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Prawns Balchao
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5 from 3 votes

Prawns Balchao

Goan prawn balchao is a fiery dish from the Indian coastal state Goa. This is made with prawns in a tangy and spicy chili and tamarind sauce and tastes like pickle.
Course Condiments, Dips
Cuisine Goan, Indian
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings 6 People
Author Raksha Kamat


  • 50 small shrimps/ 25 tiger prawns
  • 3 medium sized onions finely chopped
  • 15-17 garlic pods finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon red chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 lime
  • ½ cup tamarind pulp

For the masala:

  • ¾ inch asafoetida / 1 teaspoon asafoetida powder
  • 15 black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds


  • Soak the tamarind pulp in 1 cup water for atleast 15 minutes.
  • De-vein and clean prawns. Refer to this video to know how to de-vein prawns.
  • After cleaning, add chili powder, turmeric powder and mix well. Keep it aside to marinate for atleast 15 minutes.

Let us prepare the masala:

  • Take the tadka pan or any small pan, add asafoetida and 2 teaspoon oil.
  • After 1 minute, add black pepper and mustard seeds and close the lid.
  • After mustard seeds splutter, switch off the heat/gas and let this cool.
  • After cooling make a paste of this using a mortar and pestle.
  • This masala can even be done and in advance and stored in fridge.

Let us now prepare the balchao:

  • Heat a kadai/pan, add 5 teaspoon oil.
  • Add chopped onion and fry till onions turns mushy.
  • Add garlic and mix. Fry till aroma gets emitted from garlic.
  • Add prawns and mix.
  • Add the tamarind pulp along with water, mix and close the lid.
  • After 10 minutes, add a teaspoon of the masala paste to the prawns in the kadai.
  • Mix well and let it cook.
  • After 5 minutes, taste and if needed add salt.
  • Garnish with lime juice and close the lid.