While chowder is a soup with nice succulent pieces of seafood, I decided to focus on the prawn head. Usually, we use the prawn head for flavouring only. I thought that it would be such a waste to not chew on these yummy blobs of goodness. I was really happy with the result.
I can definitely understand if the non-vegetarians cringe with the thought of having prawn heads. I used to do that too. But then, once I chomped into a prawn head; there was no looking back.
For this recipe, I used the prawn heads that I saved from preparing an earlier dish. Trust me, this preparation was absolutely yummy. The heads not only add to the flavour of the curry; but also absorbs the spices. Total drool scenes.
Everyone knows Prawn Balchão as a main course. It is actually more like a pickle! In the days prior to refrigeration, prawns (and sometimes pork) would be left to marinate in a vinegar-based sweet and sour tomato-chilli sauce. Here, the Balchão would be left for days to marinate without reheating.
Balchao is a spicy seafood pickle from Goa. While prawns are used most of the times, it is not uncommon to use other seafood like mussels, clams, lobster, seer fish, tuna and mackerel; amongst others.
Most people believe that the Balchao is extremely fiery. While this is true when it is tasted on the day f preparation; Balchao is a pickle and should be left for atleast a day before eating. An ideal time for resting would be a week. During this period, the marinade soaks into the seafood and the vinegar mellow the spice to a level which makes this dish very desireable.