Bhapa Sorshe Chingri: Steamed Shrimps in Mustard Gravy
This zingy recipe is very close to my heart. Truth be told, I love everything with mustard paste in it. And shrimps make everything taste better - adds a certain oomph factor to even the most boring dish! I will sometimes lightly fry some shrimps in less than half a teaspoon of butter and eat it with my salad. My Ma used used to make this in an air-tight 'tiffin box' (a steel container) and steam it in the same vessel as the rice that she would be cooking for the day. It did not get made very often in my home, and was a delicacy I used to look forward to. I make mine in the oven and steam it by covering my ovenware with an aluminum foil.
I have been making this since 2006 and there has been quite a few times that it has turned bitter. The key is in the mustard paste. Then I used to a paste is the grinder. 2011 onwards I started using Sunrise Mustard Powder - but it never had the zing that I would crave. The mustard oil that we get here is not as pungent as the one we get back home. So nowadays, I just dry grind some mustard seeds roughly (overgrinding makes it bitter) and add to my shrimps along with Sunrise mustard powder and mustard oil - that kind of did the trick.
This takes about 35-40 minutes to prep and cook.
- Shrimps - 15 medium sized, deveined with the tail on.
- Sunrise Mustard Powder - 1 tsp
- Black Mustard Seeds - 2 tsp, roughly ground using a mortar & pestle, along with a little salt
- Desiccated Coconut - 2 tbsp
- Green Chilies - 2-3, slit
- Mustard Oil - 1 tbsp
- Turmeric - 1/2 tsp
- Paprika - 1/2 tsp
- Salt to taste
- Water - 2-3 tbsp (just enough for cover the shrimps halfway)
Preheat oven to 375 F.
In an oven-proof vessel mix the Sunrise mustard powder, coarsely ground black mustard seeds, mustard oil, water, salt, turmeric and paprika and let it stand for about 10 minutes. Be careful not too over-grind the black mustard seeds, or it will turn bitter. My Ma says that if you grind it with a pinch of salt, it helps so I do it now all the time. She also adds a green chili when making the paste. Add the shrimps, slit green chilies & desiccated coconut and mix well. Cover using aluminum foil - make sure it is snug. Cook for about 20 minutes. Do not overcook, else the shrimps will become tough. Serve warm with hot rice.
The days that I make 'Sorshe Chingri' I tend to overeat. Always. So does the husband. Always.