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Balachaung – Dried Shrimp Relish

Course: Condiment
Author: Adapted from Curry page 170


  • 225 g dried shrimps soaked in hot water for 10 minutes and then drained *
  • 45 mls groundnut oil
  • 4 shallots finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves finely sliced
  • 30 mls toasted sesame oil
  • 2 - 4 red chillies deseeded and finely chopped or 2.5mls - 5mls chilli powder
  • 10 mls finely chopped fresh root ginger
  • 2.5 mls ground turmeric
  • 2.5 mls salt or more, to taste
  • 30 mls hot water
  • juice of 1 lime or lemon


  • finely chop the shrimps and blend until fine and set aside
  • heat the oil in a wok and fry the shallots and garlic for 2 - 3 minutes until they are slightly coloured
  • remove with a slotted spoon and set aside
  • add the sesame oil and heat
  • then add the chillies, ginger, turmeric and salt be careful as the fumes from the chilli can be quite strong
  • fry for 2 minutes, stirring all the time
  • put in the ground shrimps and continue stir frying for 1 minute
  • add the hot water and the lime / lemon juice
  • stir until the liquid is absorbed
  • mix in the shallots and garlic
  • the relish should be moist
  • taste and add salt if you think more is needed
  • when cold, store in an airtight jar
  • serve cold as a relish


* I could not find dried shrimps so I used a jar of shrimp paste, without soaking it. This could have contributed to the very potent smell