Bengali Shrimp Masala

May  8, 2018
6 Ratings
Photo by Ty Mecham
  • Cook time 1 hour
  • Serves 4-6
Author Notes

This dish is simple enough to make on a weeknight, and elegant enough to serve at a Thanksgiving dinner. The sauce is rich and creamy, and the shrimp is poached in turmeric water. Peas add a pop of brightness. —Jaya Saxena

Test Kitchen Notes

This recipe is part of our series, My Family Recipe. Read the full story here. —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 2 pounds peeled, deveined shrimp (smaller is better here, don’t go for the jumbo prawns)
  • 1/2 pound cauliflower, chopped
  • 1/2 cup ghee or vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cups finely chopped onions
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1/4 cup plain yogurt (full fat is best)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 10 ounces frozen peas
  • Basmati rice, to serve
  1. Bring 1 quart of water to boil. Add turmeric, shrimp, and cauliflower; cook for 3-4 minutes, until shrimp are just done. Drain the shrimp and cauliflower while reserving the turmeric water, and set aside.
  2. Heat ghee in a large pan over high heat, and add onions. Fry onions until they turn golden brown and translucent, stirring constantly. Add garlic and cook for another minute.
  3. Reduce heat, add cumin, coriander and paprika. Stir together, then add half the reserved cooking liquid. Increase heat and boil uncovered for about 10 minutes.
  4. Add the remaining liquid and boil for another 20 minutes, until the sauce is thick.
  5. Add yogurt, salt, and red pepper flakes. Cook for another 2-3 minutes.
  6. Add shrimp and cauliflower back in, and cook until shrimp is heated through.
  7. Turn off heat, add peas and heavy cream, mix, and let rest for at least 15 minutes before you serve it over basmati rice.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Mike Sidman
    Mike Sidman
  • Shanti
  • Robbie
  • beejay45

4 Reviews

Shanti July 10, 2019
We made this last night and it was amazing! The only thing I added was a little lemon juice at the end and cilantro. Thank you Jaya! I really appreciated your article!!
Robbie December 3, 2018
My goodness this dish was so delicious! While it was cooking I hoped it would taste as good as it smelled. I cook from Food52 all the time and have made hundreds of dishes but rarely post because almost always the dishes are very good....but had to this time...the dish was spectacularly flavorable! Thank you Jaya!
beejay45 May 11, 2018
I'm practically drooling just reading the ingredient list! Isn't it lucky that I have a bag of shrimp in my freezer? And I always have frozen peas, one of my addictions. On the table tomorrow for sure. Thanks!
Mike S. May 11, 2018
I couldn't wait to make this recipe, so I went for it last night -- and it was delicious! It's definitely going to be a new staple for me.