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Prawn Balchão

Vania Cotta
Prawn Balchão is a spicy shrimp based masala pickle and a favourite in most of the seafood-loving Goan houses.
Prep Time 1 hr 30 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Goan, Indian, Portuguese
Servings 4 small jars


Balchão masala

  • ¼ kgs Kashmiri Chillies
  • a pinch Cumin seeds
  • a pinch Turmeric Powder
  • 3-4 nos Cloves
  • 1 inch Cinnamon stick
  • 1 nos Onion small
  • 1 nos Tamarind small lemon sized ball soaked in vinegar
  • 2-3 pods Garlic
  • Ginger very small piece
  • Salt to taste
  • Sugar a little tsp
  • Vinegar for grinding

Other ingredients

  • kg prawns cleaned, deveined, washed and salted
  • Vegetable oil for frying


  • Grind all the dry ingredients with vinegar until you get a smooth thick masala paste.
  • Keep aside.
  • Fry the prawns until slightly brown, caramelised but be careful not to burn it.
  • In enough hot oil, fry the masala well. Add a little sugar.
  • Add the fried prawns to the fried masala and let it coat in the masala well and cook for sometime.
  • Add salt to taste.


  • Soaking the Kashmiri chillies in vinegar for sometime before grinding helps it to grind easily. 
  • Avoid using water at any stage. Water can spoil the Balchão.
  • Check and remove any seeds from the tamarind. 
  • You can eat this pickle as soon as it is made.
  • Or store it at room temperature or refrigerated for months.
  • If you like the pickle spicy, do not add sugar.
  • If you're using tiger prawns or big prawns then do not forget to boil them a little before frying them.
Keyword homemade pickles, Prawn Balchão