Prawns with freshly grated coconut, green chillies and mustard seeds (Chingri daab)

Preparation time
less than 30 mins

Cooking time
10 to 30 mins

Serves 4-6

This is a popular dish in Bengal, where of course both prawns and coconut abound. It’s normally served in a whole green coconut there, but that’s a bridge too far for us. I would suggest serving it, as in Bengal, as a little course in its own right, but it’s also delicious with some rice and flatbreads.

By Rick Stein

From Rick Stein's India


  • 2 tbsp black mustard seeds
  • 4–6 tbsp mustard oil or vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 250ml/9fl oz coconut milk
  • 250g/9oz fresh or frozen coconut flesh, blitzed in a food processor or grated
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 350g/12oz peeled raw prawns
  • 4 fresh green chillies, with seeds, cut lengthways into sixths
  • handful chopped coriander, to finish


  1. Put the mustard seeds into a mini-food processor and add two tablespoons of water. Blend for a minute and then add another two tablespoons of water and continue blending until the seeds start to break up (this can take a minute or two of persistent blending; add more water if you’re having trouble). Keep blending until you have a rough paste that resembles wholegrain mustard, adding a splash more water if needed. Set aside.

  2. Heat the mustard or vegetable oil in a heavy-based saucepan or karahi over a low-medium heat. Add the onion and fry for 10 minutes. Add the blended mustard paste, turmeric, coconut milk, grated coconut and salt. Bring to a boil then simmer for 4-5 minutes.

  3. Add the prawns and green chillies and simmer for a further 3-4 minutes, or until the prawns are pink and cooked through. Scatter with coriander and serve.