Aakur Tonak

Aakur Tonak is Goan monsoon vegetable and this dish is invariably prepared by all Hindus during monsoon season.

Aakur Tonak

Aakur Tonak

Recipe by Ushakal GroupCourse: Main Course, Veg Starters, VegCuisine: IndianDifficulty: Medium


Prep time


Cooking time




  • 2 bundles of aakur / Mangrove fern / Tender fiddleheads

  • 25 -28 medium size prawns cleaned

  • 1 large onion chopped

  • Small ball of tamarind soaked in warm water

  • Pinch of nutmeg

  • 2 tablespoon oil

  • Salt to taste

  • To roasting & grinding coarsely:

  • 1 freshly grated coconut

  • 2-3 Kashmiri chilies

  • ½ teaspoon turmeric

  • 1 ¼ tablespoon coriander seeds

  • 8 cloves of Indian garlic

  • 15-17 peppercorns

  • ½ petal of mace

  • 4 petals of de-seeded star anise

  • 10-11 cloves

  • 2 green cardamoms

  • 1-inch cinnamon stick

  • 1 black cardamom

  • ¼ teaspoon cumin

  • ¾ inch ginger

  • 1 medium onion chopped


  • Pre-Preparation 1:
  • Roast the masala in little oil and let it cool (first the chilies then coriander seed followed by the rest)
  • Do not let the masala burn.
  • Roast the coconut and onion in a pan till the coconut turns brownish.
  • Add the turmeric powder and nutmeg on the coconut and give it a stir and let it cool.
  • Grind the masala coarsely.
  • Pre-Preparation 2:
  • Wash the vegetable and cut one inch from the bottom and discard.
  • Cut the vegetable fine.
  • In a pot add the cut aakur with little water and boil for 12-15 minutes.
  • Apply salt to the prawns and set aside.
  • Note: (The number of chilies used and the browning of the onion will determine the color of the gravy.)
  • Preparation:
  • Take a kadi / pot and add the onions and sauté till it becomes translucent.
  • Now add the masala and cook for a while.
  • Add one cup water into the mixer and remove the masala that is left in the mixer and add to the pan.
  • Once it starts to boil add the prawns.
  • Now add the boiled aakur along with the water.
  • Give it a stir and add 75-80 ml tamarind water and half cup of water.
  • Cover and cook till the Ankur is well cooked.
  • Check salt to taste.
  • Adjust the consistency of the gravy as desired by adding required quantity of water
  • Your Goan Aakur Tonak is ready to serve.


      • The scientific name of Akur is Acrostichum aureum or the golden leather fern. This fern is a large species that grows in mangrove swamps and other wet locations. It is abundantly available in Goa during the rainy season and its dish is the delicacy of Goans.

        Other common names for Akur include Swamp fern, Mangrove fern, Musher.

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