Enjoy a wholesome meal of freshly made prawns with red recheado masala

With sun, sea, and seafood aplenty—the tiny emerald land of Goa might be India’s smallest state—but people love reveling in Goa's carefree susegad way of life. The sunshine state is blessed with a rich culinary treasure that draws foodies with its perky flavours. Think Goa and you are at once filled with the local aromatic spices and the zesty flavours of vinegar and kokum that are hard to resist. 

The popular notion of Goan cuisine with its amalgamation of Indian and Portuguese influences is usually fish curry, rice and feni. If you crave for some authentic Goan fish dishes, apart from Sorpotel, Vindaloo and Xacuti, most of the popular seafood preparation involves using a rich masala paste. Recheado (recheado in Portuguese translates to 'stuffed') masala is the go-to paste for most seafood preparation in any Goan kitchen. It is traditionally prepared by grounding whole spices at home using a sil batta. The fiery combination of Kashmiri chilies, ginger, garlic, pepper, cloves, cardamom and tamarind packs a punch of flavour to everything—from prawns, to mackerel to Indian salmon and many more. The fine balance of spicy, tangy and slight sweetness is what makes this a go-to masala for all Goan recipes. If you don’t have a sil batta at home, you can make this masala using a blender. Here is an easy recipe of homemade recheado paste from scratch that you can use to dish up some mouth-watering prawns recheado masala. Click here to learn how to make pork sorpotel at home.

Recheado Masala Recipe

List of ingredients you will need:

17-18 dry red Kashmiri chilies
1-inch ginger chopped
7-8 garlic cloves
1.5 tsp peppercorn
1 tsp cumin seed
½ tsp turmeric powder
4-5 cloves
2 green cardamom
1 tbsp sugar
2 marble sized tamarind ball without seed or basic tamarind pulp
2.5 tbsp coconut vinegar or white vinegar 
Salt as required

Also read: The Disappearing Wild Berries of Goa

Procedure:
1. Soak all the spices; ginger, garlic, tamarind pulp, pepper, cumin seed, cardamom, Kashmiri chilies in vinegar. 
2. Combine everything and leave it for about 40 minutes. Add sugar, salt and turmeric powder to it and then grind the mixture to make a smooth paste, add more vinegar to the paste to get a perfect consistency, it should not be too runny, nor too thick. If it is too runny, it will not stick to the meat pieces during marination.
3.  Once your recheado paste is ready, you can use it to marinate the fish or meat. Store the rest of the masala in the refrigerator. You can use this rich and tangy masala to stuff mackerel, prawns and even okra. Click here to read lip-smacking Pork Vindaloo recipe

Read: Life of Pao and Other Breads from Goa

How to Make Prawns Recheado Masala
1.  To make Goan prawns recheado masala, you will need about 250-300 grams of fresh prawns. You can choose the prawns of any size from medium to large (peeled and de-veined). After thoroughly cleaning it, coat the recheado masala liberally on the prawns and leave it for about 30 minutes. 
2. Mix about  ½ cup of semolina and 2 tablespoons of rice flour together on a plate to coat the marinated prawns and heat enough oil to shallow fry the prawns. 
3. Once the oil is warm enough, coat the marinated prawns with the above-mentioned dry mix of semolina and rice flour and place them gently on the pan. Fry them until they turn golden brown on both sides. Remember not to cluster too many while frying. Repeat the same process with the rest of the prawns. Once done, you can serve prawns recheado hot as a side dish or with salad, lime wedges, rice and curry.
With inputs from chef Rohit Pushpavanam, Executive Chef, Alila Diwa Goa 

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