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  • Bute St Seafoodie

Rechad Spice Paste

Citing Madhur Jaffrey [1]: “Every household in Goa, however humble, has a big jar of what is called ‘rechad masala’ sitting in the kitchen…. The name of the paste comes, of course, from the Portuguese ‘recheado’, meaning ‘stuff’, and while the paste is mainly used to stuff local fish, it is also used to curry squid and other creatures of the sea”.

To quote Maria Teresa Menezes [2]: "A great stand-by for the busy housewife, this combination of spices goes well with fish, fowl and flesh, and every Goan household keeps a supply handy."

It's not just the Goans. I too keep a supply handy!

I surmised in my post of Goan Masala Paste that that recipe may have originated from a traditional Goan spice paste. Well this is the one.

This recipe is slightly adapted from that in Madhur Jaffrey’s “Flavours of India”. Stored in an airtight jar it keeps indefinitely.

Rechad Spice Paste

Ingredients (makes about 8 tbsp/approx 12 servings)

About 20 dried Kashmiri chillies (see note), deseeded

½ tsp cumin seeds

1” cinnamon stick, broken into pieces

1 tsp cardamom pods

1 tsp cloves

1 tbsp black peppercorns

1 tbsp vegetable oil

1 small onion, coarsely chopped

½ head of garlic (60g), coarsely chopped

2 x 2½” ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped

1 tsp salt

100ml (or more) cider or red wine vinegar


  1. Soak the chillies in hot water for about 20 minutes. Drain but reserve the soaking liquid.

  2. Meanwhile, fry the onion in the oil until it has softened, then add the ginger and garlic until they too have softened.

  3. Grind the cumin seeds, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves and peppercorns to a fine powder in a spice or coffee grinder.

  4. Put all the ingredients into a blender and blitz to a fine paste, adding more vinegar and/or some of the water used to soak the chillies, if necessary.


  • Kashmiri chillies are mild and impart a very red colour. They are available online, for example, at:


  1. Flavours of India”, Madhur Jaffrey (1995), pp.108 (out of print):

  2. "The Essential Goa Cookbook", Maria Teresa Menezes (2000), pp. 46:

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