Moqueca Capixaba, Brazilian Seafood Stew

This recipe can be done with a combination of fish and seafood. I used only tiger prawns and served with white rice and ‘farofa'(manioc flour roasted)
Moqueca is very popular dish in Brazil and have two main branches. One is from ‘Espírito Santo’ and it is refered as ‘capixaba’ and the other is from Bahia named moqueca ‘baiana’. The main difference is that moqueca capixaba doesn’t have coconut milk and palm oil (óleo de dendê) . It’s prepared with annatto, also called urucum – its original indigenous name.  The urucum is a derivative of the achiote trees found in tropical regions of the Americas and is commonly used in Latin American and Caribbean cuisines as a coloring agent and for flavoring. The indigenous peoples of Central and South America used the seeds to make body paint and lipstick. 

In Brazil, urucum is known as ‘colorau’ and is used as red food coloring. If not found, you can use hot paprika instead.

Dedo de moça pepper is very small and very hot oblong red chili peppers. 
I made my with the beautiful traditional and locally made brazilian clay pots that preserves heat very well.
If you want to use fish, the quantity of 2 pounds will serve 4. My favorite type of fish for this recipe is sea bass or other white fleshed fish.
You need:

2lb cleaned deveined medium shrimp or less for king /tiger praws
7 ripe tomatoes, each chopped into 8 pieces
3 medium onions, chopped 
1 chopped garlic cloves
1/2 cup of water ( you can use 2 tins of tomatoes instead – and don’t add the water)
3 selections of colored peppers
1 pinch of finely minced, fresh dedo de moça pepper or other small, hot chilli. 
A few drops of fresh lemon juice
Freshly ground black pepper
Salt and cilantro to taste
Season the prawns with lemon juice.

Fry with olive oil (2 tablespoons or less) the onions, garlic and chilli – stir so it doesn’t burn.

Add the urucum ( or hot paprika) and the slice peppers.  Add the tomatoes/water or the 2 tins . Leave low/medium heat to reduce…( add the fish now)

Once reduced well (mine by half) and peppers are cooked. I season it to taste. Add a bit heat with chilli if you like hotter. ( i didn’t)

Add the prawns and cook them for 5 – 7 min until they ready… than serve. Enjoy!


  • Delícia!

  • Thanks for sharing some of your culture the food looks really tasty 🙂

  • Yum that look scrummy. I love that pot.

    • these pots are indeed lovely and rustic… I cook all my brazilian dishes on it !

  • That looks good! I’m always looking for new recipes to cook, will definitely try this one 🙂

  • looks delish!! x

  • Looks so good.. Rahcel, I will try this one too.. I love
    shrimp .. I will use the hot paprika[I have that].. Will let
    you know, how mine turns out. Thanks for sharing.

  • YUM! That looks like my kinda food – thanks so much for sharing!