Kumro Bonthi

Kumro Bonthi


300-600 gms fresh shelled shrimps or 100 dried shrimps
3 kg sweet red pumpkin (coarsely chopped)
12-14 cloves garlic (chopped)
750 gms onions (chopped)
2 tbsp turmeric paste
1½ tsp red chilli paste
300gms mustard oil
8 green chillies
salt to taste


1. Soak the dried shrimps for 2 hours in cold water. Heat oil in a large wok. Fry the chopped garlic and onions till brown.
2. Add turmeric and chilli paste and stir until the smell of the turmeric disappears.
3. Add shrimps and cook stirring, until they are slightly brown and there is no smell of fish. Add coarsely chopped pumpkin; reduce heat and cover to release water from the vegetable. Uncover, increase heat and stir constantly until the water has dried.
4. Add salt and 4 slit green chillies. Stir until the Colour is a rich brown and the consistency like rich dough. If it appears too dry, add a tablespoon of pre-heated mustard oil.
5. To serve, place in a bowl and garnish with 4 green chillies standing upright in the bonthi. Tastes best eaten with plenty of plain boiled rice.

The Calcutta cookbook: Minakshi Dasgupta
Publisher: Penguin India