The Big Boys Curry Book

Prawn Balchao

This chap is planting new coconut trees, an important source of income for Keralas farmers

This is a classic Goan recipe that uses the very versatile Recheade Masala (Goan Spice Paste). This is a chutney that can be served as an accompaniment to other dishes or as a starter if warmed slightly and served with some good crusty bread. Try it also as a stuffing for a samosa. My mate Nick devised a great starter with it which simply involves wrapping a spoonful into 1/2 a sheet of filo pastry, brushing lightly with oil and baking in the oven. Serve with thick yoghurt or creme fresh sprinkled with a touch of paprika.You will need a kilner or other form of tight lidded storage jar for this. Make sure it is clean. Balchao can be kept in the fridge for quite a while depending on the size of prawns. Small prawns will keep longer as they have less moisture in them. Large prawns will be allright for 1 or 2 weeks. Use smaller prawns for preference.


  • 4 large onions chopped fine (use a food processor if available)
  • 2 tblspn oil
  • 15 curry leaves
  • 2 tblspn Recheade Masala
  • 400g (1lb) fresh or frozen prawn, washed and drained.
  • Salt to taste


  1. Fry onion gently until deep brown but not burnt.
  2. Add curry leaves, salt and recheade masala. Fry until oil separates
  3. Add prawns. If fresh, fry until prawns are cooked. If frozen (and cooked!), simply warm them through.
  4. Allow mixture to cool and then pack tight into storage jar (1/3rd litre size for this amount).
  5. Cover with a film of vegetable oil and store in fridge.

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