PRAWN BALCHAOPrawn balchao

This is the MOST LOVED GOAN PICKLE by my entire family.This is one of the dish one will never forget and always  cherish.

It is a spicy seafood Goan cuisine. Balchao is a method of cooking either fish OR prawns in a spicy and tangy sauce. It resembles pickling and can be made days in advance without reheating.


Prawns ½ kg
Dry Kashmiri Red chillies 10 nos. (Deseed 5 of them )
Jeera powder ¼ tsp
Tumeric powder ½ tsp
Cloves 4
Cinnamon ½ small
Black peppercorns 4-6
Garlic pods ½ medium
Ginger 1 inch piece
Malt Vinegar or coconut vinegar 3 tsp
Tamarind 1 small piece
Curry leaves 5-6
Salt to taste
Sugar 2 tsp
Groundnut oil as required


Wash and clean the prawns. Remove the shell and black veins on both sides of the prawn .Sprinkle ½ tsp salt and keep aside for an hour.

Grind Red chillies, jeera powder, turmeric powder, cloves, cinnamon sticks, black peppercorns, garlic pods, ginger piece, malt vinegar and a small piece of tamarind in the mixer to form a smooth red paste. Add little water to form a paste(optional).

In a non-stick frying pan add 5 tblsp oil and shallow fry the prawns till golden brown. Keep aside.

Add ¼ cup oil and when heats add curry leaves.

When curry leaves splatters add the red masala paste. Cook on low flame for 4 mins.

Add sugar and the fried prawns.

Add salt to taste. Stir and cook on low flame for 10-15 mins till oil separates and no water remains.

Tip: One has to taste to adjust the vinegar, salt for more added taste.
Usually water is never added in balchao but I have added to avoid adding excess vinegar.

Serve hot or cold. Best eaten along with Dal and Rice or Bread.



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