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Chingri Chop (Prawn Croquettes)

Asma Khan's delightful prawn croquettes are the perfect snack or starter to serve a crowd.

From the book

Asma Khan

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One interesting aspect of the British and Portuguese influences on Bengal’s culinary heritage has been an array of deep-fried chops, cutlets and croquettes, which were initially limited to the more elite railway meals in the colonial era. Slowly, the passion to coat in breadcrumbs and deep-fry food – mashed potatoes, minced mutton, beetroot, prawns – spread to the general public. My favourite is a vegetable chop I would buy on my train journey from Calcutta to Jamshedpur – the vendor would call it ‘cut-lass’ (cutlet). The reason the recipe is not in the book is because I have not been able to replicate it from memory. Luckily, this chingri chop is a recipe I could get from my mother. Hope you enjoy it!

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1kg raw peeled small prawns
1 tsp white pepper
1½ tsp salt
4 slices white bread, crusts removed
60g white onion, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
4 green chillies, finely chopped
2 tsp fresh lime juice
4 tbsp finely chopped fresh coriander leaves
vegetable oil, for deep-frying

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Chop the prawns into small pieces, but not too finely. Put them in a bowl and stir in the white pepper and salt.

Soak the bread in cold water, then squeeze out all the liquid, break it into small lumps and place in a bowl. Add the onion, garlic, chillies, lime juice and coriander and knead until evenly combined. Add the prawns and mix until evenly distributed.

Heat the oil in a deep fryer or a heavy-based pan over a medium–high heat. Shape a piece of the mixture into a 5-cm croquette and test-fry one croquette; when cool enough to eat, taste and adjust the seasoning, adding more salt, pepper or lime juice if required.

Shape the remaining mixture into 5-cm croquettes and fry in the hot oil in small batches, turning frequently, for 2–3 minutes. Drain on kitchen paper.

Serve with any dipping sauce you like, such as chilli sauce or tomato ketchup, or serve some Pineapple and Chilli Chutney (page 228) on the side.

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Inspired by the home cooking of Asma’s Ammu (mother), this collection of 100 recipes, from award-winning chef and food writer Asma Khan, celebrates the inextricable link between food, family, and love.

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From the book: Ammu: Indian Home-Cooking To Nourish Your Soul

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