Goan Prawn Ambot Tik Curry

Getty Images / ravsky 

  • Total: 45 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins
  • Cook: 30 mins
  • Servings: 4 to 6 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
284 Calories
2g Fat
28g Carbs
40g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 284
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 2g 3%
Saturated Fat 1g 3%
Cholesterol 302mg 101%
Sodium 1111mg 48%
Total Carbohydrate 28g 10%
Dietary Fiber 4g 14%
Protein 40g
Calcium 214mg 16%
*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.)

Ambot tik reflects 450 years of Portuguese rule in the west Indian state of Goa. Much of the coastal region's cuisine merges Indian flavors with traditional Portuguese dishes. This dish typically uses prawns or shark, but you can also make it with another firm-fleshed fish or chicken. Serve this hot and sour Goan curry with steamed white rice or sannas, steamed Goan rice cakes.


  • 1/4 cup tamarind (golf ball-size lump)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 6 whole peppercorns
  • 8 to 10 dry red chilies
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil (or canola or sunflower cooking oil)
  • 2 medium onions (thinly sliced)
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 8 cloves garlic
  • 1-inch piece of ginger
  • 2 pounds prawns (large, shelled and deveined)
  • Salt to taste

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Submerge the tamarind in half a cup of hot water. Set it aside to soak.

  3. Heat a griddle or flat pan over a medium heat and gently roast (stirring often) the cumin seeds, peppercorns, and dry red chilies until they begin to darken and release a faint aroma. Set them aside to cool.

  4. Heat the oil in a pan over medium heat and add the onions. Fry them until they soften and turn slightly golden.

  5. In the bowl of a food processor, combine the onions with the turmeric, garlic, and ginger and grind them to a smooth paste.

  6. Squeeze the soaking tamarind in the water with your hand to release the softened pulp. Do this until you release all of the pulp. Strain it and set the juice aside, discarding the solids.

  7. Put the onion-spice paste back into the pan. Cook on medium for 1 minute, then add 1 1/2 cups warm water and the tamarind juice. Bring it to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer.

  8. Add the prawns and cook just until they turn pink. Take care not to overcook them or they will become rubbery. Season the dish to taste with salt.