Balchao: Tracing The Journey Of This Traditional And Authentic Goan Dish
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Goan cuisine is truly pleasing for those who are profoundly fond of seafood and love savouring the taste of it all year round. It is difficult not to fall with the plethora of Goan dishes that this cuisine has offered us since ancient times. The scenic beauty, nature, and the long stretch of overwhelming beaches have already taken our breath away, but if you ever attempted to try the most authentic and traditional dishes of Goa. One thing we can assure you is a guaranteed indulgence and a lifelong relationship with Goan food. Another feature of Goan cuisine that you can't miss while talking about it is how it's brought into being and developed majorly with the influence of Portugal. Is Balchao Portugal too? Let’s find out.

Balchao is a fiery dish from Goa cuisine, which is almost like a pickle. Not just because it is as hot, peppery and tangy as a pickle, but because of the unique styles and means of preparation, which resembles pickling. Like you put together your pickles, Balchao follows a similar approach as they can be made in advance without reheating. Balchao is a meat dish cooked with fish, pawns, or pork tossed in spicy and tangy tomato sauce. Traditionally, balchao also uses a paste made from shrimp known as ‘galmbo’ in Konkani. Balchao is one of the well-known spicy seafood of Goa that can be found at every nook and corner of this beautiful state of India. But do you know that Balchao has travelled a long way and has undergone an exciting journey before paving its way to settle in India finally? This spicy dish was introduced by the Portuguese during the period of colonisation. It is likely to have come from Malacca, which is now a state in Malaysia. So yes, balchao is one of the Portuguese-influenced Goan dishes. Today, balchao is one of the traditional dishes with Goan families, which is also prepared in Catholic homes.

How is balchao prepared?

Balchao is prepared by first cleaning and deveining prawns coated in sauces and sauteed in a mixture of red chillies, venger, cumin seeds, and other spices until the aroma is reached, which is later covered in sauces and well-cooked. Balchaois is served with hot or plain boiled rice. Check out the full recipe by tapping here.