Fresh Prawn Pickle

Pickled prawns
JoeGough / Getty Images
Prep: 30 mins
Cook: 45 mins
Total: 75 mins
Servings: 16 to 20 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
78 Calories
1g Fat
3g Carbs
12g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 16 to 20
Amount per serving
Calories 78
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 1g 1%
Saturated Fat 0g 2%
Cholesterol 108mg 36%
Sodium 493mg 21%
Total Carbohydrate 3g 1%
Dietary Fiber 1g 2%
Total Sugars 0g
Protein 12g
Vitamin C 1mg 4%
Calcium 63mg 5%
Iron 1mg 4%
Potassium 136mg 3%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

The state of Goa in western India stretches along the Arabian Sea, and the cuisine of the Goan region is heavily based on their abundant seafood, with influences from Hindu, Muslim, and Portuguese cultures. The Goans are experts at pickling different types of meat and fish, and this recipe for fresh prawn pickle is no exception.

The prawn pickle needs to rest for a few days so all of the spices can mingle and blossom. It will keep for a long time in the refrigerator, so if you can resist eating it all at once, you can enjoy it with meals for days to come, or plan to make it ahead of time and have it on hand for guests. It tastes great served hot over boiled rice or daal (legumes such as lentils that are hulled and split and then cooked into a thick stew).

You can adjust the amount of heat in this dish by varying the amount of the red chiles, which is the only spicy element.


  • 2 1/4 pounds (1 kilogram) king prawns, or jumbo shrimp

  • 1 dash salt, or to taste

  • 1 teaspoon turmeric

  • 12 dried red chiles

  • 1 thumb-sized piece ginger

  • 1 large bulb garlic (about 15 to 20 cloves)

  • 4 teaspoons cumin seeds

  • 3 cups (750 milliliters) white vinegar

Steps to Make It

  1. Wash, shell and devein the prawns. Pat them dry with a paper towel.

  2. Mix salt to taste and the turmeric powder in a small bowl and rub into the prawns. Set aside to marinate for 1 hour.

  3. In a food processor, grind the red chiles, ginger, garlic, and cumin seeds, adding a little bit of vinegar (but not all 3 cups) to help make into a thick, smooth paste. Set aside.

  4. Heat 4 tablespoons of the oil over medium heat and stir-fry the prawns until golden. Drain prawns on paper towels and allow to cool.

  5. Fry the spice paste in the remaining 3 tablespoons of oil until the oil begins to separate from the masala. Add the remaining vinegar, season with salt if necessary, and cook over medium heat for 15 minutes more. Allow it to cool completely.

  6. Place the prawns in a glass pickling jar and pour the cooled spice mix over them. Mix well and allow to rest for a few days before eating.

  7. Serve with rice and daal or just plain boiled rice.