‘Sungtache Lonche’ or Prawn Pickle is traditional Goan pickle made with small or medium-sized prawns cooked in a perfect blend of spices. This wonderful recipe comes from my mom Kamakshi and has been a family favourite for many years. The prawn pickle is easy to put together and is a great accompaniment to any meal. It tastes especially good when served with a traditional Goan meal of ‘ Xit, Kodi ani Human‘ (Rice, Sol Kadi and Fish Curry). Prawn pickle is also known as Kolambiche Lonche.
During childhood days, our mom had to keep a watch over the jar of pickle in the fridge. The boys would try to sneak spoonful after spoonful of the delicious pickle. The pickle that ought to last at least a week in the fridge would disappear within just two-three days! Even to this day, my husband absolutely loves the flavour of the prawn pickle and keeps sneaking spoonfuls of it with every meal. After all, the most awesome food we’ve ever had is the delectable goodies made by Maa, flavours of which we can only try our best to replicate.
- 200g fresh Prawns
- 2 tablespoons Red Chilli powder
- 1/2 tablespoon Turmeric (Haldi) powder
- 1/2 tablespoon Salt
- 2 tablespoons Mustard seeds (Rai or Sarson)
- 1 tablespoons Fenugreek seeds (Methi)
- 1-inch piece of Asafoetida (Khada Hing) or 1 teaspoon Asafoetida powder
- 10 Peppercorns (Kali Mirch)
- 1 small ball Tamarind (Imli) or 1 teaspoon Tamarind Concentrate
- 3-4 tablespoons Vegetable Oil
- 2-3 tablespoons Water
Clean and devein the prawns. Place the prawns in a bowl and add the red chilli powder, turmeric powder and salt. Mix well and leave the prawns to marinate for fifteen minutes.
In a wide pan, dry roast a tablespoon of mustard seeds (save the rest for later), fenugreek seeds, pieces of asafoetida and peppercorns. Stir frequently and roast on low flame until the spices are fragrant. Take the pan off the heat and once cooled, grind the spices to a coarse powder. Apply the spice powder to the prawns and marinate for 10-15 minutes.
Soak the tamarind pieces in a few tablespoons of lukewarm water for ten minutes. Extract the sour pulp, discarding the hard tamarind seed and add this pulp to the marinating prawns. Alternatively, add a teaspoon of tamarind concentrate to the prawn mixture.
Heat the vegetable oil in a heavy-bottomed, non-stick pan. Once the oil is hot, add a tablespoon of mustard seeds. Once the mustard seeds start to splutter, add in the prawn mixture and stir well to combine. Use a few tablespoons of water to rinse out the bowl of marinated prawns and add this liquid to the prawn mixture. Lower the flame and cook until the prawns are tender (10-15 mins).
Once the prawns have cooked, taste the mixture to check for seasoning. Add more salt if needed or some more tamarind pulp if required. Leave the pickle to cool completely. Once the pickle has cooled completely, transfer the mixture to a small airtight jar.
The prawn pickle can be stored in the refrigerator for 7-10 days.