Thursday, January 24, 2013

Chingri Dhan-Dhana-Dhan -- Pudina Dhaniya Shrimp

Once upon a  time, years ago I used to make a chicken dish with coriander and call it Chicken Dhan Dhana Dhan. At that point I did not know much about cooking. The fact that oil separates from masala at some point of kashano was news to me. Instead I tried to shroud my insipid dishes under dazzling names. That the dishes were flop B-grade movies even with names like "Lal Badshah" was often forgotten amidst laughter over the names. Or people were polite and did not point out the fact blatantly.

Now when I think of Chicken Dhan-dhana-dhan, I have no recollection except for the name. It was green and had dhonepata but it was very different from my Dhonepata Chicken. But the name has stuck in the folds of my memory. Quirky names do that to me. I still remember the name a friend (with a penchant for coining funny names) from college had chosen for a prospective Bollywood movie. "Muhabbat ki Jhopri me Jhaarpit ki Raat" was her name for a Bolly blockbuster. Every time I think of that name, my lips curl up in a smile and I chuckle to myself.

<< Also Yogurt, Onion, Shrimp,Salt,Sugar and Oil which are not shown in the above picture >>

In every stage of life I guess there are names you find to laugh on. For my four year old, freshly introduced to potty humour, it is stuff like "Butt-er" or "Pippi" or even "Green Pea".  For another friend it is "Gopi", and since he has drilled into my brain I cannot address a "Gopi" with straight face anymore.

Same is with strange, quirky food names. If the food and hence the name is unfamiliar territory it can be source of much entertainment. Like say "Bibimbap". When I hear "Bibimbap" all I can think of it as, is Raavana's 6th wife with a flared nostril and thick gold nose ring on it. "Kimchi" brings to mind a lot of tiny twittering school girls. "Chenchda" comes alive as a young boy in narrow trousers with long sideburns and hippi haircut

Yesterday on Facebook, I asked for dishes with weird, quirky nonsensical names. Needless to say I had a hilarious time reading what the commenters had to say. There were "Faggots" (a kind of meatball), "Dhop er Chop" (the real deal), "Spotted Dick", "Country Captain", "Baykla Bhajja", "Elo-jhelo", "Round Round Stop", "Moo Goo Gai Pan"  and "Gambas pil pil". The name that stole the show for me was "Jil Jil Jigarthanda". I cannot wait for an opportunity to order it with a perfectly serious look. To say "Ek Ji Jil Jigarthanda dena" is a privilege I want to earn. With names like this I am sure the fish and chips eating Bard would never have dared to say "What is in a Name?". A lot of fun if you ask me.

Now back to today's dish which was built on the memory of the now lost "Chicken Dhan-Dhana-Dhan". It was also inspired by the "Pudina Dhaniya Chicken" and "Pepper Shrimp". The pepper in hot oil and also in the paste adds a very nice flavor layered on mint and cilantro. Chingri Dhan-Dhana-Dhan needs to be pronounced with the right inflection, a slight pause after the first "Dhan" and then "Dhana-Dhan" together with more speed. That is how you will get the right effect .With fresh coriander, green mint, and black peppercorns it will also  a deadly combo, truly a dhan-dhana-dhan.

Go Try.And come tell me the weirdest food name that you know.

Also a quick recap of book I have read recently and loved

Room -- Emma Donoghue
Oleander Girl -- Chitra Banerjee Divakurani

Chingri Dhan Dhana Dhan


Add the following to the blender jar and make a smooth paste
Coriander Leaves -- 1 cup chopped
Mint leaves -- 1/2 cup chopped (If you don't have fresh, use the dried mint but use less of it)
Yogurt - 1/2 cup of thick yogurt
Garlic -- 4 fat clove
Ginger -- 1" peeled and chopped
Hot Indian green chilli -- 2
Whole Black Peppercorns -- 1 tbsp
This greenish paste can be stored for future use and as base for many other curries. But don't use it as paint.

Lightly fry a small onion till it is soft and pink. Remove, cool and make a paste.

Clean and de-vein shrimp or defrost if using frozen ones. Toss them with salt and let sit for 15-20 minutes. I had about 22 medium sized shrimps(not jumbo but the 20-25/lb frozen kind).

Start Cooking

Heat 2 tbsp Oil in a fry pan

Now to the oil add
1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste (more garlic than ginger)
1 tbsp fresh black pepper powder

When you get the nice aroma add
3 tbsp of the onion paste

Cook till oil separates. Now add the green masala paste. Add salt to taste, a tsp of sugar. Cook the masala paste till there is no raw smell. Now add little water(about 1/2 cup for gravy) and let the gravy simmer to a boil.

Adjust for salt and sugar at this point. Add juice of a quarter lime and a sprinkle of rock salt(beet noon) to add to the flavor.

Once you think gravy is almost ready add the shrimp and toss with the masala. The shrimp will cook fast and you are done as soon as the shrimp starts loses its raw coloring and looks white and orange. Do not cook the shrimp longer than necessary. The gravy will not be totally dry but will be clinging to the shrimps.

Serve with a pulao or rice.

Similar Recipes:

Pudina Dhaniya Chicken -- Chicken in Mint Coriander Sauce

Dhonepata Maach - Fish in Cilantro sauce

Chicken in Mint, Coriander and Coconut


  1. coolest name for a dish - ever! Dhan (pause) Dhana Dhan :)

  2. Dear Sandeepa
    How are you ? At your blog formally after a long time !! Very nice write up ( as usual) and the recipe too. WIll give a try . Actually I make Burhani, as a Biriyani accompaniment, with lot of curd and the ingredients. Never thought of using the recipe to make such a great prawn dish!! Very nice indeed
    Bhalo theko

    1. Burhani ta onek ta raita'r moto na ? More yogurt than mint or coriander

  3. Tempting! I have recently turned from a vegetarian to a pascatarian and would love to try this! I have heard from my husband that similar sauce with chicken tastes good too!

  4. Arre wah! Decorative shot with mint sprig and two curry dots and all!

    I read Room too, I'm so glad it ended on a positive note after all that terror inside. Yet to read the other one.

    I never thought of Gopi that way. Where I live Gopis abound though I'm yet to meet one and now I'm sure when I'm introduced to one, I will try to mask the grin spreading across my face.

    1. I was not aware of the real incident that Room was based on. That was way more terrifying :(
      I never thought of Gopi like that either !!! And aha, you noticed the sprig and dots ;-)

  5. This is a very delicious recipe. I remember a similar preparation of chicken that my father used to cook for us. This recipe will be put to test on Sunday!!!

    Room is really nice. You might enjoy Twelve Tribes of Hattie. Oprah is not going gaga over it for nothing. (Room and Twelve have nothing in common though :) )

    1. Will check the book.

      I make a chicken this way too but don't ad so much of pepper there

  6. Very luscious preparation of shrimp. Can guess its aroma. Wonderful write up with amazing presentation.

    today's recipe:

  7. Omg you do have a very vivid imagination! Chenchda.....I had to laugh.....

    Shrimp looks delectable.

    In mallu cooking we have a chendamuriyan, a raw banana coated with brown sugar thingy,a kind of sweet banana chips. But I find the name funny always.

    1. "ChendaMuriyan " -- that IS funny. Sweet bananan chips ? That sounds very good now

  8. Jil jil Jigathanda?! Really? That's got to be the coolest thing I've ever heard anything called. I'd like one of that too, please!
    The prawns look so very good, Sandeepa. But then I have a thing for anything dunked in dhonepata/pudina baata.
    I've read 'Room', but dare I go against popular judgement and say 'nay'? 'Oleander Girl' - must read soon; I do like her books.

    1. Well I loved the voice in which Room was written. It gave a pretty positive spin to a depressing story.

      "Jil Jil Jigarthanda " is awesome, na ?

  9. Recipe sounds and looks very tasty , Will give it a go def. I absolutely love your write up , when is your book gonna be out ?? Can we buy it online once it's out ??

    1. Thanks so much Nikitha. Book probably in March. Will let you know

  10. Gopi ... the fish and chips eating bard ... LOL, LOL :-)
    Like Sra ... me too love that snap. :-)
    Dhone pata khai na ... kintu chingri dile bodh hoye chire o kheye nebo. :p

    1. :-)
      Dhush, dhone pata ami shob kichu tei diy

  11. Omg, wat an aromatic and droolworthy dish.

  12. I am imagining this cooked with potatoes for my vegetarian friends. Haven't read any books lately. The last one I read was the second one in the Naga trilogy. Not sure if the third one is out yet. Want to read Oleander Girl.

    1. Potatoes and also Paneer. Wondering about mushroom too

  13. Wow!! This dish looks delicious! The chinghri and the pictures-Awesome!! Do visit my blog at-

  14. @sandeepa: darun hoyeche khete...
    (khelam virtually)


  15. Hello! Thank´s for this recipe, it looks delicious and very easy to prepare.
    I invite you to visit my web about Mediterranean diet



  16. Aaj eta banabo bhetki mach diye.

  17. I know it is late resonse, however do you think this recipe could be made with the same ingredients but baked instead in an aluminum foil. That will give a drier version of the samething.

    1. Why not. Try it. The shrimp gets done fast so do not over cook

  18. I prepared this dish during the pujas, it came out great. Thanks for sharing this mouth watering and delicious recipe. Definitely a hit in my family.

  19. Divine, always a hit when I cook it for friends!


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