Shrimp & Coconut Malai

This dish comes from the Noakhali region of Bangladesh and is a little similar to the Thai curries we all know and love. Noakhali’s tend to use coconut a fair bit, especially when making gourmet shrimp dishes. This recipe was handed down to me by my husband’s maternal grandmother and has been a favourite of mine ever since!



1 onion

3 cloves of garlic

Small piece of ginger

1 can of lite coconut milk

1/2 Lemon

6-7 fingerling potatoes

1/2 green/bell pepper

2 Cinnamon Sticks, 1 bay leaf

1 tsp Sugar (optional)

Cooking oil

1 bag of frozen shrimp or 2 lbs fresh shrimp (cleaned and deveined with shell off)

Spices: 1/3 tsp cumin, 1/4 chilli powder, 1 tsp coriander, 1/4 tsp turmeric, Salt to taste


How to:

1. In a blender, blend a small piece of ginger, one onion, and three cloves of garlic together.

2. Once you have cleaned the shrimp, season it with some lemon and salt.  (Use the juice from 1/2 lemon).

3. In a pan, steam/cook the shrimp. It will be a little watery from the lemon, but that’s exactly how you want it. Add 1 thin cinnamon stick. Move aside until later.

4. Add one tablespoon of the  blended garlic, ginger and onion to the mix and let cook for 5 minutes.

5. Heat one tablespoon of oil in a pan. Add 1 bayleaf and 1 thin cinnamon stick and a tablespoon of the blended onion, garlic and ginger that you prepared earlier. Add some salt to taste, half a teaspoon should be sufficient.  Fry for 1-2 minutes.

6. Add all the spices as indicated above and fry for 2-3 minutes.

7. Now add 1 can of lite coconut milk and lower the heat. Allow to cook for 5 minutes. Using the empty can of coconut milk for measurement, measure 1 can of water and add it to the pan.

8. Prepare the fingerling potatoes by washing them thoroughly. Leave the skin on and place in microwave for just 3 minutes. Then add to the sauce. Cook for a further 5-6 minutes to allow for the sauce to thicken.

9. Add in the prepared shrimp and 1 teaspoon of sugar if needed. (I don’t think it’s necessary but if you like it a little sweet, go ahead and add it).

10. Slice up half a green/bell pepper and add it to the pan. Allow to cook for 3-4 minutes before removing from heat.


Recommendations:  Serve with hot white basmati rice. Brown rice also goes well for those looking for that extra fiber.



Recipe Submitted by Mrs. Rowshon Ara Khanum

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