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Prawns balchao | Goan prawns pickle

Prawns balchao | Goan prawns pickle recipe is fiery flaming red hot, spicy seafood dish from Goa region. It's made almost like a pickle.
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Indian, Goan
Keyword Goan prawns balchao, Prawns balchao, prawns pickle
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
red chilly paste soaking time 1 hour
Servings 2
Author Lata Lala


To make red chilli paste

  • Dried whole red chili 10 to 12
  • Apple cider vinegar 1/2 cup
  • Brown sugar 1 tsp

To marinate prawns

  • Medium-sized prawns cleaned and deveined 250 gms
  • Lemon juice 2 tsp
  • Black pepper powder 1 tsp

Dry roast

  • Stick of cinnamon small
  • Cloves 2
  • Cumin seeds 1 tsp
  • Whole peppercorns 4

other ingredients

  • Onions finely chopped 2 large
  • Tomatoes finely chopped 2 large
  • Garlic paste of 8 to 10 garlic cloves
  • Ginger paste 1 tsp
  • Vegetable oil 2 tbsp
  • Mustard seeds 1 tsp
  • Jaggery 1 tsp
  • Worcestershire sauce 1 tsp
  • Salt to taste
  • Chopped coriander leaves handful


  • Clean and devein the prawns. Put the prawns in a bowl and sprinkle salt. Set them aside.
  • Now let's make red chillies paste. For that soak whole red chilies in vinegar and brown sugar for 1 hour.
  • After an hour grind it in mixer. Take a spoon of this mixture and add this to cleaned prawns.
  • To this add lemon juice and crushed black pepper powder. Keep aside to marinate.
  • Using a dry pan over medium heat, toast the cinnamon, cloves, cumin seeds and whole peppercorns until they begin to release their aroma. Take off from the heat and cool.
  • Grind the ginger, garlic, and toasted spices into a smooth paste using the that remaining red chillies paste. You can do this in a mortar and pestle also. Take out in a bowl.
  • Heat the oil on a medium flame in a wok or pan. Add the prawns and stir fry it till it becomes opaque. Remove from the pan and set them aside.
  • In the same pan add oil and crackle mustard seeds. Add chopped onions and fry the onions until they are light brown. Add the tomatoes and fry until soft.
  • Now add the red paste, sugar, and salt to taste. Fry until the oil begins to release from this paste.
  • Add the marinated prawns to this spice mixture, mix well and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. If required add some water and cook it on low flame.
  • Once cooked, add worcestershire sauce. Mix well and add a small piece of jaggery before switching off the flame. Garnish it with fresh coriander leaves.
  • Serve with hot plain boiled rice or chapati


You can enjoy this prawn pickle immediately or refrigerate it to enjoy the next day, after all of the spices mingle and blossom.
This pickle stays good for a long time in the refrigerator, so you can enjoy this for many days to come.
You can adjust the amount of heat in this dish by toning down the amount of the red chilies used.