Try This Protein-Rich Bengal Dish

You may have told yourself that you would never eat snails in your life, right? Those miserable insects that invade the sidewalk every time it rains. Well, allow us to turn your whole world upside down. What if I told you that snails are part of our rural diets and hyperlocal palates have already been used to this delicacy forever. It’s time to give your urban taste buds who have only tasted a handful of dishes a much-needed change from the usual. Maybe you will end up loving it so much that it will be impossible for you to resume your life as before!

Snails or ‘Guguli’ or ‘Gneri’ or ‘Shamuk’ as the Bengalis call it, are high in protein with minimal fat. Be good sources of iron, calcium, vitamin A and a number of other essential vitamins like vitamin E and vitamin B1, B3, B6 and B12. That’s all well and good, but other than being pesky little buggers trashing your garden, what does it taste like? Well, it behaves and tastes almost like a shrimp, which means that while cooking you have to be careful, otherwise it could ruin the taste profile and make the delicate meat of the snail tough and rubbery. And, if you’re too concerned about the smell of snails, don’t worry, there are also ways to mask it while cooking. Now if we’ve convinced you of the prospect of having snails for your lunch today, here are all the steps you’ll need to take to make it a hearty masala curry sitting in the comfort of your home with this West Bengal recipe. .

Ingredients:

  • 750g of snails
  • 2 potatoes, diced
  • 3 green chillies, split
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons ginger paste
  • 3 tablespoons garlic paste
  • 2 tablespoons onion paste
  • 5 tablespoons of salt
  • 2 tablespoons turmeric powder
  • 1 tablespoon Garam Masala powder
  • 1 tablespoon chilli powder
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon tomato sauce / 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 4 tablespoons mustard oil

Method:

Wash the snails-

  1. Fill a kadhai or pot with water and bring to a boil.
  2. Add 3 tablespoons of salt to boiling water.
  3. Add the snails to the salt water solution, cover and simmer for 5-6 minutes. Boiling salt water kills the snails and removes any dirt that may be present on its outer shell.
  4. Remove the lid after 5 minutes and then empty the water.
  5. Now is the time to remove the snail meat from its shell. Use a toothpick if the shell opening is small and a paring knife if it is wide enough. The meat would easily come out of the shells with little effort.

For the preparation of Curry-

  1. Add 2 tablespoons of mustard oil to a preheated skillet.
  2. Add the diced potatoes to the skillet. Fry it until golden.
  3. Once the potatoes are fried, keep them aside. Add the snails to the skillet.
  4. Brown the snail for a few minutes. Don’t overcook it. Once the water has evaporated from the snail, remove it from the pan.
  5. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of mustard oil to the same skillet. Once hot, add the bay leaf.
  6. Add ginger paste and garlic paste. Saute it for a minute before adding the onion paste.
  7. Once the batter has been sautéed, add the chopped tomatoes and green peppers.
  8. Add turmeric powder and chilli powder to the mixture. Stir until the oil separates from the spices.
  9. Add the fried potatoes and the snail meat. Add the rest of the salt. At this point, add tomato sauce or sugar, which is optional.
  10. Once the contents of the pan are well mixed, add water until the contents of the pan are just submerged.
  11. Cover it with a lid and cook for 10 minutes.
  12. After the ten minutes are up, open the lid and add the garam masala powder.
  13. Manage the consistency of the curry to your liking and remove it from the heat.
  14. You can optionally garnish it with chopped coriander leaves.

And There you go! A simple way to cook snail masala curry or as the Bengalis call it, Gneri Chocchori. Serve it with rice or roti and take your taste buds on a wild ride like they’ve never experienced before.