Goan Hot Prawns Pickle-Style (Prawn Balchao)

Finger Hot is the commercial name for this asian-type pepper that is actually very similar to fresh cayenne and can be used in any recipe to add heat without changing the flavor. It is a good chile to chop and use in stir fry.

They are thin-walled and measure about 1/2″ wide and 5″ to 8″ long. These chiles also dry very nicely.

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Spice paste:

2 dry red chiles, preferably de arbol
1 tsp. black peppercorns
1 Tbsp. mustard seeds
2 tsp. cumin seeds
1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
1 Tbsp. ginger-garlic paste
1 Tbsp. vinegar or as per taste

For the prawns:

1-1/2 pounds headless fresh prawns shelled, deveined and cleaned
4 onions, finely chopped
4 tomatoes, finely chopped
2 green finger hot chiles, deseeded and chopped
1 sprig curry leaves
4 Tbsp. oil
salt, sugar and vinegar to taste


Spice paste:

Mix together all the spice ingredients and grind into a fine paste.

For the prawns:

Rub the prawns with some salt and a pinch of the turmeric powder. Set aside for 5 minutes, then wash well and drain. Rub the ground paste into the prawns and set aside until needed for cooking.

Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed pan and drop in the curry leaves. Add the chopped onions and saute over medium heat for about 3 minutes or until the onions are light brown. Add the tomato pieces and fry until the oil leaves the sides of the pan.

Add the prawns along with the marinade and stir-fry briefly. Add the chopped green chiles, salt, sugar and vinegar to taste. Mix well, cover, and cook over low heat for about 10 minutes or until the prawns are cooked and the oil starts floating on top.

Serve hot with fresh bread.

Recipe from www.syvum.com.