DAAB CHINGRI (Daab means tender coconut and Chingri means Prawns in Bengali)

This spectacular dish, served in a green tender coconut, is from the North East of India – Bengal. The Bengalis adore mustard and if you love it too then you will love this tasty curry. The layers of mustard oil and heaps of mustard will have you reminiscing Wasabi. There aren’t any other spices except for some poppy seeds to thicken the sauce and the ubiquitous turmeric. Traditionally it was baked in the dying embers of a wood fire. Today this is not possible so we have baked it an oven at a low temperature. Serve with freshly steamed rice. This recipe serves 2 people if it is made as a main. If part of a spread you can keep 6 people happy.


Shopping list:


Fresh: 1 x Tender coconut, preferably without the husk removed. 300g shelled prawns. 3 x Green chillies. Yoghurt (2 tbsp).


Pantry: Mustard* and Poppy Seeds, Turmeric, Mustard Oil



  1. Soak 3 tbsp mustard seeds and 2 tsp poppy seeds in warm water for minimum of 30 minutes – the longer the better.
  2. Shell and devein 12 to 15 green prawns (250g).
  3. Apply ½ tsp salt and ½ tsp turmeric and set aside.
  4. Grind together the previously soaked mustard and poppy seeds with 2 tbsp yoghurt, 3 green chilies and the tender coconut**.
  5. Knead together ¼ cup flour with 1 tbsp water.
  6. Heat oven 150C.




  1. Heat a pan then add 2 tbsp mustard oil and the marinated prawns.
  2. Fry for 1 minute on each side and remove with a slotted spoon. Set aside.
  3. Now add the ground paste, and the slit green chillies.
  4. Stir-fry for 1 minute.
  5. Then stir in ½ cup coconut water and cook for about 5 minutes.
  6. Mix in the fried prawns and turn off the heat.


  1. Oil the inside of the shell with 2 tsp mustard oil.
  2. Empty the curry into the tender coconut shell.
  3. Form the dough into a rope shape (9inches/23cm long, adjust according to circumference) then place over the opening of the shell. Fit the lid on to form a seal.
  4. Bake for 30 minutes.
  5. Open the lid and mix before serving


Serve with white rice.

*If you do not have mustard seeds use 2 tbsp Dijon mustard.

** If there isn’t much flesh, use ½ cup coconut cream.


NOTE: If you find the mustard too strong, leave it in the fridge and serve it the next day when it has mellowed – our 4 year old relished it.