• 25 to 30 medium sized prawns 2 large onions chopped finely 2 large tomatoes chopped finely 8 garlic cloves ½ inch ginger 4 black pepper corns ½ inch cinnamon 1 teaspoon saunf/ aniseeds 2 teaspoons cuminseeds 1 chhoti elaichi/ cardamom 1 teaspoon sugar ½ teaspoon vinegar 2 teaspoons tomato sauce 1 teaspoon dry red chilly powder Salt to taste

The Portuguese have left their influence on the food of Goa. A method of cooking fish or prawns in a dark red and tangy sauce is called balchao  is a famous cooking style. This tasty tangy pickle type dish can be stored for a week in the refrigerator. You can substitute the prawns with any fish of your choice.

Shell the prawns






  1. Clean the prawns. For cleaning procedure please refer to the Tandoori prawns recipe. http://www.allcancook.com/tandoori-prawns/
  2. Apply salt, turmeric powder and marinate them for 15-20 minutes.
  3. Grind to a paste the garlic, ginger, peppercorns, cinnamon, aniseeds, cumin seeds, elaichi & chilly powder.
  4. Heat 2 tablespoons oil and fry the finely chopped onions till golden brown. Add the sugar to the onions while frying.
  5. Add the ground paste, fry till the paste starts leaving oil and turn dark brown.
  6. Add the tomatoes & fry well till the tomatoes get pulpy & a gravy is formed.
  7. Add prawns, salt & fry for 2 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons water & cook till done.
  8. Add the vinegar & stir well. Add tomato sauce & mix well.
  9. The prawn balchao/ sungtan cho balchaon is ready to serve with rice & fish curry/ hooman.

Prawn Balchao.jpg