Dry shrimp gravy (Sukkil sungta ambat)

When I was a kid I simply hated dried seafood. I never even wanted to taste it because of its smell. But now, since husband is a big fan of dried shrimp, I have also started eating it. I have not tried cooking dried fish after I had to throw the entire gravy because of bad smell, I might have brought wrong fish, don’t know. So I decided to try only dried shrimp till I will be able to recognize the dried fish :).

I brought a pack of dried shrimp from the Chinese grocery store here. I knew only kismuri with it. Few days back when I had called my husband’s grandmother- fondly called as Mamayi, who is a great cook, gave me this recipe. I prepared it the same day and absolutely loved it. Now I think I should be more open to dried fish also, who knows? I may like it :).

Following is the picture of dry shrimps that I used for this dish

Aayi’s recipe has a slight variation. She does not add potato to this gravy.


½ cup dried shrimp
1 cup grated coconut (fresh or frozen)
½ cup onion
4-5 red chilies
¼ tea spn tamarind extract or 1-2 pieces of normal tamarind
3/4 tea spn coriander seeds
¾ cup potatoes cut into big pieces (optional)

Heat oil and fry coriander seeds. Grind them with coconut, tamarind and red chilies to a smooth paste.
Heat remaining oil and add onions. Fry till they turn slightly brownish. Add shrimp, potatoes and ½ cup water(while cooking shrimp some people add ¼ cup raw onion for extra taste). Cook till potatoes are tender.
Now add ground paste, salt and sufficient water. Cook for another 6-7mins.

Serves : 2-3
Preparation time : 20mins

Shrimp gravy (Sungta hinga uda)

Sungta Hinga Udaak
Sungta Hinga Udaak

Shrimps/Prawns are called as Sungat in Konkani. Hinga uda/udak means asafoetida water. I didn’t know any recipe with any seafood prepared with asafoetida in it (there may be such recipes, but I didn’t know about them). I am a big fan of shrimps. So when I got this recipe from my regular reader Rajasi, I was more than happy to try it. She sent me 3 recipes, here is the first of them.

Here is what Rajasi had to say about this recipe “This is eaten as gravies, I guess. It should not be too thin in consistency. But when it is made in my household, I eat with chapathi, bread and rice. Though, traditionally this is served with rice. Only one thing about Hinga uda is that some people do not use coconut oil because of the health reasons. Using coconut oil is the most authentic way of making this curry and I personally can’t imagine drizzling any other oil on top of the gravy when boiling. So if they use any other oil, the taste may or may not change. I don’t know. This curry needs to be spicy and tastes even better next day”.

I liked the very strong taste of asafoetida and coconut oil in this recipe. People who don’t like the taste of asafoetida and coconut oil, please ignore this recipe. Thanks a lot Rajasi for sending me this unusual and absolutely delicious recipe.

1 cup shrimp
1 cup grated coconut (fresh or frozen)
5-6 red chilies (preferably Byadagi chilies and Kashmiri chilies which give color and spice)
1/4 tea spn tamarind extract (or normal tamarind to suit taste)
1/2 tea spn asafoetida
2 tea spns coconut oil

If the asafoetida smell is too strong, reduce the amount, but when this dish is ready, it should have a distinct smell of asafoetida and coconut oil.

Grind coconut, tamarind and red chilies to a smooth paste.
In a pot, mix the paste with shrimp. Add sufficient water and salt.
When the curry starts boiling, drizzle coconut oil and asafoetida.
Serve hot with rice or chapathi or bread.

Serves :2-3
Preparation time : 15-20mins

Kokum Shrimp(Sola sungat or sungta khoLu)

KhoLu” is the red liquid part of pickles (generally mango pickle). But here, I think KhoLu means pickle. So this can be called as Shrimp pickle. ‘Kokum’ is called as ‘Sola‘. The most popular shrimp pickle among Konkanis is here. But “Kokum Shrimp” is my Aayi’s own recipe adapted from kokum bangada.

This is one of the simplest and tastiest shrimp recipes. This literally gets ready in 10mins. As I am a big fan of shrimp, I keep making this dish very frequently. I found a pack of kokum in Indian store here. So I prepare this when I want to have something tasty but don’t want to spend too much time in kitchen.

15-20 shrimps
1 tea spn finely chopped garlic
3/4 tea spn coriander powder
A pinch turmeric
3/4 tea spn chili powder
2-3 kokum pieces

Add chopped garlic, coriander powder, chili powder, turmeric and salt to the cleaned shrimp.
Heat oil and fry shrimp for few mins.
Add 1/4 cup water in the vessel used for mixing spices. Then pour it over shrimp.(optional, if using frozen shrimp, it usually has lot of water in it).
Now add kokum pieces. Cook till the shrimps are completely done.
Serve hot.

Serves : 3
Preparation time : 10min

PS: If you don’t find Kokum, replace it with tamarind extract.
Following is a picture of kokum.

Prawn Pulav (Sungta Pulav)

Prawn Pulav
Prawn Pulav (Shrimp Pulav)

Few days back, one of my reader had requested for this recipe. So far I have tried making many types of prawn/fish pulavs. But I always loved this delicious prawn pulav from my Aayi. It is very simple to make, yet amazingly tasty. When we were kids, my brother and I always loved this. As we grew up, somehow this pulav was forgotten, though we still can feel the taste of green pulav, peas pulav. Few days back, when I was talking to her, she mentioned this. I was very hesitant to try it because of my previous experiences with not-so-great-tasting prawn pulavs. But now I am happy that I tried it. It is much easier to make and very tasty.

Pulavs are not very popular at my native. People do not consider them as a ‘meal’. But aayi and my maternal grandmother made pulavs very frequently. We loved them then and we love them now.

Heat oil and add onion, ginger, chillies. Then add spices.
prawn pulav1 prawn pulav2

Add tomatoes and cook till they are mushy. Add shrimp.
prawn pulav3 prawn pulav4

Add coriander leaves. Mix. Then add cooked rice and mix well.
prawn pulav5
 prawn pulav6 prawn pulav7

Prawn Pulav (Sungta Pulav)

A simple very fragrant prawn pulav (pilaf) made with few spices and fresh coriander leaves.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 3 -4


  • 15-20 prawns shrimps
  • 2 cups basmati rice
  • 3/4 cup onion chopped
  • 3/4 cup tomato chopped
  • 2-3 green chilies
  • 2 " piece ginger
  • A pinch turmeric powder
  • 1 tea spn coriander powder
  • 3/4 tea spn chili powder
  • 3-4 strands coriander leaves
  • Oil/ghee
  • Salt


  • Cook rice (each grain should be separate. Pulav does not taste great when it becomes mushy).
  • Heat oil, fry onion, finely chopped (or grated) ginger till they turn slightly brownish.
  • Add chili powder, turmeric, coriander powder, chopped tomatoes, salt and fry for a 2-3mins.
  • Add prawns and cook till they are done (or cook prawns separately and add).
  • Take off from heat.
  • Add coriander leaves and mix well.
  • Add cooked rice mix well.
  • Serve hot.

prawn pulav8

Chicken or Prawn Xacuti / Shaguthi / Sagoti

Recently I tried few of the Goan recipes like Prawn Balchuan, Eggless banana cake and absolutely loved them. So when Jay requested a recipe of Chicken Xacuti, I could imagine that it would taste heavenly. Since I have stopped preparing chicken at home, I replaced it with prawns. As expected, the dish was simply superb. So here is the Xacuti recipe as followed in Goa.

Chicken 8-10 small pieces or Prawns ¾ cup
Onion(large) 1
Coconut ¾ cup
Nutmeg powder ½ tea spn
Tamarind ½ tea spn
Coriander seeds ¾ tea spn
Cumin seeds ½ tea spn
Poppy seeds (khus khus) ½ tea spn
Fennel seeds (Soamp or saunf) ½ tea spn
Dried chillies 3-4
Star anise 3-4
Cloves 2-3
Cinnamon 1” piece
Oil 1 tea spn

I did not use star anise when I prepared this dish.

Dry roast (fry without oil) the coconut till it turns slightly brownish. Keep aside.
Dry roast coriander seeds, cumin seeds, poppy seeds, fennel seeds, cloves, cinnamon, start anise and dried chillies (Do not burn them) till nice aroma comes out (roast on a low flame). Grind them with coconut to a smooth paste (do not add too much water. Just add water that is sufficient to make a smooth paste).
Heat oil and fry finely chopped onion. When they turn slightly brownish, add the masala and fry till oil separates. Add the chicken/prawn pieces, salt and fry for around 3-4mins. Add 2 cups of water and cook till chicken/prawn is cooked. Now add nutmeg powder, tamarind and cook for 3-4 minutes.
Serve hot with Goan bun or rice.

Serves : 3
Preparation time : 30min(prawn) or 40min (chicken)

Dried Shrimp chutney (sukkil sungta kismuri)

Sukkil(dried) sungta(shrimp) kismuri (chutney) is one of the most popular seafood preparation in coastal Karnataka and Goa. Our dear friend Vitz (who is from Karwar) had requested for this recipe long back (He is one of the guys who is responsible for starting my blog. Thanks Vitz for your immense support). I had searched a lot for dried shrimp here (since hubby is also a great fan of this dish), but I was unable to find it. But last week when I again gave a detailed search in ‘ChinaTown’, I found a packet of small cute shrimp packet sitting quietly in a freezer. Finally now I know where to find any kind of seafood here in US :D.

This dish does not involve any kind of cooking (roasting of dried shrimp hardly takes any time), so it can be prepared in no time.

Mahek explains here the Goan recipe for this dish.

Dried shrimp 2 tbls spn
Coconut ½ cup
Onion pieces 2 tbl spn
Tamarind juice(thick) ½ tea spn (Soak tamarind in water and squeeze it to get the thick juice)
Chili powder ½ tea spn

Clean the shrimp (remove the sharp edges, they can be removed easily by hand).Dry roast (fry without oil) the shrimp for around 5-6 mins till the shrimps become crunchy and aroma (or bad smell for those who don’t like dried fish smell) of the shrimp comes out.

Mix coconut, onion pieces, tamarind juice, chili powder and salt (Mix thoroughly with hand). Just before serving, add the shrimp and mix (do not add before, the shrimps should be crunchy while eating).

Serves : 2
Preparation time : 10min

Shrimps in tamarind masala(Sungta phanna upkari)

I have been trying different dishes with prawns. Previously I have posted two of my mothers dishes, sungta upkari and sungta khoLu(in the recipe, replace bangda with prawn). Both taste heavenly. (Click on the ‘prawns/shrimps’ in the category and you can see a whole lot of prawns recipes).
Recently, I got this recipe from Gowri. I have heard about this recipe a lot, but had never tried it. When I got this again from Gowri, I felt it is time to try it and it tasted fantastic. In her mail, she says ” I am sending one of my favorite recipe called sungta panna upkari. If you use byadgi chilly it taste much better as it give rich red color. Very simple but very tasty and all my friends likes it. You can make this by mixing chilly powder and tamarind pulp. But it tastes better if you grind it together”. Thanks Gowri for the recipe.

Small shrimps are used in the authentic recipe. Since I could not find the small shrimps here, I used the big ones easily available in all grocery stores.

Prawns 1/2 lb
Onion ( finely chopped) 1/2 cup
Garlic cloves(finely chopped) 1 big
Red chilies (hotter the better) 6-7
Tamarind Small lemon size

Fry onions in oil till they become almost brown then add garlic fry for another one minute.
Make paste of tamarind and red chillies and add this to onion mixture.
Add very little water(but gravy should be thick). Now add shrimp and salt and boil till the
shrimps are cooked.
Serve hot.

Serves : 2
Preparation time : 10mins

Prawn balchaun

Deepa sent me this delicious recipe. It is one of the tastiest prawn dishes I ever had. I thank her a lot for sendng me this. I prepared this dish for a small house party, all the dishes I prepared were Goan. Needless to say, everyone liked this dish and it got over within 2mins :D.

Following is some information sent by her :
Balchaun is pronounced as Bal- as in hair in hindi, chaun- As in “Chow” pronounced nasally, like a Chinese dish.

This recipe has Portuguese antecedents but is commonly made on special occasions in many hindu homes. We usually use slightly bigger prawns. As children we would clamor for it very often but becoz it was so time consuming to make, my mother would oblige our requests, only on special occasions. It goes very well with any pulao but we particularly enjoyed eating it with “paav”, which is a crusty, lumpy looking bread usually found in small bakeries in Goa. It is used to sop up all types of curries from “tondak” ( any legumes-coconut based curry) to “shakuti”( chicken and coconut masala). I think you get this particular bread all along the Konkan coast. The origin of this recipe is Portuguese and it’s usually the forte of Catholic cuisine but one of the rare Portuguese dishes also enjoyed by Goan hindus. Goan hindus usually turn up their noses at the use of vinegar in food preparation but for some reason are more forgiving when it comes to “Balchaun”. I must add though that the best “Balchaun” is likely to be found in a Catholic home in Goa :).

PS: Remember to add vinegar sparingly, slowly and to taste, becoz for persons not used to the acidic sharpness of this additive it can be a jolt. And try and use big prawns. In Goa we try and use Tiger prawns but they are probably either expensive here or not available easily. If you want to omit vinegar, go ahead but the authentic recipe does call for it.

Prawns 2 cups
Tomatos(medium) 1 cup
Coriander leaves 1/2 cup
Turmeric powder 1 tea spn
Peppercorns 10
Garlics 8 cloves
Cumin seeds 1 tea spn
Oil 1/2 cup
Onions(medium) 1 cup
Coriander seeds 1 tbl spn
Red chillies 8
Cloves 6
Cinnamon stick 2 1/2 cm
Ginger 2 cm.
Tomato ketchup 1 cup
White vinegar 2 tea spns

Apply tumeric powder and salt to to prawns and keep aside. Grind coriander seeds, red chillies, cumin seeds, cloves, cinnamon peppercorn, garlic, ginger to a fine paste.
Heat oil in a skillet and deep fry the prawns till brown. Keep aside.
Cut onions fine and fry in the same oil till they become soft. Add ground masala paste and fry until the mixture begins to give off a strong aroma. Cut tomatos into small pieces, add to the mixture in the pan and fry for only a few seconds. Add salt and fried prawns. Cover the pan and cook for 5 minutes.
Then add tomato ketchup, mix slowly and well. Add white vinegar and mix well and cook for some time.
Granish with coriander leaves.

Serves : 6
Preparation time : 45min

I shallow fried the prawns instead of deep frying to suite my guest’s request to avoid deep fried items. Still the taste was great.

Prawns sidedish (Sungta upkari)

Sungta Upkari
Sungta Upkari

This Sungta upkari is one of my aayi’s signature dishes. Everyone at home and the guests who have tasted this, love this. This has a sweetish taste to it because of the onions and prawns. This dish comes under easy-to-prepare dishes list. If you want to cook something very delicious and don’t have much time, go for this one. This needs hardly 10-15mins and you will have the dish ready.

Although any kind of shrimps work well in this, the tiny ones taste the best. Here when I don’t find the tiny shrimp, I cut the large ones in small pieces and make this. It goes well with rice or chapatis.

Prawns sidedish (Sungta upkari)

Sungta upkari is shrimps cooked in onion, tomato mixture spiced with ginger and green chillies. Few coriander leaves take it to the next level.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 2 -3


  • Prawns 1 and 1/2 cups
  • Onions 3/4th cup
  • Tomatoes 1/2 cup
  • Ginger piece 1"
  • Green chillies 2-3
  • Coriander leaves 2-3 strands
  • Turmeric a pinch
  • Oil 1 tea spn
  • Salt


  • Heat oil and fry onions and finely chopped ginger till onions turn translucent(Do not brown the onions ).
  • Add green chillies and tomato. Fry for 5 mins. Now add prawns, turmeric and salt. Fry for around 5mins.
  • Add chopped coriander, cover and cook till completely done. (The prawns turn to white when they are cooked).

Serves : 2
Preparation time : 15min
sungta upkari1

Prawn Cheesy Wraps

I got this recipe from Aruna Naresh. Have a look at what she has to say about it
“Tried this new recipe last night for dinner. It turned out really good. This recipe is a combination of 2 recipes, one from a recipe book that I read and the other, the Cheesy Wrap available at Pizza Hut. I dont know what to name it… about Prawn Cheesy Wraps….”.

I tried it and it was delicious. I have done very minor modifications(Whatever is mentioned as ‘optional’ in the ingredients).

Chapathis (or medium sized tortillas) 2
Prawns 10-12
Chilli powder 1/2 tea spn
Onion 1
Garlic 2
Ginger 1″
Turmeric Powder ½ tsp
Egg 1
Garam masala(optional) 1/2 tea spn
Coriander leaves(optional) 2-3 strands
Grated Cheese(Mozzarella / Cheddar Cheese)

Chop onion, garlic and ginger. Heat oil in a pan, add the onions, garlic, ginger and fry till the onions become soft. Add the prawns, turmeric powder and salt and cook till the prawns are done. Add all the masala and fry for a minute. Allow this to cool.

Add the egg and mix well.

Heat the Chapati on the tava and spread the above mixture on the chapati.

Carefully turn the chapati. Cook till done.Remove from tava, spread the cheese and coriander leaves(optional) on the egg side of the chapati.

Roll the chapathi. Make a cut diagonally in the centre of the roll.
It takes great when it is hot. But I guess its ideal to be taken in a lunch box.

Serves : 2
Praparation time : 20min

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