New Year 2023: Bring Goa Home With These Prawn Balchao Buns

And just like that, you are here unable to make it to Goa for the New Year’s, yet again. Goa is often dubbed as the party capital of India, and it is indeed the best place to unwind and watch the last few days of the year go by. Guzzling down beer by the sea, dancing all night in the clubs... you get the drift. But that doesn’t mean you do not deserve a good New Year bash outside of Goa, especially, when there is an option of bringing a bit of Goa to your home. Confused? Read on. 

Goa is also a haven for foodies. Most of Goan foods find their roots in Portuguese cuisine. If you recall, Goa was a Portuguese colony for more than 500 years, and most of Goa’s food serves as a cultural reminder of the same. Prawn Balchao, is a hot, peppy tangy dish that has a lovely semi-dry consistency. Made with deveined prawns, cooked till crunchy. Prawn Balchao is cooked in a delish pool of spices and herbs such as red chillies, ginger, garlic, and onions. The real game changer however, is the Toddy vinegar that adds just the right amount of tang to the recipe. Here’s a recipe by chef Jose Thomas, executive chef - Taj Exotica resort & spa, Goa.

Prawn Balchao Buns 


  • 200 g Prawns  
  • 2 inch Ginger  
  • 5-10 nos Garlic Cloves  
  • 1 tsp Cumin Seeds  
  • 12-15 nos Dried Red Chilies  
  • 8-10 Cloves  
  • 2 inch Cinnamon Stick  
  • 1 tsp Mustard Seeds  
  • 1 cup Toddy Vinegar  
  • ¾ cup Onions (finely diced)  
  • 2 tbsp Oil  
  • 2 tsp Sugar  
  • Salt to taste  

 For Buns  

  •  ¼ Cup Warm Milk  
  • 2 tsp Sugar  
  • 3 g Active Dry Yeast  
  • 1 cup Refined Flour  
  • ½ tsp Salt  
  • 2 tbsp Softened Butter  



  • Apply salt to prawns, and set aside.  
  • In a bowl, soak the red chilies along with vinegar, preferably over night or for half an hour till they soften.  
  • Grind ginger, garlic, cumin seeds, cloves, cinnamon and mustard seeds along with the vinegar soaked chilies into a smooth paste.  
  • In a pan, heat oil, add onions, and saute till translucent.   
  • Once they start to turn brown add the paste and cook well.  
  • In a separate pan, heat oil and add prawns, cook till half done.  
  • Add the Balchao masala and cook till the prawns are done.  
  • Add chopped coriander and season with salt and sugar.  


  • Activate the yeast by combining with milk and sugar.  
  • In a bowl, add refined flour and salt. Knead until the dough is soft.   
  • Add softened butter and continue to knead.  
  • Cover the dough with cling film or a kitchen towel.  
  • Keep aside in a warm and dry place to proof.  
  • Once proofed, punch the dough to take out excess air, slightly knead once again.  
  • Divide into equal-shaped balls.  


  • Take each dough ball and flatten out on your palm.  
  • Add a tablespoon of the prawn Balchao mixture in the center and gather the edges to form a ball. 
  • Repeat the process with each ball of dough.  
  • Once done, place them evenly on a greased baking tray.  
  • Brush the dough with milk.  
  • Cover with cling film or a kitchen towel and allow to rest for another 20 minutes.  
  • Bake at 180 degrees for 20 minutes.  
  • Brush the tops with melted butter.