Prawn Balchao (Goan Pickle-Style Hot Prawns)

READY IN: 40mins
Recipe by Tea Girl

This is a fiery, sweet and sour and wonderful dish from Goa. This recipe is partly taken from a friend's cookbook that she copied for me when I raved about the dish. I find that this dish is best the next day. If you don't like as much heat, cut down on the peppers and if you don't like much sour, cut the vinegar in half.

Top Review by Eddie C.

Just wondering ... why do you cook the prawns first, remove from pan, and then add them back to the pan for the last few minutes? Couldn't you just add them at the end and cook until they were done? Just curious if there's a reason it's done this way.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Put the prawns in a large bowl and sprinkle salt on them. Keep aside.
  2. Roast the chillies, cumin seeds, mustard seeds, peppercorns, turmeric, cloves and cinnamon till they begin to release their aroma.
  3. Remove from heat and cool.
  4. Grind the ginger, garlic and roasted spices into a smooth paste using the vinegar.
  5. Heat the oil on a medium flame in a wok-style pan to medium-high heat.
  6. Add the prawns and stir fry till opaque. Remove from the pan and keep warm.
  7. In the same pan, fry the onions till light brown. Add the tomato and curry leaves and fry until the tomatoes are soft.
  8. Now add the spice-vinegar paste, sugar and salt to taste and fry till the oil begins to separate.
  9. Add the prawns to this sauce, mix well and cook for 2-3 minutes.
  10. Serve with plain boiled rice and/or naan.

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