When you are in Goa, do the same as the Goans do; leave your watch at home. Honestly saying, time is not of too much importance in the small state as there is a lot of things do, lot to taste, and endless things to experience. Goa is an emerald land, a ‘state’ of mind. A mind which is completely relaxed, enthusiastic, party animal and jubilant.
The delicious cuisine of Goa is a pure reflection of its heritage and history. The food is influenced by a mix of Konkani, Hindu, Catholic and Portuguese cuisine culture, around four hundred years of Portuguese colonialism, and as well as modern techniques. No other cuisine in India can claim such a contrasting and sapid influences.
As Goa is a coastal city so seafood, coconut milk, rice, and local spices are the key ingredients of Goa food. Weather and climate also plays a major role in food patterns, so being a state with a tropical climate, the flavours and spices are intense. Use of kokum is also a distinct feature which acts as a feather in cap on the local Goan food. Goan takes pleasure not only what they eat, but also how they cook it.
Foods in Goa
Three basic necessities of Goan are – Fish, Curry and Rice
Goan food culture is a mix of east meets west which is not only represented in the culture of Goa but also in their style of cooking. One can find the authenticity by visiting rural or local areas and experience the traditional cooking in the clay pots on firewood. Though modern practices are available, but preference is given to conventional food preparation as it adds a classical smoky flavour to Goan dish. From mild to explosive the intensity of heat varies among various dishes. Goans dishes have wide varieties ranging from chicken to beef, prawns to sausages, sweet-meat to desserts and numerous vegetarian dishes.
- Seafood, such as prawns, crabs, lobsters, pomfrets, ladyfish, clams, mussels, and oysters, are used to prepare a variety of curries, soups, fries, and pickles.
- Toddy a type of vinegar tapping, farming, and fishing, have been passions for Goans.
- The most popular drink of Goa is distilled coconut, commonly known as coconut Fenni served as welcome drinks at maximum places.
- Goa’s main crops includes areca nut, coconut, cashew nut, millets, rice, sugarcane, and other forest produce.
- The traditional Goan cooking requires plenty of time and patience, the longer it takes to cook the better dish it would be.
- Practice of grinding is common in all the recipes.
- Hindus prefer lamb and chicken, Christians like pork. However, both of them prefer fish and seafood over any other meat.
- The Christians are on side to use toddy, while the Hindus use tamarind and Kokum as the primary souring agent.
- People from Northan Goa grind their coconuts and other spices individually while the Southern Goans prefer to grind all of them together, and then pass them through a fine muslin cloth.
The cuisines are predominantly influenced by Christianity and Hinduism. Over time, methods of cooking have been blended together to produce an authentic selection of delicacies. Both the religions emphasize that food should be only be served when it is tasty and fresh. Presentation of dishes is paramount to Goans as they often share their edibles, especially during festivals, where food is distributed among neighbours, friends and family.
Goa Food: Top dishes to taste
The dish is prepared using grated coconut and a lot of spices. It also can be made with lamb or chicken and it is tasted best with poie bread, a Goan delicacy.
This is a popular mackerel fish curry that is prepared using grated coconut, urad dal (lentils) and methi (fenugreek) seeds.
The dish comprises sun-dried shrimps which have been toasted, salted and mixed with spices and grated coconut.
Canja de Galinha
A hearty chicken soup which comprises of boiling broth, vegetables and rice. One can find this at restaurants and roadside shops.
It is sweetened rice pudding which is served on auspicious occasions and festivals like Christmas Eve. It is sometimes spiced with cinnamon and gives a delicious treat for every lover of sweet treats.
Sanna and Poie
Sanna is a steamed rice preparation which is the Goan version of idli. And poie is a round, baked bread which can be easily founded in every nook and corner of Goa. Though rice is very popular, these are two other accompaniments served with hot curries in Goa.
It is a layered treat made with coconut milk, flour, eggs, sugar, coconut juice, and clarified butter. Often served on special occasions and local feasts.
Goans drinks lots of sol kadhi: a cooling drink made up of kokum water (water made with kokum whose plant is used as a spice or medicine) and a sort of milk derived from the paste of grated coconut, chillies and garlic. This dish is generally consumed as a post-meal digestive.
This dish is one of the most prominent indicators of Portuguese influence on food of Goa. It is a stew-like dish which is filled with soft spices. Malt vinegar is the star component in the preparation, which is infused with garlic and several spices.
This is a special Goan pickle which generally fits perfect with rice and bread. It is deep red in colour and usually prepared with seafood, owing to the number of spices which goes into its preparation. Balchao is made using cumin, onion, dried chillies, garlic, pepper, turmeric powder, vinegar and, other condiments.
This is a coconut-based curry which popular across households of Goa and a prominent feature of most of its restaurants. The spicy and tangy dish is mostly served with steamed rice, it makes for a hearty meal. A paste is prepared with ground coconut, peppercorns, red chillies, cumin seeds, turmeric powder and coriander seeds and to which water, green chillies sliced onions, and kokum (a plant which is used as a spice or medicine) are added. Some preparations use tamarind to infuse a slightly sour taste present in curry.