If your are living in the state of Bengal, Poila Boisak is indeed a day for merriment with lots of good food, new clothes, meeting and greeting friends and getting ashirbad from elders. This year the first day of Baisak is no doubt very hot. In Delhi we are facing very hot days and going by newspaper reports the mercury has crossed the 42 degree mark.
Even the heat cannot kill the spirit of celebrating the first day of the Bengali calendar year. I am starting off with the prawn curry.
I had 1kg medium size prawn. De-shell and de-vein the prawns. Rub some haldi powder and salt to the prawns. Now heat about 1 tbsp of oil in a wok and put in the prawns. Just stir fry the prawns for 2-3 minutes, and take them out in a dish.
Next peel 4 medium size potatoes, cut them into small cubes and wash them. You can par boil the potatoes or fry them in oil later on.
In the meantime make a paste of 2 onions, 4-5 garlic flakes and ¾ inch ginger.
Time to light the oven. Place the wok on fire and add 2-3 tbsp of oil (mustard oil my preference). After the smoke starts rising put in the cubed potatoes and fry them lightly. Take them out. Now pour in the onion, ginger, garlic paste and fry. Keep the heat low. After 4-5 minutes add some haldi powder, 1 tsp red chilli powder, salt and sugar and cook the masala till it is done. Cook on high flame. Add the fried potatoes or the par boiled potatoes, stir for a minute or two. By now the oil will separate from the masala. Add water and cover the cooking vessel. Once the water starts boiling add the fried prawns and let the curry cook for some time till the potatoes are soft. The gravy should not be too thin but the right consistency to eat with rice.
Once done, transfer the curry into a serving bowl and garnish with finely chopped coriander (garnishing optional).
Serve with hot rice, that’s how a Bengali will prefer.