Fish Recheado; A Delicious Blend Of Portugese And Goan Cuisine
Image Credit: Fish recheado/

Goan cuisine is like a colourful kaleidoscope of flavours and spices, thanks to its unique blend of Indian, Portuguese, and Southeast Asian influences. It's like a tasty melting pot that's full of surprises at every turn! Imagine yourself lounging on the beaches of Goa, sipping on refreshing coconut water, and feasting on a plate of spicy and tangy vindaloo or xacuti curry. These dishes are the stuff of legends, folks, with a perfect balance of heat and flavour that'll make your taste buds sing!

Seafood lovers, you're in for a real treat because Goan cuisine is famous for its fresh and succulent seafood dishes like prawn balchao, fish curry, and crab xec xec. These dishes are bursting with coastal flavours and are guaranteed to take your taste buds on a ride. Goan cuisine is the result of a unique blend of cultures and influences that reflect the state's rich history. The cuisine's roots can be traced back to the 16th century when Goa was under Portuguese rule. The Portuguese brought with them new ingredients, cooking techniques, and recipes that blended with the local Indian cuisine to create a new culinary identity.

One of the most significant contributions of the Portuguese to Goan cuisine was the use of vinegar, which was used to preserve meat and fish in the absence of refrigeration. This led to the development of dishes like vindaloo, a spicy curry made with pork or beef that's marinated in vinegar and spices. Goa's proximity to the coast also played a significant role in shaping its cuisine. Seafood like fish, prawns, crabs, and lobsters are abundant in the waters around Goa and are an essential part of the state's culinary heritage. Goan seafood dishes are known for their bold and flavorful masalas (spice blends) that combine local spices with Portuguese influences.

Fish recheado is a popular Goan dish that features a whole fish, usually a pomfret or kingfish, that's stuffed with a spicy and tangy masala (spice mix) called recheado. The masala is made by blending together a variety of spices like red chillies, cumin, coriander, garlic, ginger, and tamarind paste, along with vinegar or lemon juice. The history of fish recheado dates back to the time when Goa was under Portuguese rule. The dish is believed to have originated as a way for the Portuguese colonizers to cook fresh fish in the absence of refrigeration.

The word "recheado" comes from the Portuguese word "recheio," which means stuffing. The dish was likely created by Goan cooks who were influenced by the Portuguese method of using spices and vinegar to marinate and preserve meats and fish. Recheado masala is a blend of various spices like red chillies, cumin, coriander, garlic, ginger, turmeric, tamarind, and vinegar or lemon juice. It is a versatile masala that can be used to marinate and stuff a variety of meats and seafood, including fish, prawns, chicken, and pork. Recheado was initially used as a way to preserve meat and seafood in the absence of refrigeration. The vinegar in the masala acted as a preservative, while the spices added flavour and depth to the dish. Over time, the use of recheado evolved, and it became an integral part of Goan cuisine, adding a distinct flavour profile to many traditional dishes. Today, recheado masala is widely used in Goan cuisine and is a popular ingredient in dishes like fish recheado, prawn recheado, and chicken recheado. The spice mix's versatility has made it a staple in many Goan households, and it continues to be an important part of the state's rich culinary heritage. 

Fish Recheado/

Fish recheado is a flavorful and spicy dish with a tangy taste. The fish is marinated in a rich, thick recheado masala made from a blend of spices, vinegar, and tamarind paste, which gives it a distinctive sourness. The fish's flesh absorbs the flavors of the masala, making it savory and spicy, with a slight sweetness from the tamarind. The dish has a unique aroma that is a blend of the spices and the fish's natural oils. Overall, fish recheado is a delicious and flavorful dish that showcases the rich culinary heritage of Goa. 


  • 4 medium-sized pomfret or kingfish, cleaned and gutted
  • 6-7 dried red chilies
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 6-7 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 1-inch piece of ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 1 tbsp tamarind paste
  • 2 tbsp vinegar
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil for frying


  • Dry roast the cumin seeds, coriander seeds, and red chilies in a pan until fragrant. Let it cool and then grind it into a fine powder in a spice grinder.
  • In a blender, blend together the ginger, garlic, turmeric powder, tamarind paste, and vinegar to make a smooth paste.
  • Mix the spice powder and the paste together to form a thick recheado masala.
  • Rub the masala all over the fish, making sure to get it into the cuts and cavities.
  • Marinate the fish for at least an hour or overnight in the refrigerator.
  • Heat oil in a pan and shallow fry the fish until golden brown and cooked through, flipping once.
  • Serve hot with rice and lemon wedges.