Shrimp Malaikari (Shrimp in Creamy Coconut Gravy)

Grandma is getting old. I have lost touch with almost all of my cousins. My lost-soul-swimming-in-a-fish-bowl kept on adding bricks to the walls of my own cage. Sounds stupid but yes, I cry over, mourn over those long lost hang-outs and hullabaloos and soul-food at Grandma’s shrine.



“There is no love sincerer than the love of food.”  ― George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman


‘The Living Legend’, my grandma, loves to feed us to death (out of love) in every single winter holiday bash at her place. The entire herd of us cousins (that would be 26 in number) would follow her throughout the week, as if, she is the pied piper of Hameln. Such is her mesmerizingly powerful presence. Such is the soul-soaring taste of her home-cooked food. Especially the creamy-pillowy-lovely-light Shrimp Malaikary shall live forever as a ‘Hall of Fame’ in our family 🙂

THE ‘Heartthrob’ of the party: Shrimp Malaikary. So real ! so rural ! So refined! So unpretentious ! Uncomplicated ! Look how creamy coconut, tangy lime and earthy spices doing waltz with those Shrimps !




When the sun sets its last ruby-red hue on the talc-white flock of clouds in the azure December sky, she would tell some ‘so old yet so new’ fairy tales. We would sit in a circle on the well-worn concrete floor underneath those larger-than-life emerald brunches of her ancient mango orchard. She would ask us about our love life and the recent blunders we made at work. She would share her concern about technologically advanced but loveless, robotic outside world. When the soundtrack (chirping and tweeting of birds) fades away, a pale moon rises across the sky, she would serve dinner.


For every well-known dish in our region, my Grandma has her own rock ‘n roll, divine version which is ruled by magic 🙂 Creating a flavorful bomb-dish by using minimum spices is an art that requires precision and skill (which I don’t have like my Grandma) and I guess, it would take me a light year to replicate her flavorful, tasty as well as visually appealing Shrimp Malaikary. Keeping in mind that it is humanly impossible to give it the exact same luscious texture, exact same not-scary-hot heat, exact same intense aroma, I give it a try pretty often.



Large prawns/shrimps 1lb (15-20 pieces)

Onion paste: 2tbsp

Garlic paste: 2 tsp

Ginger paste: 1 tbsp

Turmeric powder: ¼ tsp

Red chili paste: ½ tsp (use paprika, if chili doesn’t work for you)

Coconut milk: 1 cup

Lime/lemon juice: 2 tbsp

Oil/Ghee (clarified butter): 1 tsp

Salt and sugar to taste

Parsley for garnishing


1. Wash, clean, peel and devein the prawns. Pat dry. Sprinkle a little salt and turmeric powder on prawns. In a pan, in hot oil add the prawns. Fry for 2-3min on high heat until they turn red. Keep them aside.

2. In the same pan add more oil. Pour the paste. Cook for 7 minutes in high heat, then add coconut milk.

4. As the gravy boils, add the fried prawns. Cover and cook on low-medium flame for 3-4min. Add salt and sugar. Sprinkle parsley.
5. Serve with rice.



There’s something seductive, sensual about this slightly red, pleasantly hot Shrimp curry. An incredible mixture of subtle taste and majestic appearance. Un-overpowering but powerful and grand enough to win your heart; just like Grandma’s love. A delightful string to be attached with for the rest of your life ♥


122 Comments on “Shrimp Malaikari (Shrimp in Creamy Coconut Gravy)

    • That means a lot coming from a professional photographer like you ! I’m just a humble learner…trying hard to excel my previous food photos 🙂

  1. This looks so good ..I will definitely try to make this but not sure if it will look or taste as the original 🙂

  2. Delicious food !! Dekha matroi khida lagse 😀 very nice Apu.

  3. amazingly beautiful!!! you can create magic with food apu 😀

    • OMG! Cathy your highness ! How your presence and comments brighten up, cheer up my day! Thanks a bunch !

  4. Awesome api, my computer screen just got brightened! And you know I am so much in love with shrimps.:)

  5. Like Mr. Shaw said there is no sincere love than love of food n i must add to this (forgive me in advance cause im no great of a writer or philanthropist) if that food comes along with a story that takes u back to the childhood alleys ,nothing more u can ask for …this piece Nusi i must must n absolutely must say is a divine creation of absolute sheer genius …God bless sweety n enlightened me with more …i will be waiting for uuuuuuuu

    • Dear Soul-sister, it’s always a pleasure to receive the warm, cordial, precious wishes you send me all the time. Love you more !

  6. oh my! its such a delightful treat scrolling down to your absolute gorgeous creation!! take my bow sweetheart!! u are amazing!!

    • I find you more amazing as you have this amazing skill of making someone’s day with your lovely words 🙂 Thanks for stopping by. Hugs.

  7. Wonderful, must be delicious. Will prefer to put black piper and slightly pudina (mint) leaf over the dressing. Well decoration. Idea of garlic paste 2 tsp is very nice, it will reduce cholesterol risk. Keep going on dear.

  8. hmmm.. what a wonderful description !!! its good that shakespeare did born generations ago otherwise he would not shine having all these expressionists around !!! but for me I resemble tarzan.. and the only way I can express myself is with a big ‘YUMMY’ 🙂 and a big ‘salaam’ to the grandma 🙂

    • Thanks, Tarzan, for your gorgeous comment 🙂 We should meet sometime. Buzz me whenever you drive past Dallas.

  9. nusrat apu, i feel like diving right into that bowl!! u surely r one hell of a cook and ur presentations are simply divine. ক্যামনে পারো ???? 🙂 ❤

    • মিয়া তুমি দেখা করো তাড়াতাড়ি ! খাওয়াইতে খাওয়াইতে তোমাকে মেরেই ফেলব ! আমার অনেক রাগ তোমার উপর !

  10. Nusrat Azim Suborna is again at the pinnacle of a performing art, that is, culinary art, inherited from her grandmother! Usual inheritance are of property and wealth! But in this case, the wise grandmother passed on her cooking skills to the most deserving of her 26 grandchildren. Nusrat indeed is the most deserving of them all! Her culinary skills are at display in the form of shrimp malaikari, which at the first sight is mouth watering! One can see and feel, in the flowery language of Suborna, “How creamy coconut, tangy lime and earthy spices doing waltz with those Shrimps !”
    We the unfortunate ones would only gaze at the inviting photos and wet our chins and possibly the shirt below with persistent drooling 🙂
    Bon appetit to the lucky ones, who would get to relish it! 🙂

    • You sure are a wizard of words ! Thanks for all those hypnotically beautiful words. I’m touched and spell-bound ! Thanks so much for taking time in reading and dropping a heart-melting comment 🙂 Love.

  11. Luring photos and touchy story…. and I am listening to a soft symphony all around me; as usual. I am so much fan of your photography and writings apu. Carry on and God bless you :* ❤

    • Thanks for leaving those soft, kind, nice, beautiful words on my way. I love your food photography too 🙂 And I learn a lot from you which you don’t know of 😀

  12. Nusrat,
    The photos are so tempting :), ekhuni kheye nite iche korche. I make malaikari without the ginger garlic, but after seeing yours will try this version too.

    • Dying to taste your version of Malaikari 🙂 Please come by, we’ll cook together 🙂 অনেক মজা হবে।

  13. SIMPLY AWESOME AND MOUTH-Watering !!! and yea.. FOODOGRAPHY is simply WOW !!!

  14. Nice background story; liked it. I didn’t go through the preparation phase, but I am sure, from the photographic evidence, they taste that good. Keep up the good work, Nusrat!

  15. Just read, ate with my eyes and heart, such a nice presentation, nice story, nice description makes it just awesome. I like the way it is garnished as well as the surroundings.. Lovely.

    • How sweet of you ! Can’t thank you enough for making my morning with those kind words of yours! Love.

  16. Nice writing, better recipe. I love every grandma recipe there is – they all work and taste great. Really nice – thanks so much.

  17. Your Grandmother sounds like a wonderful woman — and a great cook! 🙂
    I like the sound of this shrimp dish. I can see I’m going to need to spend a bit more time in the “Pastes” section at the Indian market. So far I’ll be buying garlic, onion, and ginger pastes. Any other suggestions? 🙂

    • Hey you 🙂 Store bought paste works fine but if you take a little bit of trouble in making it home, satisfaction 200% guaranteed 🙂 With the help of your blender puree the hell out of fresh garlic/onion/ginger ! That’s it ! Also, don’t forget to pick couple of small cans of coconut milk from the grocery 🙂 – Thanks a billion for reading my post 🙂

  18. This post reminds me of my nanu. She was a tremendous cook, and she’d to feed us to death (out of love). I can’t believe she’s not with us anymore.

  19. A simple yet mouthwatering recipe, embellished by your great work of garnishing and photography made this a piece to comeback to again and again, whenever you want to have some inspiration to cook. 🙂

  20. এক্টু আগেই ভাত খেয়ে আসলাম এখন এই পিক গুলা দেখার পর আবার খিদা লাগসে……কিন্তু কথা হইল এই অসাধারন জিনিষ কই পাব……আম্মু এইটা খাব… 😥

    • নিজে বানাতে শিখলে আর ‘আম্মু আম্মু’ করতে হয়না। বাচ্চালোগ কবে বড় হবে !

    • That I have by the grace of the Almighty 😀 Thanks, lovely, for stopping by and dropping your nice vibe here 🙂

  21. Super awesome .. jerokom chobi sherokom dekhte .. i wish i lived near by could come to taste it .. keep on sharing your good work ..

  22. I envy you!!! such nice photography. pure Bangladeshi dish

  23. Come on apu! Now i have to fly high to get to your doorstep!

    These are looking really yummy! Arrrrrrrrrrgh! Why in the hell you have to be THIS AWESOME!!

    • Come visit me with your wifey 🙂 I should get you two a grand honeymoon-shrimp-treat 🙂 Thanks for stopping by.

    • Andyyyyyyyyyyyyyy ! 🙂 Recipe book should be out in 1313 😀 Thank you so much for reading my story 🙂 Hugs + cookies !

  24. লোভাতুর চোখ চকচক করছে কেবল 😀

  25. Always love your food preparation and presentation! You are a phenomenal cook, an amazing photographer and a great soul!

  26. Having a busy life always force me for a short facebook visit. Unless I upload some photos ,I don’t get the time to scroll through all the photos and related stories. Even in this short time your photos have captured my mind and always wanted to write something. You have got a great eye for details,being it food or photography, your passion is present everywhere. I really admire your food and must admit it often resembles my mom’s cooking. Therefore without even tasting, I can certify you as a great cook. So keep it up, would love to see more of your unique presentation.

    • Thank you so very much for all your kind and nice words. I’m flattered and touched and honored! Hugs.

  27. I’ve always seen your recipes n pictures through facebook and I have to say, you are GREAT at it! Moreover, I just LOVE shrimps n prawns although I’ve yet to eat them in the form of a gravy and this looks like the perfect way to begin! The photos look totally yummilicious n I so want to try this right now *jots down recipe*!

  28. রান্না করে শুধু খেলেই হয় না , সেটা পরিবেশন টা যে একটা অনন্য শিল্প তোমার ছবি গুলা দেখে আরো বেশী সেটা ফিল করি ডিয়ার 🙂

  29. Wow look at those shrimps, looks amazing. I really like this dish, will keep the recipe for sure

  30. It’s been a while since I made malaikari. Looking at this, I am getting so tempted. I think it will be out dinner tonight 🙂 Grandmoms and their love, it’s priceless, a beautiful memory that help us move on it life. I miss both my grandmas every day.

    • I’m flattered to know that you got tempted ! That’s a HUGE compliment for a novice blogger like me, Kankana ! Thanks a million for taking some time in reading and dropping this lovely comment. Love.

  31. A beautiful curry! It looks ever so mouthwatering. Gosh, I could eat some of that for breakfast. 😉



    • Shrimp curry for breakfast ! Unusually amusing idea ! Happy to know that some people like me think out of the box when it comes to BREAKFAST 🙂 Thanks a lot for visiting, dearie.

  32. I love it! after seeing your photos ,I told my husband that tomorrow we go to the fish market early in the morning hahaha! I want to try this recipe!

  33. First time here Nusrat and absolutely in love with your photography and above all it is shrimp malaikari, one of my fave dish. Loved reading through your post too

  34. Hi Nusrat! I’m here for the first time and I already enjoyed your photography and recipes! We love shrimp and I love your coconut gravy. Need extra rice for the leftover gravy. 🙂

    • Dear Nami, I have been following and stalking your blog for ages ! A great cook and photographer like you is an absolute pleasure to know of. Thanks a bunch for your kind, lovely words. Love.

  35. Could u plz give suggestion, which curry I should have to cook? This one or U have another Malai curry recipe which is made by cumin, cardamom, cinnamon etc.? Help me plz.. I have invited some of my relative. I want to cook best prawn curry.

    • Try this one. I’m sure coconut milk gravy would hit their right spots 🙂

      Thanks a lot for stopping by, Shapla 🙂 Love.

  36. Thanks a lot apu for your suggestion, I was also thinking about this recipe.One more question plz, should I use lemon juice at the end of cooking, I didn’t find it in this recipe.

    • You can add a small dash of lemon juice at the end of cooking but that’s not mandatory. And thanks a lot for considering my recipe for your guests 🙂 Love.

  37. ৬ বছর বয়সে লরা ইঙ্গলস ওয়াইল্ডারের সাথে পরিচয়, বন্ধুত্ব। তার লেখা আমায় যেমন মুগ্ধ করে, ঠিক তোমার লেখনীর ভংগী, ভাষায় আমি মুগ্ধ!

    • কার সাথে কার তুলনা ! তুমি এসব কি বলছ গো ! লজ্জায় পড়ে গেলাম। তবে হ্যাঁ, আত্মবিশ্বাস অনেক অনেক বেড়ে গেল তোমার উপস্থিতিতে 🙂

    • Of course you could have some, only if you could visit me 🙂 Or, try making that curry yourself 🙂

      Thanks a ton, Doll-face, for visiting.

  38. Oh, how I wish I could have been one of the 26. You grandma is one brave lady and an cooking legend for sure.
    You entice us with your writing and show us your skills in photography and cooking. Love love the pictures. Seriously, girl I’m just done with dinner,ready to go to bed and I am craving the curry.
    Thanks for sharing some beautiful memories, can’t wait to see more and more from you.

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