Goan Shrimp Cake Recipe

Goan Shrimp Cake Recipe

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This is an old Goan dish that many have already forgotten about and locals are worried it might soon become obsolete as newer, faster recipes encroach on the New India. It is a really unusual taste combination – a sweet yet savory filling of shrimp is baked inside a sweet coconut cake. It is reminiscent of Chinese dim sum pork buns, where the filling is both sweet and savory and the bun is a sweet, yeast bread.

I am sure both were the influence of the Portuguese as bread was neither Chinese nor Indian, but much loved by the Portuguese. Indians made it theirs with the local shrimp and spices. I’m not sure if this dish will appeal to the masses, but I think it is delicious and relevant to the history of Goa and, as such, I’m sad to see it disappearing from use. The shrimp filling can be made the day before and brought back to room temperature before baking.

Adapted from "Anjum's New Indian" by Anjum Anand.

Click here to see the Indian Food Simplified story.


For the filling:

  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 onions, peeled and sliced
  • 3 large cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 1/2 in piece of fresh ginger, peeled
  • 6–8 mild dried red chiles
  • 1-inch piece of cinnamon stick
  • 5 black peppercorns
  • 4 cloves
  • 3/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • Salt, to taste
  • 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons sugar, or to taste
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar, or to taste
  • 11 ounces shrimp, peeled and deveined

For the batter:

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 8 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
  • 3 large eggs and 1 extra yolk
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 cup unsweetened dried coconut flakes
  • 1/2 cup semolina (durum flour), soaked in ½ cup water for 15 minutes


For the filling:

Heat the oil in a medium sized nonstick saucepan. Add the onions and fry until golden. Meanwhile, using a blender, make a fine paste of the garlic and ginger with a little water. Grind the chiles and spices to a fine powder. Add the spices and salt to the pan and stir over low heat for 20 seconds. Add the paste and cook for 2–3 minutes or until the raw smell of garlic has disappeared. Add the tomatoes and a splash of water and cook, covered, for 15 minutes, or until they have completely broken down. Give the pot an occasional stir and mash the tomato pieces down a little.

Stir in the sugar and vinegar and cook for 2–3 minutes; the masala sauce should be quite thick. Add the shrimp and cook until they have just turned and start to curl up, around 3–4 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool.

Grease a round, deep 8- or 9-inch cake pan and preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

For the batter:

Beat together the sugar and butter until soft and creamy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, making sure each is fully incorporated before adding the next. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well.

Spoon half the batter into the cake pan. Spread the filling over it, distributing the shrimp evenly. Pour the remaining batter over the top and bake in the middle of the oven for 55–60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean and dry. Serve in wedges with a lightly dressed salad.

Recipe Summary

  • 1 pound shrimp - peeled, deveined and chopped
  • 1 ¼ cups coarsely crushed buttery round crackers
  • ¼ cup chopped onion
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon prepared yellow mustard
  • 10 dashes hot pepper sauce (e.g. Tabasco™)
  • celery salt to taste
  • 1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese
  • 1 quart oil for frying

In a medium bowl, combine the shrimp, crackers, onion and jalapeno. Stir in the mayonnaise and mustard, and season with Tabasco and celery salt. Mix in Parmesan cheese. Form into 8 patties.

Heat about 1/2 inch of oil in a deep heavy skillet over medium-high heat. When oil is nice and hot, fry the patties for about 5 minutes per side, or until golden brown.

Recipe Ingredients and Substitutions:

  • Shrimp: Look for shrimp that are already peeled and deveined (or at least deveined and easy peel). Also, many are surprised to find out that the best shrimp are often in the freezer case. Usually what’s behind the seafood case was previously frozen anyway, so you can often get a better deal by purchasing frozen, and thawing on your own.
  • Fish Sauce: If you’re not familiar, fish sauce is a fermented condiment typically made from anchovies with a super savory, umami punch. A little goes a LONG way in terms of saltiness and funky flavor, however it really creates the aromatic backbone of these cakes. Red Boat is my favorite brand–truly, nothing compares!
  • Sweet Thai Chili Sauce: Another staple Thai condiment in my kitchen, sweet chili sauce does some heavy lifting in terms of flavor.
  • Pepper + Onion: I love using shallots, however you can also use red onion or yellow onion here. You also need some chopped bell pepper–color of your choosing!
  • Breadcrumbs: The panko breading works two-fold by helping to bind the cakes and creating a crisp outer crust. If you need a gluten free option, I like Ian’s brand.
  • Egg: One egg helps bind the mixture together. Just make you thoroughly whisk it before mixing it with the other ingredients.
  • Herbs: You can use cilantro, Thai basil, or classic basil for the herb component of these cakes.
  • Mayo: Mayo helps bind the cakes, while also ensuring they stay super tender. I prefer using this avocado oil-based mayonnaise, which offers more heart-healthy unsaturated fats.
  • Aioli: Luckily, the chili aioli calls on many of the same ingredients as the Thai shrimp cakes. This includes mayo, sweet Thai chili sauce, sriracha, and lime juice. The only additional ingredient is sesame oil, which adds nutty depth of flavor.

Royallu koora, Eral Kuzhambu, Chingri torkari

  1. Heat oil in a heavy pan add garam masala whole, add chopped onions, salt and cook till they are golden brown.
  2. Add turmeric, ginger garlic paste and the ground mixture. (ground mixture-red chilli and cumin soaked in vinegar and warm water(little) chopped tomatoes, grated coconut, mustard, shrimp and make fine paste) add coriander pwdr, pepper pwdr and cook till oil ozzes out
  3. Add water to the consistency of the gravy you need and add shrimp and cook for 7-10 min. add pinch of sugar add gr chillies and check seasoning.
  4. Finish off with coriander leaves enjoy with a bowl of rice.

Cooking with images Sadari Rassa , Shrimp rasdar, Sigadi saaru


Goan cuisine includes native meals well-known in Goa. Goan meals are really distinct from the meals of other locations which is related to its vibrant and various cultural traditions. A lots of Goan recipes like Prawn balchao and Sorpotel are very well recognized and appreciated all over the world.

The four hundred years of Portuguese colonialism and also the Islamic rule that preceded the Portuguese. Numerous Catholic recipes are generally much like or variations of the Portuguese alternatives both in naming or their usage of ingredients. The Portuguese unveiled potatoes, tomatoes, pineapples, guavas, and cashews from Brazil to Goa and so India. The chili pepper is an essential part of Goan delicacies.

The delicacies of Goa are affected by its Hindu, is especially lacto-vegetarian. Hindu food primarily makes use of significantly less heat, jaggery for sweetening and tamarind and kokum for souring. It makes use of asafetida, fenugreek, curry leaves, mustard, and urad dal. It's not extremely spicy less onion and garlic are utilized. In addition, it consists of more fresh vegetables, for example lentils, pumpkins, gourds, bamboo shoots, roots, and so on. It's much less oily and also the moderate of cooking is coconut oil.

Rice, seafood, coconut, veggies, meat, pork and local seasonings are among the primary ingredients in Goan delicacies. The region is situated in an exotic environment, meaning that spices and tastes are intensive. Usage of kokum is yet another unique characteristic. Goan meals are regarded as imperfect without fish. It's just like Malvani or Konkani delicacies.

The food is mainly seafood-based the staple foods are rice and fish. Kingfish (vison or visvan) is regarded as the popular delicacy. Other seafood consists of pomfret, shark, tuna, and mackerel. Among the list of shellfish are crabs, prawns, tiger prawns, lobster, squid, and mussels. Goa really attracts non-vegetarian meat lovers.

Goa&rsquos most popular sweet is Bebinca. This sweet is a multi-layered cake made out of egg, coconut milk, sugar and ghee. Cooking an ideal bebinca is regarded as an art form. Lots of endurance is required during the time of its planning because the next layer are only able to be added in after the earlier layer has been cooked. This is often eaten cold or hot and it is customarily offered at Christmas.

The food of Goa is a delectable expression of their historical background and heritage. Traditional Goan food is among the largest factors tourists flock to this wonderful state. It is spunky it offers personality and it is significantly addictive!

Less popular with tourists, but equally prized as bebinca by the locals, dodol is a bit of an acquired taste. It is made from jaggery and coconut, and the flavours are quite strong. But if you’re one to experiment, this is a great dish to try out at home. Here’s a recipe from Gilda Mendonsa’s cookbook The Best of Goan Cooking (available here ):


1/2 cup cashew nuts (chopped coarsely)

Method for making dodol

Wash and soak rice overnight. Next morning, grind fine in a blender and keep aside. Extract 3 cups thick coconut milk from the grated coconut. Mix the coconut milk with the rest of the ingredients until well combined. In a deep pan, on medium heat, stir the dodol continuously till it is reduced to half its quantity and starts leaving the sides of the pan. This will take about 45 minutes or less. Turn out the contents onto a flat dish or plate. Cool and serve in thick slices.

When serving these for a lunch or light dinner, we like to pair them with a simple salad. Our kale apple salad and arugula and wild rice salad go really well. Or some simple greens tossed in our lifesaving lemony salad dressing is a great option.

If you're feeling extra hungry, make a batch of Greek lemon potatoes to serve on the side!

Recipe: Goan Spiced Crab Cakes

¼ c corn oil
1 onion, diced small
1 tbsp peeled, minced fresh ginger
½ tbsp minced garlic
1 ts coriander seeds, ground
1 ts cumin seed, ground
¼ tsp turmeric
1 Tomato diced small
1 c crabmeat, carefully picked
2 medium shrimp, minced to fine paste
2 limes, zested (chopped), and juiced
8 sprigs cilantro, washed
1 tb chopped chives
1 egg, beaten
1 c panko (available in Japanese specialty Stores)
Salt to taste
Freshly-ground black pepper to taste
Cayenne to taste

In a large saute pan, heat one tablespoon of the corn oil. Add the onion, ginger and garlic and saute for 5 minutes over medium heat. Add the coriander, cumin, turmeric and the tomato and continue to cook until it turns dry. Remove from the heat and cool down. In a large mixing bowl, combine crabmeat, the cooled onion mixture, shrimp, chopped lime zest and juice, cilantro, chives, beaten egg and 3 tablespoons of the panko. Season with salt, pepper and cayenne. Mix well so that all the ingredients are well incorporated. Test a small quantity by forming a teaspoon of this mix into a small patty and frying it in a pan. Adjust the salt and pepper if necessary. Divide this mixture into 4 equal portions. Form into balls and flatten to form small patties. Put the rest of the panko on a cutting board. Place the patties one at a time in the bread crumbs. Heat a heavy-bottomed skillet large enough to hold the crab cakes on medium heat. Add the oil and fry the crab cakes. When the cakes turn a light golden color, flip them over and cook them on the other side until they are light golden in color. Using a slotted spatula, remove and drain on a paper towel.

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Pro Tips by Neha

Use the freshest prawns to make this curry.

Nicely clean and devein the prawns before using them in the curry.

You can make coconut milk at home by grinding coconut with water in a blender and then passing it through a mesh strainer. I have used canned coconut milk though.

Do not overcook the prawns otherwise, they will become rubbery. The ideal time for cooking the prawns in 6-8 minutes.

If using kokum instead of tamarind, use 2-3 pieces in place of the below-mentioned quantity of tamarind.

How to Prepare Goan Sannas With Yeast

  • Soak the rice for 3 – 4 hours or overnight
  • Then grind the soaked rice to a thick batter and keep aside, then grind the grated coconut finely to a paste and mix well with the batter.
  • Now add the yeast, sugar and mix well, keep it for fermenting for atleast 4 hours, when the batter rises then add salt
  • Then grease the moulds and fill them till half with batter
  • And steam these for 15-20 minutes till the Goan Sannas are done

Watch how to make Goan Prawn Curry Video

So when I got this recipe from a Goan friend who got it from her grandmother, I was jumping guys! I knew I had to share and make sure you guys try it too. It’s what I make when Bangalore becomes chilly enough to wear a hoodie and you need a bowl of fiery hot curry and some netflix while you snuggle inside a blanket. Because at that point you absolutely need all those things and nothing else will do. And winter is close, remember? Sorry (not sorry) I couldn’t resist throwing in a GoT reference. Are you guys watching the show? Just waiting for Sunday to come every week is pure torture!

Let’s not go down the GoT spiral, though you and me have to have a chat about it one of these days. Now this Goan Prawn Curry is pretty authentic, but I have to tell you that like everything in India, every home has their own way of making things, so I’m sure if you are Goan, your grandma must have her own ways. I really love this version because it tasted like the curry I’ve always had in Goa, sitting by the beach with a beer in hand.

And you’ll be surprised at how simple it is. You just need a few whole spices because like in Mangalore, a Goan Curry or Ambot Tik also starts with whole spices that are freshly ground and then cooked with.

I’ve been using ITC Masterchef’s frozen Prawns every time I cook with them these days, because I love the fact that I can rely on the quality and don’t have to worry about where they come from or how fresh they are. They are freshly frozen within 15 hours of harvesting, with temperature controls and quality checks throughout the chain to make sure each prawn is fresh, soft and juicy.

We’ve discussed the advantages of using frozen prawns vs. fresh prawns before, and I also have a really handy guide about the safest ways to defrost prawns.

Since prawns defrost pretty quickly (about 15-20 minutes), you can get everything else ready – grind the masala, cook the onion, tomato mixture etc. while the prawns defrost so that you have this prawn curry on the table in about 40 minutes!

While you can use any size of prawns with this recipe, we used deveined and cleaned Jumbo Prawns or Shrimp because we love digging into them. But you can easily use small or medium sized prawns, but I would recommend doubling the quantity for this recipe. You want to make sure that you get a piece of prawn in every bite of this Goan Prawn Curry!

Thank to our friends at ITC Master Chef for sponsoring this post, and making sure we always eat prawns that are super safe.