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Prawn Balachao

An easy-to-make prawn pickle.

Prawn Balachao


This is an easy prawn pickle, not too spicy, but tangy and meaty. Try serving alongside a Goan Green, Xacutti or Vindaloo curry. Or simply try with rice and a dhal.

  1. Put the prawns in a colander and sprinkle a pinch of salt and 1/2 tsp of turmeric over them. Mix everything together and leave to stand for 10 minutes.
  2. In a small, dry frying pan toast the peppercorns and cumin seeds over a medium heat for 3-4 minutes until darkened and fragrant. Leave to cool and then grind in a pestle and mortar or spice grinder.
  3. To make the pickle mixture, combine the garlic and ginger paste, kashmiri chilli powder, tomato puree, vinegar, salt and sugar in a bowl.
  4. Fry the prawns in 2 tbsp of oil on a high heat for 3 - 4 minutes, until cooked through. Remove from the pan and set aside. Once cool enough, chop into small chunks.
  5. In the same pan, heat 2 tbsp oil on a medium heat. Add the curry leaves and fry for 2 minutes.
  6. Add the chopped onion and fry for 5-8 minutes, until the onions are soft.
  7. Add the spice and vinegar mix, then stir together with the onions. Leave to cook for another 5 - 8 minutes. It will reduce and thicken slightly.
  8. Add the prawns into the pickle mixture and stir well. Leave to cook for a further 8 - 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. When ready, the prawns should have a thick coating of the pickle mixture.
  9. Decant into jars or containers and leave to cool before refrigerating.

This is not a long life pickle, but should be OK in the fridge for a couple of days.