Balchao To Recheado: 5 Goan Prawn Delicacies You Shouldn’t Miss
Image Credit: Shutterstock, Goan Prawn Curry

Whenever one is on a lookout for yummy seafood, it is the coastal areas that come to mind first. Be it the backwaters of Kerala or the sandy beaches of Goa, the abundance of seafood paves the way for delightful delicacies made with fish, prawns, and more. Each region boasts their own seafood fare and the Goan cuisine is one such cuisine which seems incomplete without seafood delicacies. While Chicken Xacuti and Pork Vindaloo still charm locals and tourists, nothing can beat a rich and creamy Goan Prawn curry.

Not just that, the cuisine of Goan is home to a variety of prawn dishes that are staple in the region. Made into a fried starter or dunked into a curry, prawns can feature on both the appetiser and main course menu. Here are some popular Goan prawn delicacies that you should try at least once.  

1.  Prawn Balchao

Just like most regional cuisines in India, the Goan cuisine also has some staple spice blends that work well across dishes. One such masala is balchao. Inspired by the art of pickling, the Balchao is a sweet and sour mixture, prepared with ginger, tamarind paste, chillies and cinnamon. The fiery hot paste is then dunked into deveined prawns and cooked to perfection. The good part about Balchao is that it can be made in advance and used later which eases the cooking process. This prawn pickle-like dish is usually savoured with steamed rice.  

2.  Goan Prawn Curry

Another aspect of most regional fares is the abundance of curries. Gravy-like dishes have such a consistency that they work well with steamed rice. This goes for the Goan prawn curry too. The specialty of this curry lies in the use of coconut milk which lends it a creamy taste and tamarind pulp that adds tanginess to the prawn curry. Sometimes, raw mango is also used in place of tamarind as a souring agent. The vibrant red prawn curry can then be poured over rice or eaten with pao.  

3.  Prawns Recheado

For the unversed, Recheado is a popular Goan condiment that is commonly used for cooking seafood dishes like mackerel. In fact, the name is of Portuguese origin, which means stuffed. The fiery and tangy masala is often stuffed in mackerels and can be used for cooking prawns too. Similar to Balchao, this spice blend can also be pre-prepared to quicken the actual cooking. Dried red chillies, peppercorns, cumin, vinegar, cloves and cinnamon are used for preparing the masala, which is then mixed with prawns and served hot with rice.  

4. Goan Prawn Cutlets

Also known as Sungtache Dangar, these prawn cutlets originate from the seafood paradise in India. Goan cuisine is replete with curries and masalas but this cutlet is a perfect appetiser as well as snack for rainy days. The crispy cutlets are popular in the Goan Hindu community, where coconut enhances the taste of the fried bites. The prawns are chopped into smaller pieces and marinated with ginger, garlic, onions, cloves, tamarind pulp, garam masala and other spices. Coated with semolina aka rava, the prawns are shallow-fried and served hot. 

5.  Goan Prawn Pulao  

Pulao, for the uninitiated, is a one-pot rice dish that is usually filled with vegetables and meat. In the case of the Goan cuisine, it is given a seafood touch with the addition of prawns. The long-grain rice is cooked with peppercorn, cinnamon, cloves and bay leaves along with tomatoes and onion juliennes. Then, the deveined prawns are added to the rice and everything is cooked together in a pot. Garnished with cashews and mint leaves, the Goan prawn pulao is a wholesome dish in itself.