Echor Chingri | Kathal Chingri Recipe | Bengali Recipe


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The recipe Echor Chingri is a pure Bengali name where ‘Echor’ stands for ‘Raw Jackfruit’ and the word ‘Chingri’ stands for ‘Prawn or Shrimp’. Many Bengalis refer ‘Echor’ as ‘Kacha Kathal’ too. The hindi translation of echor curry is called Kathal ki sabzi. Many people in north India prepare Kathal ki sabzi with same main ingredients except prawns. Echor chingri recipe Bengali preparation tastes quite different from it.

Bengalis are very fond of echor recipe and they desperately wait for summer to get it. In fact, they refer echor as Gach Patha for its unique texture and taste. Here the word Gach means Veg and Patha means Mutton. By this, we can estimate the popularity of echor among Bengalis. I still remember how my dad used to bring Kacha Kathal, I mean Jackfruit, from the market during summer. My mom used to cook many amazing Bengali recipes with it and Echor Chingri is one of them.

Echor recipe is one of the most popular topics among Bengali kids because most of them get fooled with it. Echor recipe is quite like Mutton curries prepared with onion, garlic and spices. Most of the Bengali moms call it Mutton and feed their children before they nose up for Jackfruit curry. Just because it tastes so great, the kids don’t even realise it. In fact, my mom has done the same trick with me for multiple times and I always got fooled. But it is always a great fun to get fooled for such delicious delight.
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Echor Recipe

Echor recipe plays a remarkable role in Bengali cuisine. Many outstanding Bengali recipes are prepared with this magical ingredient. Echor or Kacha kathal is a very versatile fruit which is used to prepare different ranges of curries, snacks and appetizers. Echor Chingri, Echor Kalia, Echor Dalna, Echor Chop, Echor Cutlet are few renowned echor recipe bengali.

Echor Chingri is an asset Bengali recipe. Bengalis love echor and the addition of prawn makes the dish taste heavenly. So, echor chingri is so special and dear to this fish loving community.

The difficulty level of preparing Echor chingri recipe is moderate. It requires all the basic Bengali spices to get cooked. We need to be little patient while preparing echor recipe because it takes little more time to get cooked compared to other vegetables. The longest and toughest part of the recipe is to cut and clean the raw Jackfruit. So, whenever I get canned or frozen jackfruit pieces, I always grab it and store in my pantry.

I have cooked Echor chingri for the first time only after my marriage when I was in Pune. I had called my Mom and got all the instructions over the phone. It was a bit difficult for me then but now I have gained expertise on it. I have cooked Kathal chingri recipe more than ten times and it’s a huge hit in our house.

Echor Chingri with step by step photos and instructions have been provided in the ‘Instructions’ section. But before directly jumping into the recipe, let me share few interesting facts about the recipe and the ingredient Jackfruit.


Benefits of raw Jackfruit

  • Its low in calorie and can be a great companion for weight loss.
  • It helps to control the blood sugar level of our body by improving insulin sensitivity.
  • It contains soluble fibre which helps to control the cholesterol level of our body.
  • It is a great source of protein for vegetarian person.
  • It contains Vitamin C which helps to boost our immunity system.
  • It is a good source of Calcium which makes or bone stronger.
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How to make echor chingri?

To prepare the echor chingri recipe, first I have cut and cleaned the jackfruit and then made medium pieces of it. While you cut the jackfruit, it releases sticky white liquid which may make your job tough. To overcome from this problem, always apply oil on your palm, chopping board and on the blade of the knife. This would prevent the liquid to stick to your knife and hand. You can even use frozen or canned jackfruit to reduce your effort if it is available in your place.

Then I transferred the jackfruit pieces in a pan of salted water and boiled it for some time. This step helps to get rid of the stickiness of jackfruit completely. Many people pressure cook the raw jackfruit pieces in salted water too for 1-2 whistles instead of it. But I always prefer to boil the jackfruits in a pan because sometimes in pressure cooker the jackfruits get over cooked and the texture of Echor Chingri gets mushy.

Then for the Echor chingri, I have cleaned the prawns and marinated it with salt and turmeric powder for 10 minutes. After this, I have fried them and kept them aside.

Potato chunks are another important component of this Kathal Chingri recipe. As we know Bengalis love potatoes in curries, and it tastes great too. So, I marinated the potatoes with salt and turmeric powder and then fried them till crisp and golden in colour.

After this, I have tempered the whole spices in mustard oil. Generally, most of the traditional Bengali food is cooked in Mustard oil. It gives an outstanding flavour to the dish. I have used bay leaf, cloves, cardamom, cinnamon stick, cumin seeds and dry red chillies for tempering. The amalgamation of these whole spices with mustard seeds creates an epic flavour which is the secret of many Bengali recipes. Other than these whole spices, I have also used ground spices for the flavouring of the dish.

For the echor recipe, I have used onion, ginger, garlic and tomatoes to prepare the masala other than the spices. After tempering the spices, I have fried the onions. Then I have added garlic and ginger into the pan one by one. After that I have added the jackfruit chunks into the pan and coated with the masala nicely.

Then added the tomatoes, fried potato chunks, spices one by one and cooked the jackfruit with it. I have used cumin powder, coriander powder, red chilli powder and Bengali garam masala powder (a ground spice mixture which contains equal portion of cardamom, cinnamon and cloves) for the recipe. These spices complement the flavour of the dish very well.

When the jackfruits got cooked completely, I have added the fried prawns into it. After cooking it for some time, I have added water and simmered it.

The consistency of the Echor Chingri gravy is neither too thick nor too thin. So, you can prepare it according to your own preference. I have added 3 cups of water into the curry. Echor tends to soak the water like sponge. So, enough water should be added for the recipe. I have added Ghee (Clarified Butter) at the end of the Echor Chingri preparation. It makes the tastier and fragrant.

Many traditional Bengali Recipes have already been shared in my previous posts. You can check few of them like


..And Many more…
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Ingredients:

To marinate the Prawn
  • 300 Grams Prawn or Shrimp (Chingri)
  • ¼ teaspoon Turmeric powder
  • ½ teaspoon Salt

To marinate the Potato Chunks
  • 2 Potatoes, cut into 8 pieces
  • ¼ teaspoon Turmeric powder
  • ½ teaspoon Salt

Other Ingredients
  • 500 Grams Raw Jackfruit (Echor)
  • 1 Tomato, deseeded and diced
  • 3 Onions, thin sliced
  • 5 large cloves of Garlic, finely chopped or paste
  • 1 tablespoon Ginger paste
  • 2-4 Green chillies
  • ¼ teaspoon Cumin seeds
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • 3 Cardamoms
  • 4 Cloves
  • 2-inch Cinnamon stick
  • 2 Dry red chillies
  • 1 teaspoon Cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon Coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon Chilli powder
  • 2/3 teaspoon Turmeric powder
  • ½ teaspoon Bengali Garam masala powder
  • 1 teaspoon Ghee
  • 1 teaspoon Sugar (Optional)
  • Salt to taste
  • 3 Cups of Water for gravy, quantity may vary according to preferred consistency
  • Mustard Oil for cooking


Instructions:
  1. First apply oil on the blade of the knife, chopping board and both the palm of your hands nicely before cutting the raw jackfruit. Then cut them into 4 pieces and peel off the skin of the jackfruit. Cut the jackfruits into medium pieces.
    Tip: Jackfruit contains latex, a sticky white liquid. Greasing hand and knife help to get rid of it and makes the cutting process easier.
  2. Take a large bowl filled with salted water to put the jackfruit chunks into it. It resists the jackfruit to get discoloured.
  3. Take a large pan and add enough water to boil the jackfruit pieces.
  4. Add salt and jackfruit pieces into the pan and cook it in high flame for 5-6 minutes. This step removes all the stickiness from the jackfruit. Cook the jackfruit till soft but don’t overcook it or else the Echor Chingri will taste bland and mushy.

  5. Drain the excess water and keep the jackfruit pieces aside.
  6. Cut and clean the prawns and wash them nicely.
  7. Marinate the prawns with salt and turmeric powder and keep them aside for 10 minutes.

  8. On the other hand, marinate the potato chunks with salt and turmeric powder.


  9. Put a pan on flame and let it become completely dry.
  10. Add Mustard oil into the pan and wait until the oil is hot.
  11. Add the marinated potato chunks into the pan and fry them in medium high flame till golden brown. Turn the pieces and fry them evenly.

  12. Transfer the fried potatoes on a plate and keep it aside.
  13. In the same pan, add the marinated prawns (Step 7) and fry them in low flame for 2 minutes.
  14. Turn the pieces and cook the other side in low flame for another 2 minutes. Don’t over fry the prawns or else it will become rubbery.
  15. Transfer the fried prawns on a plate and keep it aside.
  16. If required add some oil into the same pan and wait until the oil is hot.
  17. Add bay leaf, cloves, cardamom, cinnamon stick, cumin seeds and dry red chillies into the pan and let them crackle.
  18. Add onion slices into the pan and cook it in medium flame for 5-6 minutes until the onion become translucent. Stir in between.
  19. Add garlic and cook it in medium flame for couple of minutes until the raw smell goes away.
  20. Add ginger paste and give a nice mix. Cook it in low flame for another 2 minutes until the raw smell disappears.
  21. Add salt, turmeric powder, red chilli powder and give a nice mix.
  22. Cook it in low flame for 2-3 minutes. Stir in between.
  23. Add the raw jackfruit pieces (Step 5) into the pan and evenly coat it with the masala.
  24. Cover the pan and cook it in low flame for another 10-15 minutes. Stir in regular intervals. This step helps to jackfruit to absorb the flavour of the onion masala.
  25. Add tomato, green chillies and give a nice mix.
  26. Cover the pan and cook it for another 3-4 minutes until the tomatoes and jackfruit pieces get tender.
  27. Add the fried potato chunks (Step 12) and give a nice stir.
  28. In a small bowl, add 1 teaspoon of cumin powder and 1 teaspoon of coriander powder.
  29. Add 1 tablespoon of water into the spice mixture and mix it to a smooth paste.
  30. Add the spice paste into the pan and mix it nicely.
  31. Cover the pan and cook it in low flame for 2-3 minutes.
  32. Add the fried prawns (Step 15) into the pan and mix it well.
  33. Cover the pan and cook it in lowest flame for another couple of minutes.
  34. Add 3 cups of water and stir it nicely. Cover the pan and put the flame in high until the gravy simmers.
  35. Put the flame in low and cook it for 5-6 minutes. Check the salt of the curry, if required add more.
  36. Add Bengali garam masala powder, sugar and ghee into the pan and mix it properly.


  37. Switch off the flame and put the pan down.


Serving Instruction
Transfer the Echor Chingri into a serving bowl or on a serving plate. Serve hot or warm to enjoy the best taste. Relish the authentic Bengali recipe with plain Rice or Rotis and enjoy your meal.

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