This is the spicy, chilli paste of Goa, a thick paste of red chillies, garlic and spices ground in vinegar. Recipes vary from household to household and village to village. It is spicy, tangy and hot.
In Goa, Rechad Masala is very common. Rechad means stuff, and comes from the Portuguese recheado.
This spice paste is used to stuff small vegetables like okra, small zucchini, baby eggplants etc. It goes particularly well with Stuffed Okra. It is a very hot paste – made from chillies with a few spices – so just a little is used. It can also used as a chilli paste, added to dishes to give them heat, or use in place of chillies in recipes. Add a little to yoghurt to make a spicy accompaniment to snacks. It keeps in the fridge for months and will freeze well.
Have a look at all of our Chilli Pastes. Feel free to browse other vegetarian recipes from our first blog from 1995 – 2006 in the Retro Recipes series. You might also like our Goan recipes here and here. Or you might like to browse Stuffed recipes here. Check out our easy Mid Spring recipes here.
Vinegar is commonly used in Goa and is often made from cashews or palm trees. In these masalas it also acts as a preserving agent. It is substituted here with cider vinegar, but you can also use lemon juice or tamarind.
15 – 30 g dried red chillies – use Kashmiri if you enjoy gentle rather than robust heat
0.5 tspn cumin seeds
2.5 cm cinnamon stick, broken up
1 tspn cardamom pods
1 tspn cloves
1 Tblspn black peppercorns
2 Tblspns Kashmiri Chilli Powder (bright red with warmth rather than heat)
1 Tblspn vegetable oil
1 small onion, peeled and coarsely chopped
0.5 head garlic, peeled and coarsely chopped
2 * 5 cm pieces of fresh ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 tspn turmeric
1 tspn sugar
1 tspn salt
100ml cider vinegar
Grind the chillies, cumin seeds, cinnamon, cardamom pods, cloves and peppercorns either in a spice grinder or using a mortar and pestle.
Heat the oil in a small frying pan over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and ginger and cook, stirring until the onion is softened. Stir in the turmeric and sugar and stir briefly.
Place the contents of the frying pan into a blender, add the spices and salt, and the vinegar. Process until paste-like and blended thoroughly.
recipe notes and alternatives
This spice mixture can be used as a chilli paste, added to dishes to give them heat, or use in place of chillies in recipes. Add a little to yoghurt to make a spicy accompaniment to snacks.