lets make now
Step one: In a bowl mash the boiled potatoes and keep aside.
Step two: Wash and rub salt and 1 tsp of turmeric powder on freshly washed prawns. Keep aside. Heat oil in a deep frying pan. Add the prawns, fry them on medium flame until golden in color. Remove and keep aside.
Step three: Let it cool down for a while, make sure you only use the flesh, for making croquettes, not the head and tail part. Tear the prawn flesh roughly into pieces. But if you are like me and eyeing on perfection, then put them in a blender and just give one blitz.
Step four: Now in the remaining oil (4-5 tbsp oil should be there, if not add some more). Add onion and fry on medium high flame until lightly brown in color. Add ginger-garlic paste, green chilies, coriander powder, cumin powder, turmeric powder, black pepper powder and salt. Mix and fry it on medium heat till the masala starts leaving oil (1-2 minute max).
Step five: Add prawn. Mix well, cook on low flame for 10-12 minutes. Keep stirring in between. Add mashed potato, mix well. Adjust salt, if required. Add sugar, cook for 2-3 minutes more. Add garam masala, mix and remove from heat. Keep aside. Let it cool down.
Step six: Make round or cylinder shaped chops/croquettes from this mixture.
Step seven: In a bowl beat the egg with a pinch of salt. Dip each chop in the egg and then roll into ground breadcrumbs.
Step eight: Heat oil in a deep frying pan. Fry the chops on medium flame until golden brown.
Voila! Chingrir chops are ready to eat!
Serve immediately with tomato ketchup or homemade dip, some sliced onions and a slice of lemon.
Note: To make the croquettes eggless you can use gram flour mixture as coating. And there is not much of a difference in taste.
These croquettes can be made ahead of a house party or get together or otherwise. After coating, store them in an airtight container, and keep in the fridge. They stay well for a day or two. Just take them out from fridge, fry and serve.