Steamed spicy Prawn with coconut and mustard paste (Vhapa chingri)

Vhapa Chingri recipe

Vhapa chingri ( spicy steamed prawn) is one of my all time favorite recipe.It is so testy and yummy that anyone will love it.This recipe is one of the most popular and traditional recipe in Kolkata.Traditionaly this recipe is cooked inside the shell of a coconut,which I will try to cook in future.

How does it test like: As I steam the prawns in the coconut and spicy sauce ,prawns become so tender with awesome taste of nutty coconut and pungent mustard.A tauch of sweet taste of prawns with the juicy coconut paste and hot mustard sauce goes really well.All together it is quite tasty tropical  recipe.


  • Prawns : medium size 30 prawns, cleaned.
  • Coconut : freshly grated half cup,
  • Mustard seeds: 1 tea spoon red and 1 table spoon yellow mustard soaked 3 to 4 hours or use Coleman Mustard powder 2 full table spoon.
  • Poppy seeds : 2 table spoon or cashew nuts : 4 to 5 peace
  • Green Chilies: 4 to 5
  • Mustard oil to best result.
  • Turmeric powder: 1 tea spoon or yellow food color
  • Lemon , coriander leaves for garnishing.
  • Container to go in the steam.
  • cooking time: 20 minutes.

I am using airtight steel container.You can use bamboo steamer.Which ever container you are using,make sure you cover the lid tightly.


To make the paste: In a grinder mix coconut,poppy seeds,mustard seeds, one green Chile , salt to taste and little water.It should be thick gravy .Reason behind I have added green Chile and salt is to kill the bitterness of the mustard seeds.If you are using only the mustard powder, don’t need to add it now in the grinder,add later during the marination.I have used both mustard seeds and powder for more flavour.

Now add the paste and few more whole green chilies (must,for excellent green flavour )to the prawns,mix them well.Keep it aside for 30 minutes.Then it’s time to go in the steamer.Cook them for 20 minutes.

I temper(tadka) this recipe after it’s cooked.Traditionaly mustard oil is used during the marination.Hot 2 table spoon of mustard oil and add 2 red Kashmiri chilies .When they are sizzling spread on the top of the steamed prawns.

Serve this recipe with hot steamed rice and lemon by the side.I have used the coconut shell just to get the rural effect. Enjoy this elegant,traditional Bengali recipe.






One Comment Add yours

  1. One of my childhood favorites :)….well executed 🙂


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