Goan Prawn Caldinho

Prawn curry cooked with ginger, chillies & coconut milk


I cook an Indian meal at home most days in the week and if there’s one thing that I strive to do, it would be to cook food with fresh ingredients but also focus on the health factor of each meal. Healthy food need not be boring food and nor does it have to taste bland.  Indian cuisine is a classic example where the use of spices and fresh herbs lend to a very delicious meal but also with added healthy benefits. Regional dishes in India speak volumes of the variety of food on offer; from sprouts, lentils, meats to wheat and millet based breads. All good for you and equally moreish!

My Goan Prawn Caldinho spells just that – full of goodness, healthy and a curry that will keep you coming back for seconds. One of the main things about cooking seafood is the time it takes; really quick and also unlike meat or chicken marinating for 10-15 minutes is just fine. I have opted for full fat coconut milk in the recipe which still lends that creamy flavour to the curry and balances the dish beautifully.

Caldinho is a typical Goan preparation that is mildly spiced; usually made with fish but prawns or even just vegetables are commonly used in the gravy base. It has always been one of my favourite curries growing up in India. My mum cooked it often for the family but it’s also something I have eaten loads while visiting Goa with friends and family. Flavours in a Caldinho are tangy, sweet, lightly spiced with a hint of heat from the powdered spices. As with all my recipes check the strength of your tamarind paste before adding. The slit green chillies which are added towards the end of cooking give that bout of heat though you can leave them out if you prefer.


  1. In a bowl add the prawns and sprinkle over turmeric powder, vinegar and salt. Mix and set aside for 15-20 mins while you get the curry ready. In a coffee grinder tip in the cumin seeds, peppercorns and coriander seeds. Blitz to a fine powder and set aside.

  2. Heat the oil in a heavy based sauce pan and add the onions and fry for 5-7 mins on a medium until they start to change colour to a light brown. Add the chopped tomato and fry for 3-4 mins. As they begin to soften add the garlic and ginger paste and fry for a further minute.

  3. Now add the powdered spices and mix it all together. Fry for 2 minutes and add the marinated prawns. Stir coating them in the spiced sauce for a few seconds now add the coconut milk, water and tamarind paste.Goan Prawn Caldinho


  4. Bring to a simmer cooking the prawns until they turn pink for no more than 3-4 minutes. Add the green chillies and sugar. Garnish with coriander leaves and check seasoning. Serve with steamed basmati rice or some pav bread and a fresh zingy salad.

  • Sunil Jadhav

    it makes very happy while reading wanna make this sunday

  • http://www.thetravellingchopsticks.wordpress.com TTChopsticks

    This looks amazing – my mouth is watering just looking at the pictures. I visited Goa a couple of years ago and loved this dish (I had it with fish) I almost forgot about it, until I saw this! Will definitly give this dish a go! Thank you for sharing 🙂

  • Jane

    I have just been introduced to your website Maunika. Indian food is my absolute favourite so I look forward to many happy hours of cooking. Everything looks so delicious! Making this prawn dish today. Many thanks.

  • Olivia

    This looks delicious!
    Please can you tell me how many the recipe serves?

  • rachida

    i just been to the website, i like the recipes very much

  • Dawn Jennings

    I’ve just made this with home made naan breads, it’s was stunning…..much better than take away!

    • Maunika Gowardhan

      Yay! Thank you so much thats really lovely to hear and what a delicious meal:)

  • RotiKapdaaAurMakan

    Madam , You are a genius

  • RahulS

    Hey Maunika, I tried this with fish, it was amazing! Thank you so much! https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/b033e154e6f360d42f957049ec35244f6feddabfbb4a3d41dcaf906bebbc23c5.jpg

    • Maunika Gowardhan

      THAT looks wonderful! Thank you for your kind words and so happy to hear your enjoying the recipes. Love a Goan Caldinho:)

  • Sithara

    Wow! …yum ☺…btw Maunika how do you make fluffy nice cooked basmati rice. Share the secret ?

    • Maunika Gowardhan

      In my cookbook!

  • Subha

    I just made it for dinner, my hubby and me we are relishing at the same time commenting.. it is awesome!!! Thank you!!

    • Maunika Gowardhan

      Yay! One of my favorite recipes with rice. Such a classic recipe from Goa and so happy your family loved it too!

  • leanneP

    Can I ask why we can’t use store bought coriander powder and black pepper, instead of having to grind ourselves into a powder.

    • Maunika Gowardhan

      You can ofcourse! Although freshly ground spices add to flavour and aroma of the dish.

  • Navneet Hans

    Mine was too sour. I don’t want to keep adding sugar to fix the sourness. 🙁 anything you’d recommend to fix it?

    • Maunika Gowardhan

      As the notes for the recipe mention check the strength of tamarind as every brand can vary in quality. Also apart from the sugar up the quantity of coconut milk to reduce the sour flavour. Hope you try it again soon!


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