Red Chile and Vinegar Paste

Balchao Masala

Preparation info

  • Makes

    ½ cup

    • Difficulty

      Easy

Appears in

660 Curries

By Raghavan Iyer

Published 2008

  • About

A pickle-like blend of ingredients called balchao, is crucial to many of Portuguese Goa’s meat dishes, and usually incorporates Goa’s other passion, feni, a potent alcoholic brew made from either cashew nuts or palm fruit. Also omnipresent in Goan dishes is the highly acidic feni vinegar, which reduces the potency of dried red chiles—as does tart tamarind, another key element in this layered, complex, and fiery-hot paste that peppers its way into many of Goa’s curries.