Sungtache Humman Recipe: A Coconutty Prawn Curry From Goa
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It is no secret that the Goans love their fish and more so, a meal of prawn curry-rice. Amongst most other seafood preparations, the coconutty prawn curry – which is lightly spiced yet mild, with a sweet aftertaste from fresh prawns, the sungtache humman or the Gaud Saraswat Brahmin-style of prawn curry, is known to be one of the most beloved dishes native to the state. Most Goan GSBs are known to have their own family recipe of this coconut-based curry, which is eaten alongside rice, fried mackerel and a salad of sorts, called kismoor.

Some versions of this humman see the addition of vegetables like drumstick, lady finger, radish or souring agents like raw mango and hog plums. What is most fascinating about this curry is its usage of everyday ingredients and the many variations in the process of making the curry – which range from throwing everything together in one pot or cooking each element separately before it all comes together in the end. The ideal way to enjoy the sungtache humman is at room temperature, which gives the curry some time to let the flavours intermingle and intensify.

Also Read: 

Family Recipe: Murungai-Eeral (Drumstick & Prawn) Curry


Ingredients [For Paste] 

  • 10 Byadgi chillies
  • 4-5 Guntur chillies
  • 2 tablespoons tamarind pulp
  • 12-15 cloves garlic
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • ¼ cup dehydrated coconut
  • Salt, to taste

Ingredients [For Curry]

  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • ½ raw mango, sliced
  • 300 grams fresh prawns
  • ½ small onion, sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • Salt, to taste


  • Soak the chillies for the paste in hot water for 10 minutes and combine with other ingredients in a blender to grind into a fine paste.
  • Add the ground mixture to an earthen pan and swirl some water in the blender jar to clean out the remains and dilute the paste. Add a bit more water to thin out the mixture slightly along with the coconut oil, before bringing to a roaring boil.
  • Throw in the sliced raw mango and prawns, and cook until the prawns have cooked through but still tender.
  • Fry the sliced onion and garlic in the vegetable oil until they turn a crispy golden-brown. Extract from the oil and add it to the curry. Allow the curry to cool down to room temperature before enjoying with steaming hot red rice, fried fish and a lemony cabbage salad.