Goan Prawn Balchao with Fennel and Chili Chimichurri and Buttered Pao Bread


  • 8 ea. Ecuadorian Prawns, large
  • 1⁄2 tsp. Kosher Salt
  • 1⁄2 tsp. Turmeric
  • 1 T Canola Oil
  • 2 T Balchao sauce, recipe follows
  • 1 T Unsalted Butter
  • Fennel and Chili Chimichurri, recipe follows
  • Pao Bread, store-bought
  • Cultured Butter, as needed


De-shell and clean prawns, keeping heads and tails intact; pat dry using a kitchen cloth. In a large bowl, add salt and turmeric to the prawns and mix well.

Heat oil in a pan and sear all the prawns on both sides. Add Balchao sauce and cook for a few minutes. Add butter and emulsify the sauce. Check the seasoning.

Place the prawns in a deep bowl, pour the sauce over the prawns and drizzle fennel chimichurri around. Serve with pao bread and butter.

To make the fennel and chili chimichurri: process or mortar and pestle 1 cup chopped fennel, 3 Indian green chilies, 1⁄2 cup cilantro, chopped (including stems), 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, 2 tablespoons lemon juice and 1 teaspoon salt.

To make Balchao sauce: In a food processor, add 3⁄4 cup canola oil; 1 tablespoon chopped garlic; 1 cinnamon stick; 1 teaspoon cumin seeds, 1 teaspoon turmeric and 1 cup dry Kashmiri red chilies, rehydrated; 1 cup vinegar and 3 green chilies; process until smooth. Sauté 1 1⁄2 cups chopped red onion until translucent and add the blended mixture. Season with 3 tablespoons sugar and 1 tablespoon kosher salt.

Executive Chef Sujan Sarkar, Baar Baar, New York City, from Food Fanatics® Magazine.