Go Back
Prawn pickle in bottle

Prawn Balchao

This fiery red Goan prawn pickle is so finger licking good, that you cannot stop eating it
Course Pickle
Cuisine Indian
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Maturing time 15 days
Total Time 15 days 45 minutes
Servings 1 cup
Author Hema Magesh


For prawns

  • 250 g cleaned and deveined prawns
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • a pinch of turmeric powder

For balchao masala

  • 8 nos Kashmiri chillies(12 g)
  • 3 cloves garlic(8 g)
  • 1 piece ginger(4 g)
  • 1 tsp peppercorns
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • ½ tsp mustard seeds
  • ¼ tsp fenugreek seed/methi
  • 1 piece cinnamon
  • 4 nos cloves
  • a small pea sized ball of tamarind(6 g)
  • ½ cup Apple cider vinegar(ACV)

Rest of the ingredients

  • 2 big onions (130 g)
  • 2 cloves garlic (6 g)
  • 1 piece ginger (3 g)
  • a few curry leaves
  • 6 tbsp oil
  • 2 tbsp ACV
  • 1 tbsp jaggery/sugar(or as needed)
  • ¼ tsp hing/asafoetida
  • a pinch of turmeric
  • salt as needed


  • Clean the prawns, devein, wash & chop into small pieces. Marinate in the salt and turmeric powder for 15 - 30 minutes.
    Prawn balchao preparation steps 1&2
  • Dry roast the spices given in the balchao masala from pepper to cloves and grind with the chillies, ginger, garlic, tamarind and ACV.
  • Thinly slice the onions, ginger and garlic. In a wide mouthed pan dry fry the onions for a minute or two. Then add 2 tbsp of oil, the ginger garlic and curry leaves. Fry well and keep aside.
  • In the same pan add another 2 tbsp of oil and shallow fry the prawns, till the prawns slightly brown and all the water evaporates. Transfer to a plate.
    Prawn balchao preparation steps 7&8
  • Now add back the fried onion mixture to the pan, and fry for a few more minutes. Add the ground balchao masala and saute well.
  • Add 2 more tbsp of ACV to thin out the gravy, salt as needed, jaggery, turmeric powder and asafoetida.
  • Mix well and add the fried prawns. As the water dries out add two more tbsp of oil. Cook till it oozes out oil.
    Prawn balchao preparation steps 11&12
  • Cool down completely, before transferring to an airtight container, preferably glass.