In tune with my wishes to compile a series of my family recipes that are essentially Bengali, I thought of presenting this dish of snake gourd with small prawns today. This is common with both sides of my family. There is both vegetarian and non-vegetarian version of this dish. My mother used to prepare the non-vegetarian version more to feed her veggie hater, fish loving daughter some veggies. I do both versions in turns to go with lentil and a fish or meat curry. In general, at Bengali homes we cook a lot of veggies like cabbage, bottle gourd, ash gourd, pointed gourd, even bitter gourd with small prawns.
In Bengali, we call snake gourd.... chichinge. This dish called Chichinge Chingri or Prawns with Snake Gourd is done very simply with almost no spices. Cutting the chichinge or snake gourd is a bit time consuming, otherwise the rest of the cooking is quick given that snake gourd is soft and takes less time to cook. Let us prepare Chichinge Chingri or Prawns With Snake Gourd together.
Snake Gourd [chichinge] : 2-3big
Prawns[small] : 150-200gm
Dry Red Chilli : 2[halved]
Green Chilli : 2[slitted]
Nigella Seeds[kalonji/kalojeera] : 1/4tsp
Turmeric Powder : 1tsp
Salt : As Required
Sugar : 1/2tsp [optional]
Oil : 3-4tbsp
De shell, clean and wash the prawns thoroughly. Apply little salt and half of the turmeric powder. Keep aside.
Scrape the snake gourd with the back of a knife. Discard the two ends, cut half width wise and then length wise. Cut into smaller pieces as in the picture. Wash thoroughly and apply little salt and turmeric.
Heat oil in a wok. Fry the small prawns till golden brown discarding the marinade and keep aside.
Temper same oil with nigella seeds and halved dry red chillies. Add the cut snake gourds. Stir and cover.
A lot of water will release. Uncover and stir every 3-4 minutes until the water dries up till 80 % and the veggie is cooked well.
Add the fried prawns, sugar and slitted green chillies. Stir and let cook for another 2-3 minutes. Its done.
Enjoy with piping hot steamed rice!!