Prawns Balchao Goa
The prawn balchao is the piece de resistance of the menu. Now balchao is not a dish everybody can eat. It is too strong too sour, too aggressive, too Goanese. You have to develop a taste for it. In essence, it is a pickle, the Parsis call it kolminu achar, but the Goans eat it as a dish.
There are seven to eight types of balchao, subtle distinctions exist between the balchaos of Bardez and those of Salsette. The bhakri, a sort of a thick roti made of dry shrimps which is an essential ingredient of the balchao, comes from Luotolim, our Mario Miranda's native village and the place he disappears to every once in a while.
Cooked with a generous helping of dried red chillies, this is a Goan delicacy you have to try out in your kitchen or in a Goan restaurant. Here is the recipe for Prawn Balchao.
The traditional Portuguese dish is Bacalhau or cod that has been salted and dried to preserve it. It is so popular it could be called the national food of Portugal.
Dried cod 250g
Garlic 5 cloves
Green Peppers 3
Hard-boiled eggs 3
Olive oil 50g
Bacalhau is not available in Goa, so if you have relatives abroad, ask them to add a few packs of it to their list of goodies for you when they come down. This is one of the more simpler recipes and is the recipe used at Longuinhos.
Soak the cod overnight in cold water. Drain the cod, put it in a saucepan and add enough water to cover. Bring it to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer very gently for 15 minutes.
Drain, keep the cod aside and reserve the water. When cool, carefully remove all the bones and flake the cod.
Slice the onions, tomatoes and green peppers. Chop the garlic.
Cut potatoes into small cubes and parboil.
Heat olive oil in a pan, add onions and fry over a low heat till soft. Add garlic and fry for another minute. Add the tomatoes, green peppers and fry for 2-3 minutes.
Add the cod and stir gently. Mix in all the ingredients evenly and cook for a few minutes.
Add diced hard-boiled eggs and serve at once.